Wednesday 30 June 2021

True Brit

There are times in any British person’s life which would not be survivable without the cool, soothing balm of tea. How many have you been through?

Anytime you get back home from somewhere
If you’ve arrived home and not put the kettle on, have you not really arrived home or are you not really British? It’s one of the two.

When somebody comes to your house
It remains in law as of 1761 that no matter who visits you, be it friend, plumber or arresting officer, you must make them a cup of tea. Or the country is the worse.

When something bad happens
Whether you’re dying, dumped or arrested for murder, someone is guaranteed to say "Let’s have a nice cup of tea" and make everything better again, briefly.

When something good happens
Won the lottery? Got a new job? Cleared of murder? If you’ve something to celebrate, that calls for a nice cup of tea. Before getting the booze out.

Just before you go out
You’re about to go out for the day, and what if tea’s not available? You desperately need a cuppa before you leave, just like you’ll desperately need a wee 20 minutes later.

When you’ve got loads to do
What will really help you get started on those jobs? A quick break for a fortifying cup of tea.

When you’ve done loads of stuff
How to reward yourself? A celebratory cup of tea. You deserve it.

After a big dinner
You know that feeling when you are so full all you can manage is three cups of tea and an entire tin of biscuits?

First thing in the morning
Let’s face it, no true Brit can start the day without a cup of builders’ nectar.

When you get to work
Let’s face it, no true Brit can start the working day without a second cup of builders’ nectar.

In a hospital
Hospital tea tastes like shit, but it’s still better than visiting someone without the shield of tea at all.

When it’s raining at the seaside
Watching the rain lash the sands while warming your hands on a fresh cuppa is what it is to be British and should be on the citizenship exam.

The Daily Mash

Of course.

Tuesday 29 June 2021

Monday 28 June 2021

Who can satisfy their lustful habit? I'm not a wabbit!

I wish.

It's been peeing down all night, and it feels more like October out there than the end of June. I certainly did not want to get out of bed for work this morning...

Never mind, eh? Among a whole raft of fellow luminaries, including Henry VIII, John Inman, Harold Evans, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Cusack, Richard Rodgers, Willie Whitelaw, Gilda Radner, Kathy Bates, Peter Paul Rubens, A. A. Gill, John Wesley and - erm - Elon Musk, it is the fantabulosa Mel Brooks' 95th birthday today!

On this Tacky Music Monday, I think a rather appropriate song from one of his funniest films is in order:

Here I stand, the goddess of Desire
I set men on fire
I have this power
Morning noon and night, it's drink and dancing
Some quick romancing
And then a shower
Stage door johnnies constantly surround me
They always hound me
with one request
Who can satisfy their lustful habit?
I'm not a rabbit!
I need some rest!

I'm tired
Sick and tired of love
I've had my fill of love
From below and above
Tired of being admired
Tired of love uninspired
Let's face it
I'm tired!

I've been with thousands of men
Again and again
They promise the moon
They're always coming and going
And going and coming
And always too soon!

Tired of playing the game
Ain't it a crying shame?
I'm so tired...
Goddammit, I'm tired!

I've been with thousands of men
Again and again
They sing the same tune
They start with Byron and Shelley
then jump on your belly
and bust your balloon!
Oy! [BANG!]

Tired of playing the game
Ain't it a friggin shame
I'm so...
Let's face it
Everything below the kaput!

Have a good week, dear reader.

Sunday 27 June 2021

Cloves and mint?*

A glimpse up my back passage.

The promised sunshine never really materialised on this "non-Pride" weekend - it was very intermittent indeed yesterday, and grey and gloomy today - but regardless we were still out there doing some more pottering in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers...

Our thoughts and dreams in such circumstances inevitably turn to exotic music in far-off climes, and fortuitously - thanks, believe it or not, to BBC Radio 3 (primarily the home of classical music on the Beeb) - I have a fab new discovery to share with you, dear reader!

Ayom (for it is they) describe themselves as "a multicultural band, made up of six members from Angola, Brazil, Greece and Italy with Brazilian singer and percussionist Jabu Morales centre stage", and they're fab...



