Wednesday 31 March 2021

Spiteful girl, hateful boy

click to embiggen

Timeslip moment again...

...and yes, we've fallen through the void and landed in the heady (and distant), gender-bending, recession-hit world of my coming-of-age year again.

In the news in late March/early April 1981: an assassination attempt on U.S. President Ronald Reagan by John Hinckley (who said he did it to impress his fantasy love Jody Foster); the Social Democratic Party (SDP) was launched by four notable defectors from the Labour Party, Shirley Williams, Bill Rodgers, Roy Jenkins and David Owen; the first London Marathon was held; and Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs was rescued after his kidnapping in Brazil. In our cinemas: Tess; Superman II; and Chariots of Fire had its premiere. On telly: Ronnie Corbett in Sorry!; the final episode of Robin's Nest; and Tom Baker left Doctor Who after seven years and was replaced by Peter Davison.

And in our charts this week forty years ago? Shaky (Shakin' Stevens) was celebrating week two of his first #1 hit This Ole House, unfortunately holding off Kim Wilde from her rightful place at the top. Also present and correct were Bucks Fizz (who were about to win the Eurovision Song Contest, held on 4th April), Stevie Wonder, Toyah, Roxy Music, Landscape (Einstein a Go-Go), Coast to Coast, Lynx and - erm - folk singer Tony Capstick with his novelty hit Capstick Comes Home, a nostalgic narrated tale over the brass band music from the Hovis bread advert (Sibelius New World Symphony). It was crap, and he was never heard of again.

Never mind all that, hovering just outside the Top Ten (and never destined to go any further, more's the pity), there was this slice of New Romantic genius!

My painted face
Is chipped and cracked
My mind seems
To fade too fast
Clutching straws
Sinking slow
Nothing less, nothing less

A puppet's motions
Controlled by a string
By a stranger
I've never met
A nod of the head
And a pull of the thread
I can't say no, can't say no

When a child throws out a toy
When I was new you wanted me
Now I'm old you no longer see

When a child throws out a toy
Spiteful girl
Hateful boy
When a child throws out a toy

I'm all dressed up
And nowhere to go
On a music box
That never stops
I'll dance for you
If you want me to
Move in time, move in time

A wooden head
And a broken heart
Used, abused
And torn apart
I gave you my best
And you gave me the rest
It's time to die, time to die

When a child throws out a toy
When I was new you wanted me
Now I'm old you no longer see

When a child throws out a toy
Spiteful girl
Hateful boy
When a child throws out a toy

When a child throws out a toy
When I was new you wanted me
Now I'm old you no longer see

When a child throws out a toy
Spiteful girl
Hateful boy
When a child throws out a toy

I loved that song sooooo much!

I do hope Steve Strange is lording it up in his rightful place - on the door at Fabulon, keeping the hoi-polloi out...

Tuesday 30 March 2021

Excuse me...'s been a busy day again in the garden!

Monday 29 March 2021

He could bonsai my bush any day

Meet Jakob, our new Under-Gardener

Been busy again in the extensive gardens - and on such a warm sunny day, who could blame us if our tops just fell off..? [Of course, Jakob with his top off looks infinitely better than my flabby carcass, needless to say.]

In fact, all this drooling pottering has been such a distraction, I almost forgot it was a Tacky Music Monday!

Let's make up for that, shall we, with a double-dose of - ahem - talented artistes whose speciality is the dance style known as ParaPara, that was all the rage in Japan for several years recently...

[NB I have discovered that the inscrutable gnomes behind each of these videos has removed the "play embedded" function, so you'll need to click through to YouTube to - ahem - enjoy them.]

Have a good week, dear reader.

Sunday 28 March 2021

Bulging professionals

It's my favourite time of the year...

So British Summer Time is officially upon us! Doesn't feel much like it, with the fierce gusts of wind at the moment - but I've been busy in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers this weekend [and am likely to be doing so for the whole fortnight of my leave], lifting and dividing herbaceous plants, playing "hunt-the-bloody-sycamore-seedlings" [they're everywhere; bastard weeds!] and generally pottering. We are forecast a mini-heatwave this week, so there will be a chance to sit back and enjoy it all with a glass or two of booze...

