Sunday 31 October 2021

Season of the Old Queen?

Winter is officially on our doorstep...

'Tis the season of witches, bitches, werewolves and zombies again. Hallowe'en, Samhain, Calan Gaeaf, Dziady - the only time of the year anyone gives a stuff about pumpkins or toffee-apples...

It's also the season for horror B-movies - and here's Steve Hayes aka Tired Old Queen at the Movies with one of his favourites!

Happy haunting, peeps!


For my sister...'s traditional...

Saturday 30 October 2021

Mitha Maze Dar

HOW OLD???!!

It's our friend John-John's birthday today!

Our "gang" is gathering once more, as we do, for another all-day session at the Wetherspoons in High Holborn - which should be fun and games as always.

John-John's fanaticism about all things Abba is well-documented - so here, for his (and our) listening pleasure, is a selection of their classic hits...


Inevitably, we do have this album in our collection here at Dolores Delargo Towers [and I have, of course, featured the marvellous Agha sisters here before]...

Happy birthday, John-John!

Friday 29 October 2021

How can I explain? Things are different today


Another tortuous week in work staggers to its close, and with it - on this Hallowe'en weekend - we need something bizarrely fitting for the occasion. Such as this...

Thank Disco It's Friday!

Once upon a time
Science opened up the door
We would feed the hungry fields
Till they couldn't eat no more
But the potions that we made
Touched the creatures down below
And they grew up in a way
That we'd never seen before

Supernature, supernature
Supernature, supernature

They were angry with the man
Who couldn't change their way of life
And they take that sweet revenge
As they trampled through the night
For hundred miles or more
You could hear the people cry
But there's nothing you can do
Even God is on their side

Supernature, supernature
Supernature, supernature

The gods will break the ice
And throw it in the air
The creatures will decide
Who goes where

How can I explain?
Things are different today
Darkness all around
No one makes a sound
Such a sad affair
No one seems to care

Supernature, supernature
Supernature, supernature

Better watch out
There's no way to stop it now
You can't escape
It's too late
Look what you've done
There's no place that you can run
The monster's made
We must pay

Maybe nature has a plan
To control the ways of man
He must start from scratch again
Many battles must he win
Till he earns his place on earth
Like the other creatures do
Will there be a happy end
Now that all depends on you

Supernature, supernature
Supernature, supernature
Supernature, supernature
Supernature, supernature
Supernature, supernature
Supernature, Supernature
Supernature, Supernature
Supernature, Supernature

Have a great weekend, peeps!

[* Lyrics written by none other than Lene Lovich!]

Thursday 28 October 2021

Poisons that open your eyes

“There are poisons that blind you, and poisons that open your eyes.” - August Strindberg, The Ghost Sonata

As we are on the cusp of two annual seasonal events - the over-commercialised "spook-fest-turned-plastic-skeleton-tat-sales-device" Hallowe'en, and (far more engrossing pour moi) the Infomaniac Garden Photos Event 2021 (read all about it here), being hosted once again by the lovely Mr Inexplicable DeVice - I thought I'd combine the spirits of both into one.

A surprising number of common garden plants are potentially lethal - and we grow an awful lot of them, it seems, in the extensive gardens at Dolores Delargo Towers!

Here's the "Hall of Infamy"...

Daffodil poisoning doesn't lead to a fatal end, even in pets, but the reactions are unpleasant. Symptoms include vomiting, dehydration, drooling and stomach ache. In some cases, tremors, convulsions and heart irregularities can be observed.

Hyacinth bulbs are poisonous, causing nausea, vomiting, gasping, convulsions, and possibly death. Even handling the bulbs can cause skin irritation.

Seeds and roots of Aquilegia (Columbine) contain cardiogenic toxins which cause both severe gastroenteritis and heart palpitations if consumed. Native Americans used very small amounts of the root as an effective treatment for peptic ulcers. However, medical use of this plant is difficult due to its high toxicity; Columbine poisonings are easily fatal.