[*Cravo e menta = "cloves and mint" in Portuguese.]

Saturday 26 June 2021

What's your propensity?

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Friday 25 June 2021


Were it not for the machinations of a certain global pandemic, tomorrow would have been Gay Pride in London - our Gay Xmas has instead been moved to the most inappropriate date of 11th September [yes, that's right; a vast crowd of gayers congregating en masse in the West End on the 20th anniversary of the Twin Towers atrocity! That's not going to give any would-be terrorists any ideas, is it?]...

Far be it for me to miss an opportunity for a party, however, and I have decided that in the absence of a real event only a triple-bill of absolute classics from the most glitter-ball-strewn, joyful era of sweaty clubbing will do - so crank up the smoke machine, squeeze into your shiniest lycra, and Thank Disco It's Pride Eve Friday!!

Have a great weekend, dear reader - even if you're not planning to parade down Regent Street in glitter stilettos and hot pants with your face painted in rainbow colours!


As I said back in 2012, it was this remix version of the final song in today's triumvirate that became my absolute obsession two decades later:

Thursday 24 June 2021

Conundrum of the day

We must be told!

Wednesday 23 June 2021

You started this fire down in my soul

How remiss of me. I neglected to pay tribute to another of our icons who turned 60 years old yesterday - the fantabulosa, fiery, elfin-like Jimmy Somerville!

Catapulted to fame in the midst of the gayer-than-gay pop explosion of the early 1980s in the UK, he (and his fellow angry young gayers in Bronski Beat) eschewed all the headline-grabbing New Romantic flounces or "gender-bending" of fellow pioneers like Steve Strange, Boy George, Marc Almond and their ilk in favour of pertinent anger. Gay rights were the issue of the moment, given the fact that unlike many countries across the world the UK still criminalised homosexuality under the age of 21; notoriously, the band's debut album in 1984 - the year I came out! - was indeed titled Age of Consent and featured on its cover all the differing rules that countries across the world applied to gay sex in law.

As I said way back in 2008:

I adored them, and especially Jimmy - small, not particularly attractive, but spunky in every sense of the word - as their rise to fame, and in particular the supremely brilliant Smalltown Boy coincided quite neatly with my own coming out. I was indeed "pushed around, kicked around, always the lonely boy..." I was "the one that they'd talk about around town, when they put you down..."

The follow-up single from Age of Consent was, if anything, even more powerful:

His split from the Bronskis gave birth to another classic era for Jimmy - no less angry, but (remarkably) even more commercially successful - with The Communards. Here's just two faves from their extensive catalogue:

Oh, how we danced to that one! Jimmy, despite the demise of band #2, remained (and remains) a force to be reckoned with. His falsetto voice is unique and unmistakeable - and he has chalked up a string of notable choons ever since - including these:

James William "Jimmy" Somerville (born 22nd June 1961), we love you!

[Indeed, a highlight of my life was when we saw him live, back in 2015]

Tuesday 22 June 2021

The wit of the discourse at the poolside bar is effervescent

This year’s Love Island, as befits one of the most romantic stories ever told, is to have a tie-in novelisation by none other than Emily Brontë. Read the excerpts:

Chapter One

Arriving at the island, I feared I should never see Heathcliff again. He had departed for sea, or perhaps the Army. My heart was wrecked like my father’s ship on the rocks, but I then I ascertained there were some pretty buff guys I might wank off.

Chapter Two

The climes are far more clement here than the bluffs and moors of Yorkshire, so I slipped into a bikini. A bequest from a maiden aunt before the voyage had seen a prudent investment in implants, making me 34EE.

Chapter Three

The wit of the discourse at the poolside bar is effervescent. ‘Is Transformers a true story?’ asked Cheryline. ‘I believe it is a fiction like those of Edgar Allen Poe,’ I contended. And was well rewarded with a charming compliment from Brayden, who proffered ‘You is well fit, babe.’

Chapter Four

After a childhood and marriage vexed and tempest-tossed, I have decided to make a gift of my heart to Brayden. Or is it Marco? Or Jaxyn? I fear I am having great difficulty telling them apart! Either ways, I boned one of them on top, so should not depart yet.