Speaking of such things, how about another cocktail-bar musical moment courtesy of the magnificent Soft Tempo Lounge?

This time however, rather than wallowing in the fabulous lives of impossibly glamorous people the action is all courtesy of what was, for me as a hormonal closeted teen, the most homoerotic cop series on late '70s/early '80s telly...

click to embiggen

...The Professionals!

[Music: The Zack Laurence Orchestra - Stiletto]

Saturday 27 March 2021

Totty of the Season

Warren Beatty (born 30th March 1937)

Damon Albarn (born 23rd March 1968)

Richard Chamberlain (born 31st March 1934) - more here

Michael York (born 27th March 1942) - more here and here

It's the centenary of the birth of Dirk Bogarde on 28th March 1921 - more Dirk here

Paul Mercurio (born 31st March 1963) - more here

Billy MacKenzie (27th March 1957 – 22nd January 1997) - more here

Steve McQueen (24th March 1930 – 7th November 1980) - more here

Ewan McGregor, who is 50 years old on 31st March – much more here

Yesterday, it was all about the girls. Today the spotlight's on the boys!

Take a ticket and wait your turn.

Friday 26 March 2021

And there's this magic in the air

At bleedin' last! Gawd, this week has dragged - now the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter. Once this day in work is over, I won't be hunching over the teeny work laptop for the next sixteen days. Hurrah! And this weekend, the clocks go forward so all the evenings will be longer... Double hurrah!

So much cause for celebration - and to add to the party mood, it's also Miss Cathy Dennis's birthday!

She's a devilishly-talented hitmaker, that girl - among the songs she's written: Can't Get You Out of My Head and Come into My World for Kylie Minogue; Toxic for Britney Spears; Reach, Never Had a Dream Come True, Have You Ever and many more for S-Club 7; Sweet Dreams My LA Ex for Rachel Stevens; About You Now for Sugababes; I Kissed a Girl for Katy Perry; Catch You for Sophie Ellis-Bextor; and several hits for - yawn - X Factor winners.

But to get the party really started, let's whizz right back to 1989, to Miss Dennis's very first hit - and Thank Disco It's Friday!

Many happy returns, Catherine Roseanne Dennis (born 25th March 1969)

Thursday 25 March 2021

Orgasmically happy with their new vacuum cleaner

Sick of being bombarded with information that pretends to be helpful but is utterly useless? Here are the most pointless examples.

Out for delivery
We’ve all clicked on a parcel tracking link hoping for a map of where the driver is and how long until they arrive, only to see ‘out for delivery’, which they’ve already f**king emailed us with. Maybe add some equally useful information like ‘It’s coming in a van!’.

Software update percentages
Frustratingly meaningless. It takes 20 seconds to reach 80 per cent, then another 10 minutes to get to 100 per cent. Or much, much longer if you’re keen to play an exciting new game or use your computer. Replace it with a spinning black circle and the words: ‘Nope, still not done’.

Being told ‘your call is very important to us’
No it isn’t. And you don’t even know what the call’s about. We could be the worst kind of time-wasting idiot who phones the council to complain about BBC sitcoms.

Kills up to 99.9 per cent of germs
We’re not idiots, you know. Anything that says ‘up to’ is just covering your backs legally. And what about the 0.1 per cent of germs that survive? 0.1 per cent of a billion is still a million – that’s an awful lot of germs hanging around ready to kill you when your guard’s down.

Prices on airline websites
The prices of flights with no-frills airlines bear as little relation to the truth as anything Boris Johnson says at PMQs. Once the extra costs are added, they might as well just put in random numbers.

Online reviews
Is that person who’s orgasmically happy with their new vacuum cleaner being paid to write the review, or is there just not much going on in their life? Either way it’s not much help to you. Then there are the negative reviews from dunces who can’t understand why a £159.99 laptop doesn’t work like a MacBook Pro.

The Daily Mash

Of course.