Digitalis (Foxglove) leaves, seeds, and flowers are deadly poisonous, containing cardiac or other steroid glycosides. Clinical symptoms include increased heart rate, nausea, vomiting, seizures. Antidotes may be needed in potential life-threatening cases, to deal with the toxin.

The lovely Lily-of-the Valley contains a toxin that can easily induce fatigue, diarrhoea and vomiting. Extreme poisoning after ingestion of the plant leads to irregular heart beat and mental confusion. Even a small dosage is enough to be fatal to pets and children.

All parts of the Bluebell plant contain toxic glycocides that are poisonous to humans, dogs, horses and cattle. If any part of the plant is eaten, it can cause serious stomach upset, and if consumed in large quantities, may be fatal. The bulbs are easily mistaken for spring onions or garlic.

Lobelia is considered to be potentially toxic. Symptoms of ingestion of large quantities include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, salivation, exhaustion and weakness, dilation of pupils, convulsions, and coma. The plant contains a number of toxic alkaloids including lobelamine and lobeline.

Ipomoea (Morning Glory) seeds contain chemicals similar to LSD. Ingestion may cause severe discomfort. Wear gloves and wash hands after handling.

Then there is the deadliest of the lot (and new for us this year; grown from seed), the Castor Oil Plant, Ricinus! Lab experiments with human cell cultures have shown that penetration of just a single molecule of ricin into the cytoplasm of a cell is lethal - and indeed, ricin was the poison notoriously despatched from the point of an umbrella to kill the Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov in 1978.

Even Nicotiana can be toxic to some people, apparently. Not to us, obviously, as nicotine makes up a substantial part of our DNA (alongside alcohol and caffeine)...

I need an appropriate song to finish off. What could it be? Britney? Alice Cooper? Naaaah.

This "one-hit-wonder" is my choice:

"You can look but you’d better not touch!"


Wednesday 27 October 2021


Hmmm... I wonder what he likes to bite?

It's a blustery Autumn day, and the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers are covered in rotting leaves and slugs. Time, methinks, to take our minds off this season of decay with a little light music interlude - as we venture into the very weird world of Scopitones again, in the company of a lady who sounds eerily like an Eartha Kitt impressionist...

Soothing song; baffling video...

Tuesday 26 October 2021

There is nothing wrong with helping a buddy out

A Public Service Announcement:

Etiquette, etiquette, etiquette...

Any excuse, really, to play an old, old favourite!

I never tire of it...

Monday 25 October 2021

With my hips kind of swivelly and swervey

After a faboo "extended weekend" - that included our much-awaited outing to see Anything Goes (yay!), and much pottering in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers [a load of dead stuff cleared, and two window-boxes of daffs and a bowl of Iris siberica planted for Spring] - we face the ultimate disappointment. It's over, and another working week has unfortunately begun.

Never mind. With Hallowe'en impending, let's start the week in a most appropriate fashion this Tacky Music Monday with an unlikely combination of legendary ladies and a most bizarre treatment of a Rodgers-Hammerstein classic:

All that, and a snippet of an elderly Boris Karloff, to boot!

Have a good week, dear reader.


Both the original performer of this song (in the Broadway show Flower Drum Song) Pat Suzuki (age 91), and the actress who performed it in its screen adaptation Nancy Kwan (age 82) [actually dubbed by one of Mickey Rooney's wives Miss Betty Jane Baker] are, thankfully, still with us...

Sunday 24 October 2021

In olden days a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking

Tap dancing, tight-trousered sailors, a 50-strong cast and ensemble, sparkly frocks, preposterous plotlines and some of Cole Porter's finest numbers - what more could anyone want from a night at the theatre?

And so it was - ten whole months since I first booked tickets for it [delayed twice and then cancelled due to COVID; then re-booked by my dear sister] - a little coterie of "our gang" (Me, Madam Arcati, Hils, Crog, Baby Steve, Houseboy Alex, John-John, Russ and Joe) finally went to see the much-lauded Barbican Theatre production of Anything Goes last night! What a relief, after all this time. Needless to say, it was more than worth the wait...