Chapter Five

As the snake in Eden, in this very paradise there is a succubus straight from Hell itself: Anna. She has her eye well on my Brayden, as I lamented in the diary room while calling her a bitch. But my spirit burns too bright for this Love Island, and I keep my eye on the £50k.

Chapter Six

Brayden and Anna’s close but scandalously false relationship caused me to fall into a terrible faint. I thought I might expire of the vapours, when a rough growl erupted from the sunken garden. It was Heathcliff, my love! He was not dead but had been coupled with Sally. ‘F**k off Brayden, you milksop’ he said, whilst getting right up in his face.

Chapter Seven

Deserved winners, Heathcliff and I have engaged a celebrity PR firm while we take in the marketing opportunities. Ours is a passion that will last longer than the limestone which underpins the Yorkshire Moors. Or about four to six months while we get our book out.

The Daily Mash

Of course.

Monday 21 June 2021

Hundred-year-old Broads

I'll have whatever Judy's having...

Monday again - and it's Midsummer's Day, to boot! Not that we've had much of a summer for it to be the "Mid" of, mind you. Typical Britain - a week of blazing sunshine followed by a storm. But I digress...

We have not one, but two centenaries to to celebrate today, dear reader!

Miss Judy Holliday was something of a "contradiction in terms" - she made her name portraying molls and ditzy blondes, yet had an IQ of 172. On screen, she was the "arm candy"; in real life she fought against the system (and fought off Daryl F. Zanuck's advances), to her detriment when she was blacklisted for alleged "communism". Notorious as the actress whose Oscar win in 1951 beat off competition from both Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard and Bette Davis in All About Eve, had she not died tragically young (at 42) of cancer, who knows what more success she might have had?

This being a Tacky Music Monday, of course, here's a double-bill of the lady's song-and-dance and comedic talents:

Sharing the occasion is a far more familiar diva, Miss Jane Russell! As famous for captivating Howard Hughes with her impressive décolletage as she was for her numerous, usually humorous and sassy roles in films such as Bob Hope's The Paleface or Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, she inevitably ended up a gay icon, landing camp roles in Westerns and TV soaps, and even taking over from Elaine Stritch as "Joanne" in Sondheim's Company on Broadway. 

Of course, throughout her career she always was admired as a singer and dancer as well, so let's have another double-bill featuring the great lady herself [NB I have, of course, featured her many times before - see here and here for more]...


Have a good week, folks.

Sunday 20 June 2021

Of fuchsias, film reviews and family

Our hardiest-of-hardy fuchsias, "CJ Howlett" merely shrugs off the grey, drizzly weather (as it did our miserable Spring)...

It's been a lovely (if somewhat draining) weekend as The Mother ventured to London, the first time we'd seen her in more than eighteen months! I think she enjoyed it - she loved the company, the hugs, the chit-chat, the pub lunch, the visit to Zandra Rhodes' Fashion and Textile Museum, the cakes and scones, and our garden.

After all that, I think we need to just mong out on the the sofa and wallow in some tacky old movie or other. Who better to be our guide in such matters than Steve Hayes aka Tired Old Queen at the Movies?!

Campness abounds!

Saturday 19 June 2021

Totty of the season

Louis Jourdan, whose centenary it is today [more here]

Johnny Depp, 9th June 1963 [more here]

Barry Evans, 18th June 1943 [more here]

Chris Evans, who was 40 on 13th June [more here]

Neil Patrick Harris, 15th June 1973 [more here and here]

Måns Zelmerlöw, 13th June 1986 [more here]

Richard Madden, 18th June 1986 [more here and, especially, here]

Hugh Laurie, 11th June 1959

And finally... for Ms Scarlet!

Aidan Turner, 19th June 1983 [more here]

Friday 18 June 2021

Laughing at clouds so dark above

The lovely run of warm sunshine we've been enjoying for the past couple of weeks has been well-and-truly broken - it's pissing down out there; just in time for our Mother's first visit to London post-lockdown tomorrow [it will be the first time we have actually seen her in the flesh since 2019, in fact]!