Wednesday 24 March 2021

Number one super guy

Ah, nostalgia - it's not what it used to be.

There are two milestone birthdays that relate to my childhood memories today.

Born 120 years ago, the peculiarly named Ub Iwerks [he was of German immigrant stock] was the animator who, with Walt Disney, co-created Mickey Mouse!

I always hated that fucking mouse, so let's move on...

Far more significantly, today marks the 110th anniversary of the birth of one Joseph Barbera, another animator - but one whose creations I still look upon with deep fondness...

click to embiggen

As co-founder of the mighty Hanna-Barbera organisation, he (alongside William Hanna, with whom he had already created Tom & Jerry for MGM) gave birth to myriad classic kids' shows that preoccupied our rainy-day telly-watching, including Huckleberry Hound, Quick Draw McGraw, Yogi Bear, The Jetsons, Touché Turtle, Secret Squirrel, Snagglepuss, Captain Caveman, The Banana Splits (and its featured cartoons Arabian Knights, The Three Musketeers and Micro Ventures), The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, It's the Wolf, Help!... It's the Hair Bear Bunch!, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, Harlem Globetrotters, Josie and the Pussycats, and these!

Happy memories...

Tuesday 23 March 2021

Word to the Wise

I know.

Monday 22 March 2021

Only going forward 'cause we can't find reverse

Sigh. Just as I was getting into the swing of pottering in the garden, enjoying the Spring air - splat!

Back to reality. Back to work.

Never mind, eh? Just these five days to grit my teeth through, and then I am off for a fortnight for Easter - Yay!

Other causes to celebrate today - Mr William Shatner blows out 90 candles on his cake today [his wig is considerably younger] - and, spookily, it's our blog chum (and Star Trek obsessive) Inexplicable DeVice's birthday as well. Mr IDV looks so dashing in his uniform, n'est-ce pas?

Inevitably, on this Tacky Music Monday there is only one song I could possibly play:

Many happy returns to our two fave Enterprise captains!

Have a good week, dear reader.

Footnote: sharing their birthday today are host of other notables including Marcel Marceau, Stephen Sondheim, Beverley Knight, Roger Whittaker, Karl Malden, George Benson, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Wilfrid Brambell, Susan Sulley of Human League, Reese Witherspoon and Stephanie Mills...

Sunday 21 March 2021

The days are getting longer...

...and so is my hair!!!

Roll on 12th April.

Saturday 20 March 2021

Because you're mine

The "official" First Day of Spring - and I've been busy in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers practically since I surfaced this morning. Re-potting's the name of the game...

Now I am bushed, and in the mood for something a bit mellow.

By sheer coincidence, today happens to be the birthday of one of our long-term faves, a lady I have not featured here for quite a few years - the very lovely Natacha Atlas! Perfect.

[That's not her dancing in the video, by the way...]

Many happy returns, Habibi!

Natacha Atlas (born 20th March 1964)

Friday 19 March 2021

A place worth living in

We're almost there, dear reader. Almost the weekend - and it's the equinox tomorrow; the "First Day of Spring"! True to form, it's gloriously sunny out there at the moment while I am working, yet the forecast for Saturday and Sunday is grey and miserable. Sigh.

No matter what, we're never going to turn down an excuse for a party!

It happened to be the 60th birthday of the arch-eccentric Alexander Bard on Thursday - the genius behind "house fave" bands Army of Lovers, Bodies Without Organs (BWO), Gravitonas, and...

Alcazar! I can't think of any better way to start the celebrations that with this bizarre "mash-up" (of sorts) between Diana Ross and - erm - Genesis, and Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a great Spring weekend, dear reader!

Thursday 18 March 2021

Remember commuting?

It's a year to the day since I last travelled to the office...

Wednesday 17 March 2021

Oh, the noise and the rout, swillin' poitin and stout

Nat King Cole, Rob Lowe, Clare Grogan, Rudolf Nureyev, Stephen Gately, Patrick Duffy, Alexander McQueen, Robin Knox-Johnston, Kurt Russell, John Boyega, Rory McGrath, Jeff Banks, Hozier and - erm - Stormy Daniels were all born on this day - but it was also, according to legend [largely promoted by Guinness, as far as I can gather], the date Saint Patrick died.