Nearing the end of its much-delayed run, few of the original "big name" players remained from its originally-announced cast [last October Megan Mullally from Will and Grace was meant to be in it, but such were the postponements and restrictions thanks to 'Rona it finally opened without her], and indeed both Miss Mullally's replacement Sutton Foster and Felicity Kendall left weeks ago, but the true "star" of this production was thankfully still in place. Robert Lindsay - a familiar telly sitcom stalwart since the 1970s over here - has carved himself a "second" career in musical theatre. He played the (usually supporting) role of the hapless gangster "Moonface Martin" with hilarious gusto, and very nearly stole the show. In this production, many of the scenes were deliberately played for laughs - including "breaking the fourth wall" in the Friendship duet with "Reno Sweeney", and the scenes involving the lost dog belonging to uptight "Mrs Evangeline Harcourt" [in this production played with brilliant hauteur by Haydn Gwynne].

Speaking of "Reno Sweeney" - the part that was originally Miss Mullaley's, then Miss Foster's - she has always, no matter the production, had the starring role in the show. Last night, and for the last few weeks of its run, the part's taken by Broadway star Rachel York - and heavens! She did us proud. With almost inexhaustible energy, she led the show's key numbers Anything Goes - which was choreographed as a fantastic "Busby Berkeley"-style mass-tapping, swirling, ensemble-cast number that took our breath away! - and the fabulous spectacle of fire, brimstone and burlesque that was Blow, Gabriel, Blow, as well as being the focus of many scenes throughout, from the opening I Get a Kick Out of You and You’re the Top to the closing dance finale reprises of It's De-Lovely and Anything Goes. Hers might not be the "belting" voice of an Ethel Merman, a Patti LuPone or even an Elaine Paige, but (despite some dodgy sound moments, when backing vocalists seemed to be louder than the stars), she was fab-u-lous!

Of the ostensible "leads" - the central love story of smitten "Billy Crocker" (Samuel Edwards) and "Hope Harcourt" (Nicole-Lily Baisden) - there was remarkably little chemistry or charisma in evidence; nice though their voices might be, they made little overall impression in their "big" numbers So Easy To Love or It’s DeLovely.

Much more entertaining were the supporting cast: the semi-slapstick comic turns of Elisha J. Whitney (Gary Wilmot) who, bereft of his spectacles (stolen early on by "Moonface" to prevent him identifying his employee "Billy", who was not meant to be aboard the ship) and relying upon field glasses to see anything, was embroiled in several amusing situations of mistaken identity; and Mrs Harcourt's chosen groom for the reluctant Hope, the "old-moneyed" Lord Evelyn Oakleigh (Haydn Oakley), who well-and-truly broke out of his absurdly English shell with his song of passion for "Reno" The Gypsy in Me. Best of all however was Carly Mercedes Dyer's man-mad Moll "Erma" - all squeaky voice and va-va-voom outfits - who got huge applause for her solo number Buddy Beware.

The costumes all the ladies wore (by designer Jon Morrell) were utterly sumptuous, Derek McLane's set designs were lavishly Art Deco and involved a lot of complicated scene-changing (the roll-on-roll-off cabin and prison cell scenes were clever, and the way the on-deck and ballroom scenes were switched was impressive), and director Kathleen Marshall's choreography was flawless.

I haven't enjoyed a show so much for a long, long, long time!

[The audience agreed; the finale received a rousing standing ovation.]

Times have changed,
And we've often rewound the clock,
Since the Puritans got a shock,
When they landed on Plymouth Rock.
If today,
Any shock they should try to stem,
'Stead of landing on Plymouth Rock,
Plymouth Rock would land on them.
In olden days a glimpse of stocking
Was looked on as something shocking,
But now, God knows,
Anything Goes!

Good authors too who once knew better words,
Now only use four letter words
Writing prose, Anything Goes.
The world has gone mad today
And good's bad today,
And black's white today,
And day's night today,
When most guys today
That women prize today
Are just silly gigolos
And though I'm not a great romancer
I know that you're bound to answer
When I propose,
Anything Goes!