Never mind, eh? We simply must adhere to tradition, and get the party started to welcome in the weekend!

So, dear reader, let's squeeze ourselves into the tightest, silveriest clothing in our wardrobes, fix those the cheesy grins, practice the tacky dance moves for a most appropriate number from Mademoiselle Sheila and her sexy boys - and Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a fab weekend peeps, whatever the weather!

Thursday 17 June 2021

We danced and sang, and the music played in a de boomtown

Another mini-timeslip moment, dear reader and - as I am focussing on this milestone year throughout 2021 - we're hitching up our Viv Westwood kilts and hurtling back to the misty, distant world of 1981 again...

At this time of year forty years ago, I would have been in the midst of my final A-Level exams, counting down the weeks until I left school and entered the "adult" world. In the news headlines in June: a teenager was arrested after firing blanks at HM The Queen as she rode to the Trooping of the Colour parade, the first cases of AIDS were reported in America, John McEnroe's angry outbursts at Wimbledon caused outrage, the NatWest Tower was formally opened in the City of London, there were riots in Peckham and Coventry, the Israeli Air Force bombed a nuclear reactor in Iran, HMS Ark Royal was launched, the world was gripped at the attempted rescue of a six-year-old boy who had fallen down a well in Italy (he unfortunately died), and the Liberal Party and the SDP formed an alliance. In our cinemas: the premiere of the Bond film For Your Eyes Only; Circle of Two; The Postman Always Rings Twice. On telly: Razzamatazz; Private Schulz; Maybury.

And in our charts this week four decades ago? Smokey Robinson's Being With You was at the top, about to be deposed by Michael Jackson's One Day In Your Life. Also present and correct were a few corkers including Adam and the Ants, Hazel O'Connor, Odyssey and Ultravox, and quite a slew of dross from the likes of Shakin' Stevens, Champaign, Kate Robbins and the godawful Teddy Bear by one-hit-wonder Red Sovine.

However, just debuted outside the Top 20, and destined to sweep away all before it for the rest of the summer was this all-time classic...

This town, is coming like a ghost town
All the clubs have been closed down
This place, is coming like a ghost town
Bands won't play no more
Too much fighting on the dance floor

Do you remember the good old days before the ghost town?
We danced and sang, and the music played in a de boomtown

This town, is coming like a ghost town
Why must the youth fight against themselves?
Government leaving the youth on the shelf
This place, is coming like a ghost town
No job to be found in this country
Can't go on no more
The people getting angry

This town, is coming like a ghost town
This town, is coming like a ghost town
This town, is coming like a ghost town
This town, is coming like a ghost town

Where did those forty years go..? Sigh.

[Ghost Town was voted #2 in the Guardian's countdown of "the 100 greatest UK No 1 singles" last year (beaten only by Pet Shop Boys' West End Girls) - read more.]

Wednesday 16 June 2021

Film Night...

...courtesy of the ever-fabulous Viz magazine!

Tuesday 15 June 2021

Current mood...


It's another scorcher out there - and we know a song about that, don't we, children?

Monday 14 June 2021

Don't thumb your nose, but take a tip from mine

Me when the alarm goes off. Obviously.

Oh, bollocks! Another fabulous - and really hot - weekend, pleasantly pottering in the garden and enjoying the scents of jasmine, roses and pinks, is over with a jolt. Back to the grind...

Not all is lost, however. Sharing a birthday with another odd assortment, including Che Guevara, Paul O'Grady, Steffi Graf, Boy George (60 today), Harriet Beecher Stowe, Archbishop of Monmouth Rowan Williams, Rod Argent, Lang Lang, Burl Ives, Antony Sher, Julie Felix, Sam Wanamaker, Alan Carr, Dorothy McGuire, Siobhán Donaghy of the Sugababes, and - erm - Trump... would have been the multi-talented composer, songwriter and jazz pianist Cy Coleman's birthday today [read my tribute on what would have been his 80th way back in 2009]. Famed for his standards such as Witchcraft, Nobody Does It Like Me, It's Not Where You Start (It's Where You Finish), The Best Is Yet to Come and many more, and (of course) his magnum opus (with lyricist Dorothy Fields) the musical Sweet Charity, he also wrote (with Carolyn Leigh) the ill-fated musical Wildcat for Lucille Ball. It sank without trace, but, on this Tacky Music Monday, to cheer us all up a bit, here's the choon from it that did endure - and a house favourite here at Dolores Delargo Towers to perform it for us!