Of course, we have come a long way from the legendary exploits of a 5th century expatriate Welshman in the Emerald Isle; Paddy's Day nowadays is merely an(other) excuse for a booze-up [albeit, in these COVID times, likely to be somewhat muted again this year].

To celebrate properly however, it's not just about "the wearing of the Green", getting shitfaced on "that black stuff" and trying to do Riverdance impressions (as above) - it's an excuse for a raucous sing-song...

...and for that, as far as such things go, you can't get much better than this "Oirish supergroup"!

On the fourth of July eighteen hundred and six
We set sail from the sweet cove of Cork
We were sailing away with a cargo of bricks
For the grand city hall in New York
'Twas a wonderful craft, she was rigged fore-and-aft
And oh, how the wild winds drove her
She'd got several blasts, she'd twenty-seven masts
And we called her the Irish Rover

We had one million bags of the best Sligo rags
We had two million barrels of stones
We had three million sides of old blind horses hides
We had four million barrels of bones
We had five million hogs, we had six million dogs
Seven million barrels of porter
We had eight million bails of old nanny goats' tails
In the hold of the Irish Rover

There was awl Mickey Coote who played hard on his flute
When the ladies lined up for his set
He was tootin' with skill for each sparkling quadrille
Though the dancers were fluther'd and bet
With his sparse witty talk he was cock of the walk
As he rolled the dames under and over
They all knew at a glance when he took up his stance
And he sailed in the Irish Rover

There was Barney McGee from the banks of the Lee
There was Hogan from County Tyrone
There was Johnny McGurk who was scared stiff of work
And a man from Westmeath called Malone
There was Slugger O'Toole who was drunk as a rule
And fighting Bill Tracey from Dover
And your man Mick McCann from the banks of the Bann
Was the skipper of the Irish Rover

For a sailor it's always a bother in life
It's so lonesome by night and by day
'Til he launch for the shore and this charming young whore
Who will melt all his troubles away
All the noise and the rout
Swilling poitín and stout
For him soon the torment's over
Of the love of a maid he's never afraid
And old sot from the Irish Rover

We had sailed seven years when the measles broke out
And the ship lost it's way in the fog
And that whale of the crew was reduced down to two
Just myself and the captain's old dog
Then the ship struck a rock, oh Lord what a shock
The bulkhead was turned right over
Turned nine times around, and the poor dog was drowned
I'm the last of the Irish Rover

Sláinte, mo chairde!

Tuesday 16 March 2021

I feel so gay, in a melancholy way

The Year of the Mask. The year of "You're on mute!". The year of paranoia - that feeling that everyone is a plague-carrier. The year we were forced to believe that our own four walls were the only world, other than the garden.

A year ago yesterday, we went to our last live music concert...

...and by way of a celebration of that milestone, here is the very lady we went to see at the Cadogan Hall - Miss Clare Teal!
[A mere three days after that faboo evening, I was sent home from work and I have not been back to the office since.]

Looking out of the window at the daffs and the pansies and primroses and hyacinths, and despite the slight chill in the air, Spring is definitely here [and indeed, the Spring Equinox is on Saturday]!

Things are looking up, dear reader...

They have to.

Monday 15 March 2021

Now every time I say cuchi-cuchi, people give me money

From an article in the Las Vegas Sun in 2009:

How old is Charo?

Some say she made a deal with the devil to avoid ageing entirely. A Las Vegas bartender says she claims 58, but he knows her to be 68, which has been officially confirmed by documents in her birthplace of Murcia, Spain. Others have reported that she had her age legally lowered by 10 years - the amount of time she was married to then-60-year-old bandleader Xavier Cugat before divorcing him and becoming an American citizen.

It is whispered that images of a tiny, whirling blond figure have been discerned in cave paintings in Western Europe. We may just have to wait for carbon dating to establish the facts...