When grandmama whose age is eighty
In night clubs is getting matey with gigolo's,
Anything Goes.

When mothers pack and leave poor father
Because they decide they'd rather be tennis pros,
Anything Goes.

If driving fast cars you like,
If low bars you like,
If old hymns you like,
If bare limbs you like,
If Mae West you like
Or me undressed you like,
Why, nobody will oppose!
When every night,
The set that's smart
Is intruding in nudist parties in studios,
Anything Goes.

The world has gone mad today
And good's bad today,
And black's white today,
And day's night today,
When most guys today
That women prize today
Are just silly gigolos
And though I'm not a great romancer
I know that you're bound to answer
When I propose,
Anything goes

If saying your prayers you like,
If green pears you like
If old chairs you like,
If back stairs you like,
If love affairs you like
With young bears you like,
Why nobody will oppose!

And though I'm not a great romancer
And though I'm not a great romancer
I know that you're bound to answer
When I propose,
Anything goes...
Anything goes!


Saturday 23 October 2021

Fluck me!

"Diana Dors represented that period between the end of the war and the coming of Lady Chatterley in paperback, a time when sexuality was naughty, repressed and fit to burst." - David Thompson in The Independent.

Indeed she did...

...and the divine Miss Dors would have been 90 years old today!

We still miss her.

RIP, Miss Diana Mary Fluck (aka Diana Dors), 23rd October 1931 – 4th May 1984)

Friday 22 October 2021

And it's hard to break a habit

It was a milestone for "the other Minogue" this week - as Kylie's little sister Dannii hit the "big 5-0" on Wednesday!

It's customary here at Dolores Delargo Towers to greet the end of a week with relief, and a party choon - although this week, my celebrations came somewhat early as I took annual leave yesterday and today [and the weather, for a change, has been glorious! *] - and who better to provide it than Dannii?

Here's one of her biggest hits in the UK charts (it got to #3) from twenty years ago - and Thank Disco the Minogue gene-pool It's Friday!

Where do we go now? I don't know
Innocence over, fading fast
And it's hard to know what you're thinking
When you hide inside your head
You're still promising perfection, perfection
With empty words, with empty words
With empty words, with empty words

And it's hard to break a habit
You're lost inside it
Who do you love now?
And it's hard to break a habit
You're lost inside it
Who do you love now?
Who do you love now?
Who do you love now?

A moment of coldness
Cuts through me (cuts through me)
I've tried to remember
Why I don't leave (I don't leave)
And you're the cause of my confusion
Closing down the way I feel
How come I don't see so clearly, so clearly?
Fighting to breathe, fighting to breathe
Fighting to breathe, fighting to breathe

And it's hard to break a habit
You're lost inside it
Who do you love now?
And it's hard to break a habit
You're lost inside it
Who do you love now?
Who do you love now?
Who do you love now?

Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?

Have a great weekend, peeps!

Many happy returns, Miss Danielle Jane Minogue (born 20th October 1971)

Stop Press:

*until about half-an-hour after I posted this, when the gloom and murk returned...

Thursday 21 October 2021

Stealth tactics

My dish is on the left. [click to embiggen]

You're at an event and there’s a buffet. How can you beat everyone else to hog the best stuff? Use these tactics:


Often a buffet follows some boring speech about how much we’ll all miss the deceased or whatever. Ignore that. Scope what’s there, plan your route, be ready for your turn on the tongs. Preparation is the difference between stuffed mushrooms and chicken Kievs on your plate.


If you’re serious about being the "buffet GOAT," you’ve got to go in hungry. But not too hungry or you’ll make bad decisions and end up with a plate full of crisps. Drop a Lion bar around 30 minutes before kick off and you’ll be primed to bring the pain to those chilli tiger prawns.


When it comes to fitting three days food on a nine-inch plate, architectural vision is key. A solid base of potato wedges, a finger-sandwich house of cards, chocolate truffles adeptly balanced on the slopes of a black rice salad. It can be beautiful.


Buffets favour the guzzler. Once you’ve loaded up get those mozzarella sticks rammed down your throat double-time so you can get your arse back in line, still chewing, for seconds. They might even still be bringing stuff out if they’re lazy, disorganised scum.