Hey look me over, lend me an ear
Fresh out of clover, mortgage up to here
Don't pass the plate folks, don't pass the cup
I figure whenever you're down and out, the only way is up
And I'll be up like a rosebud high on the vine
Don't thumb your nose, but take a tip from mine
I'm a little bit short of the elbow room, so let me get me some
And look out world, here I come

Nobody in the world was ever without a prayer
How can you win the world if nobody knows you're there?

Kid, when you need the crowd, the tickets are hard to sell
Still, you can lead the crowd if you can get up and yell

Hey look me over, lend me an ear
Fresh out of clover, mortgage up to here
I'm a little bit short of the elbow room, so let me get me some
And look out world, hear me shout world...
And look out world, here I come!

Have a good week, dear reader. I'll be taking plenty of fag breaks if the weather continues to be like this - and even if you don't smoke, I'd suggest you do too!

Sunday 13 June 2021

Knowing me, knowing you?

Apropos of nothing at all, I was rather taken by the uber-sexy Chris Hemsworth shifting the - ahem - weight about for our delectation...

On a glorious sunny day, what better accompaniment could there be than this dreamy number - courtesy of the faboo Soft Tempo Lounge?

[Original film: Skaterdater (1965)]

Saturday 12 June 2021


...Dame Prue Leith, Sir Jonathan Pryce, Dame Arlene Phillips (of "Hot Gossip" choreography fame), and Our Patron Saint of Shout, Lulu (Kennedy-Cairns) CBE!

Joining them among the 1,129 awardees in HM The Queen’s Birthday Honours today are - CBE: tennis pundit Sue Barker, TV's Crimewatch host Nick Ross and the legendary Rick Wakeman; OBE: Skin (of Skunk Anansie), Julian Lloyd Webber and poet Lemn Sissay; and MBE: Englebert Humperdinck, trumpeter Jess Gillam, BBC Wales "easy listening" show host Beverley Humphreys and former Radios 1 and 2 stalwart Simon Mayo...

...and, last but not least, house fave here at Dolores Delargo Towers Alison Moyet MBE!

Congratulations, all.


Today also happens to be World Gin Day!

Clink, clink, dear reader...

Friday 11 June 2021

People getting loose y'all, getting down on the roof


This is a week I'll be very glad to see the back of - nothing's quite as frustrating as dealing with work bollocks in the living-room all day while just yards away, the sunny garden and all its associated pottering jobs beckons...

To welcome the prospect of another hot weekend afoot, what better than a little something that was in the UK charts this week - gulp! - 44 years ago?!

It's Legs & Co at their (ahem!) finest, too - Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a great weekend, dear reader!

Thursday 10 June 2021

You! You! You!

Our lovely Rosa "Veilchenblau" that I took as a cutting - read more here - is starting to put on a splendid show in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers!

There must have been something in the water one hundred and thirty years ago this week - for on consecutive days, two of the finest songwriters of the Great American Songbook were born. Yesterday, it was the incomparable Cole Porter - creator of myriad classics including Begin the Beguine, You're the Top, I Get a Kick Out of You, Easy to Love, I've Got You Under My Skin, Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love), In the Still of the Night, Too Darn Hot... and this one, memorably performed as a love duet between Kevin Kline and sex-god John Barrowman in the Porter biopic De-Lovely:

Today's birthday boy may not be as well remembered, but among Al Dubin's remarkable catalogue are standards such as I Only Have Eyes for You, Keep Young and Beautiful, Lullaby of Broadway, Tiptoe Through The Tulips, We're In the Money, September in the Rain, Lulu's Back in Town... and, from his triumphal musical [with Harry Warren] 42nd Street, this classic by Miss Bebe Daniels and her safety gays:


Wednesday 9 June 2021

A Word from our Sponsors...

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