As we embark on another joyful week's work, we first pay due homage to one of the ultimate "Queens of Tackiness" herself, Charo - who celebrated (according to her, anyhow) her 70th birthday on Saturday! We rather suspect that there might be ten more candles due on that particular cake...

Regardless, on this Tacky Music Monday, what better than her tribute to a 1970s classic?

From the same article as above:

Charo has built a multi-decade international stage-TV-recording career by essentially performing a drag performance of herself. It’s campy, kitschy and yes cuchi-cuchi, and Charo cheerfully (always cheerfully) acknowledges the self-caricature.

And we love her for it.



  • Charo long maintained that her stated date of birth was incorrect due to a "clerical error". Official documents in Spain and the United States maintained she was born on 13th March 1941, but Charo argued she was actually younger. In 1977, she went to court, and was able to successfully convince a Los Angeles judge, Roger Foley, to rule that her correct date of birth was 1951. This would have made her 15 at the time of her marriage, and the legitimacy of this date is widely questioned.
  • Her first screen appearance was in 1963 in a Spanish film called Nuevas amistades. I haven't been able to find any clips of this movie with her in it, but since at this date according to her she was supposedly only 12 years old, it would be very interesting to see.
  • She was considered for the role of Eva Perón in Evita in 1996, which went to Madonna.
  • She appeared on The Love Boat 10 times during its run, most of them as the character April Lopez. The only guest stars who appeared more on the show were Florence Henderson and Marion Ross.
  • Her trademark "cuchi, cuchi" comes from her nickname for her dog, Cuchillo (Spanish for "knife"): "When Cuchillo was happy, he wiggled. I copied him and I used to say 'como Cuchi, como Cuchi'. Everybody thought that it was very cute when I wiggled and say cuchi-cuchi, and they give me cookies and candy. Now every time I say cuchi-cuchi, people give me money."
  • As a youngster she studied studied classical guitar with Andrés Segovia; and she won Guitar Player magazine's Readers Poll "Best Flamenco Guitarist" two years in a row.

Feliz cumpleaños, María Rosario Pilar Martínez Molina Baeza (aka Charo, 13th March 1941, or 1951, or even 15th January 1951)

Sunday 14 March 2021

Sucking too hard on your lollipop

As well as it being Mothering Sunday, it's apparently - according to Wikipedia - also something called "Steak and Blowjob Day".

Who are we to refuse?

Here's Mika with an appropriate song for the occasion:


Saturday 13 March 2021

Dance in bars and restaurants

Thursday marked another important centenary, dear reader - that of the birth of Astor Piazzolla, "the world's foremost composer of Tango music"!

Born to Italian emigrants in Argentina, the family moved to New York, where young Astor developed his fascination for the music of his homeland. He began to learn the bandoneon (a South American variety of accordion) at the age of eight, and composed his first Tango when he was eleven years old.

His prodigious talents did not go unnoticed, and the world-renowned "King of Tango" Carlos Gardel even invited the then-teenager to join his orchestra on tour. It's fortutuous, indeed, that Astor's father forbade him to go as he was too young, for Gardel and his entire orchestra were killed in an air crash while on this very tour. As soon as he was able, however, young Astor moved back to Argentina, where he joined several orchestras before founding his own - and the rest is history!

With his talent for crossing the musical styles of Tango and Jazz with a more traditional classical repertoire, a style that became known as Nuevo Tango, in his seven-decade career he was lauded as the foremost proponent of Argentinian music, composing for several films, and winning numerous awards.

He was still performing in 1990 at the age of 75, before suffering a stroke that left him comatose until his death two years later.

As well as many orchestrated works, he left a cultural legacy in the world of popular music, too - and here are just a couple of examples:

[...a piece that was famously taken to a different level altogether by Miss Grace Jones!]

[...which was skilfully used by remixers Javier Garza and Pablo Flores in the dance version of Queen Madge's own paean to Piazzolla's homeland.]

Astor Pantaleón Piazzolla (11th March 1921 – 4th July 1992)

Friday 12 March 2021

They say I'm crazy

Another dire week slumps ever closer to its end...