There’s one slice of gluten-free carrot cake left and the coeliac behind’s been on about it all queue. What do you do? Take it. You’re not here to make friends. Now kick that old man’s cane out from under him and knock that child’s head in the blinis to claim the last chicken satay skewers.


Everyone gets turned away by self-appointed buffet bouncers eventually. Simply tail, blackjack and swap clothes with a member of serving staff and clear the buffet into the back of your waiting car. Buffet’s more important than your brother’s wedding anyway.

The Daily Mash

Of course.

Wednesday 20 October 2021

Thank you very, very, very much!

Another day, another new addition to Fabulon, the "Valhalla of the Stars" - the multi-talented Bea Lillie protégé, composer, lyricist and playwright Mr Leslie Bricusse.

Most famous for his long professional partnership with fellow "triple threat" Anthony Newley, the mass of "standards" in the great man's repertoire include Nina Simone's Feeling Good [a version of which I posted just the other day], What Kind of Fool Am I?, The Joker [used later as the theme song for Kath & Kim], The Candy Man and Pure Imagination from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, London Is London, A Wonderful Day Like Today, Talk to the Animals, Who Can I Turn To?...

...and these!

...and our "Gay Pride March" anthem, to boot!

RIP, Leslie Bricusse OBE (29th January 1931 – 19th October 2021)

Tuesday 19 October 2021

The voice

Britain's in shock after the murder of sitting MP David Amess. America's in mourning for former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

We at Dolores Delargo Towers are very sad at another departure for Fabulon. For, lost among the banner headlines, came the sad news today that yet another piece of my childhood has died - Miss Denise Bryer. Who? I hear you ask...

Miss Bryer was not only married for 35 years to the late TV stalwart and "national treasure" Nicholas Parsons (they divorced in 1989 but remained friends), but she carved herself a niche behind the scenes as a voice actor for numerous (mainly children's) telly programmes and films. She was Twizzle, Noddy, "The Junk Lady" in Labyrinth and "Billina" in Return to Oz - but it's for two significant roles in shows that are dear to our nostalgic hearts that we raise a toast to her memory...

She was "Kiki the Frog" in Hector's House:

...and "Zelda" in Terrahawks!

RIP, Denise Bryer (5th January 1928 – 16th October 2021)

Monday 18 October 2021

Alarm call!

I really did not feel like getting out of bed this morning, into the dark and gloom...

We need a wake-up call - and on this Tacky Music Monday, I think I might have found it in the form of more Dutch madness - all together, now!

Hmmm - nice trousers!

Have a good week, dear reader.

Sunday 17 October 2021

Holidaying in the UK?

Here's some places to visit...

[Been there.]

...and here's your tour guide:

Enjoy your travels!

Saturday 16 October 2021

It's a new dawn, it's a new day

click to embiggen

I'm off tonight to a tenth anniversary party for two dear friends Joe and Russ. To help me get into the swing of things, how about a clutch of "newer" choons that have caught my ear of late?

First up "the biggie"... This was only released on Friday morning, and has already clocked up 35 million views on YouTube!

By way of complete contrast, let's cheer ourselves up after all that impassioned angst - with a trip to a Disco that happens to be Purple:

Look out, world - Queen Madge is back!

Speaking of stroppy divas - one wonders how the divine former Eunice Kathleen Waymon might have greeted this ramped-up version of one of her biggest hits?

Heavens! I only mentioned them the other day - and now Gandalf and Gollum Tears for Fears are back, with their first new music for twenty years:

Ms Petras is in an apocalyptic mood, it seems...

...while the Nervo girls are feeling "arty":

And finally...

...what happens when Princesses collide?! This:

As ever, dear reader, let me know what you think...

Friday 15 October 2021

Disco arithmetic!

click to embiggen

Another gruelling week draws to a close - and not a moment too soon.

Let's get our culottes on, tease out our Afros--- and join the Soul Train line, shall we? Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a great weekend, dear reader!