The weather's very mixed at the moment, with these high winds - one minute it's sunny, the next it's as black as yer 'at! Regardless, I would hazard a guess we'll be doing a bit of pottering in the garden here and there over the weekend when we can.

Meanwhile, it's time for a party - and I want to go to the one Miss Andrea Brown's wandered into!

Thank Disco It's Friday!

How cool is that?

Have a great weekend, dear reader!

Thursday 11 March 2021

Unsuitable coat weather

Is the long lockdown winter finally over? Have we begun our long, wet, dull, Easter egg-eating lockdown spring? These are the signs:

Loads of twats out and about
You might have seen the population of your town double in recent weeks, with twats turning up in their droves to trample on daffodils, chat shit at each other and generally ruin the park for everyone else. Their winter hibernation is over and their cries of ‘Nah bollocks mate’ echo over our hills once again.

Bloody hay fever’s coming on
No, that tickle in your throat isn’t Covid and nor is it a cold, because you’ve been nowhere and seen no-one. It’s just your body’s immune system firing on all cylinders because you’ve inhaled a tiny bit of tree pollen. Enjoy the misery of the next six months.

Bastard joggers everywhere
2021 was a year for postponing resolutions, but now the weather’s less paralysingly bleak pavements are filling with red-faced middle-aged men in tight-fitting lycra, who will absolutely not move out of the way for a pram or wheelchair.

Unsuitable coat weather
In these awkward weeks, putting on your winter coat will make you sweat like Prince Andrew would if he only could, while donning a light jacket will see you blue-knuckled as you hug it round yourself. You might consider a gilet, if you don’t mind looking like a wanker who owns an organic winery and two black labradoodles.

The house is a tip
Daylight streaming in makes dusty skirting boards and wine-stained carpets a lot harder to ignore. You’re still not going to do anything about it, but insisting cobwebs are environment-friendly extra insulation is wearing thin.

Some miserable bugger saying ‘Spring gets earlier every year’
The most obvious sign that spring is upon us is a miserable old bastard complaining that the crocuses are coming out earlier and earlier, and soon the Earth will be transformed into a fireball which can no longer sustain human life. I mean yeah, but aren’t they pretty?

The Daily Mash

Of course.

Wednesday 10 March 2021

Fumar es un placer genial, sensual

Gorgeous Crocus tommasinianus "Ruby Giant" - neither "ruby" nor "giant", actually...

We should expect it at this time of year, of course, but yesterday's glorious blue-skied sunny Spring weather has overnight turned back to murk and rain. Depressing. At least we managed yesterday evening to finish the job of clearing weeds from what laughingly passes for a "border" in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers [basically, a narrow strip of mud alongside next door's fence] and planted the rest of the sorry-looking biennials (foxgloves, forget-me-nots and evening primrose) into it, so hopefully we may have some flowers to look forward to in a couple of months...

Let's take our minds off the dankness, shall we, in the estimable company of today's birthday girl and Patron Saint, Señorita Sara Montiel:

She needs to watch her fag, wearing that flimsy peignoir!

That clip being a mere soupçon of the song (interrupted as it was by that rude boy at the door!), here's another - even more camp - version [apologies for the quality of the video recording, but you get the measure of it]:

Fumar es un placer
genial, sensual.

Fumando espero
al hombre a quien yo quiero,
tras los cristales
de alegres ventanales.

...which translates as:

Smoking is a wonderful
sensuous pleasure.

Smoking, I wait
for the man I love
behind the glasses
of gaily-coloured windows.

How apposite.

Sara "Sarita" Montiel (born María Antonia Abad Fernández, 10th March 1928 – 8th April 2013)

Tuesday 9 March 2021

Totty of the season

Jack Kerouac (12th March 1922 – 21st October 1969)

Murat Boz (born 7th March 1980) - more here

Jon Hamm and his incredible performing trousers (50 on 10th March)

Rob Lowe (born 17th March 1964)

John Barrowman (born 11th March 1967)

Jon Bon Jovi (born 2nd March 1962)

Daniel Craig (born 2nd March 1968)

Rudolf Nureyev (17th March 1964 - 6th January 1993) - much more here