Wednesday 31 May 2023

Without me you're nothing at all

It's the last day of May, and yet it looks and feels like October out there! Despite the lovely sunny weekend we just had, we have yet to reach double-figure temperatures overnight - and this morning it's grey and drizzly. Yuk.

Hey ho - it happens to be the 80th birthday today of Miss Sharon Gless, one half (with Miss Tyne Daly) of the fabled 1980s classic cop show partnership Cagney and Lacey.

On searching the interwebs, you can imagine my joy when I found this faboo clip of the two of them, reunited, singing a superb rendition of this enduring standard from City of Angels!

Love it!

Many happy returns, Sharon Marguerite Gless (born 31st May 1943)

Tuesday 30 May 2023

The fallacies of morning rose

Oh, noooooo!!

The dream is over, and it's back to the grind again... Sigh.

Here's a magnificent piece of music (and video) that just about sums up my mood at this very moment in time:

Have a good week, dear reader. I won't.

Monday 29 May 2023

You've got me on the go!

In our minds, we're still in Sitges.

The weather's cooled down a little here today, and we've "broken the back" of the urgent jobs in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers, so there's less of a flurry of activity - a chance to have a bit of a breather before the madness of the "real world" begins again tomorrow...

We missed another milestone birthday last week - the 80th of the lovely Leslie Uggams!

A pioneer in the light entertainment world, she faced down the segregationist bigots to land a regular role in 1950s America's most wholesome mainstream variety show Sing Along with Mitch, and in the 60s she even went on to host her own series (the first black entertainer to do so after Nat King Cole). She received an Emmy nomination for her role as "Kizzy" in Roots, and became a regular guest in a number of popular shows such as The Love Boat, Muppet Show and Magnum, P.I. - and more recently made a big-screen return as "Blind Al" in the Deadpool films!

On this Tacky Music Bank Holiday Monday, lets track back and celebrate the lady's song-and-dance heyday, shall we?

Many happy returns, Leslie Marian Uggams (born 25th May 1943)!

Sunday 28 May 2023

Gertrude and Estelle and me

Roses cut from our own "Gertrude Jekyll" bush are scenting our living room in their Art Deco bud vase!

Another busy day in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers, and we need some lounge music to soothe the aching muscles...

I think this very special number by our "house band" Postmodern Jukebox is in order - it fits the bill of "(sunny) Sunday Music" very well indeed!


Saturday 27 May 2023

Shivers and butterflies (padam)

I have spent another mammoth session in the sunshine in extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers today, potting-on a whole load of plants that were practically crawling out of the pots I'd moved them to less than a month ago. This is definitely the season of growth [now that we at last appear to be having some decent weather, after a dreadful Spring] - we were only away a few days, and several plants are almost double the size they were the week before; our "Gertrude Jekyll" rose is bending under the weight of its huge display of blooms, and the Hesperis matronalis, Campanula glomerata and Scilla peruviana [as featured yesterday] are flowering fit to burst!

Tulips and daffs have been cleared (and "heeled-in" in another pot) to make way for some of the older, woodier fuchsias that needed a refresh - especially as I purchased new cuttings of those varieties at Easter which will take their place as specimen plants this summer. The first of the houseplants (the giant Taro) has come outdoors for the summer, and the rest will follow tomorrow or Monday. My back is aching already!

Time, methinks for another selection of "newer" choons that have caught my ear of late...

Opening the proceedings, a singer who I have a suspicion might be "a gayer" (not sure what makes me think that!)...

How about abother brilliant Bill McClintock mash-up to follow? Oh, go on then: [June 2023 update: Gone. Already!]

How to follow that? With a very refreshing and joyful "Northern Soul" cover of a beloved 80s classic, of course!

Speaking of "old classics", Blur is back - with a bit of an earworm:

Dame Sophie of the Ellis-Bextors' new one is just dreamy...

Not usually "my cup of tea" - and she certainly gives me the impression of being a spoilt bitch - this surprising collaboration between Miss Ora and Mr Cook (aka Fatboy Slim) is actually very catchy indeed:

Among my fave recent discoveries was this little oddity...

However, nothing beats this, the new barn-storming release [already the best-selling single in the UK as we speak; and a new entry in the "official" chart, which also counts streaming and YouTube "hits" for some obscure and illogical reason] by Our Princess Kylie [who is 55 tomorrow - gulp]!!!

As ever, dear reader, let me know your thoughts...


I did some research, and apparently the phrase "Padam, Padam" stems from a French acronym Pas Avant D'être Amoureux, which means someone who won't shag on the first date! It translates literally as "not before being in love".

It has more recently been used as a lyrical metaphor for the sound of a heartbeat, which is evidently the way Kylie's using it...

Friday 26 May 2023

What a Bimbo!

Our lovely Scilla peruviana greeted us on our return from Spain. [click to embiggen]

I may still be on annual leave, but there are some traditions that need to be maintained... here to cheer us into the weekend party spirit is one of Spain's (ahem) finest, Sr Georgie Dann!

¡Gracias discoteca es viernes!

Have a good Bank Holiday long weekend, dear reader!

Thursday 25 May 2023

Under the spell of Sitges

And so we're back, from an idyllic few days in "the St Tropez of Spain" [©Mitzi], Sitges, tanned and happy! Needless to say, having only got back to the house at 11.30pm last night, today has been a less-than-active one...

Even though a "little" gang of nine of us (plus two who already live in Spain) were gathered there for "Jurassic Paul"'s 70th, we really only got together in the evenings. The Madam and I did our own thing by day, doing what we do best [bugger all!], sitting in the chiringuitos [beach bars], eating, drinking, enjoying being a stone's throw from the sea - and, of course, totty-watching.

Shopping, sightseeing, gossip and, well, just fun were also in order, obviamente...

[click any pic to embiggen]

Bliss, from beginning to end...

Did I bring back any new music from Catalonia? Nada. However, here's a beloved old fave song from an artist who was actually born in the province (albeit to Andalusian parents, who moved back there when she was a child). I haven't featured it for a few years, so it deserves another airing:

And what did we miss while we were away? Not much, really, news-headline-wise. Inconsequential stuff like Phillip Schofield quitting ITV's This Morning show eclipsed Volodymyr Zelenskyy's visit to the G7 summit in Hiroshima and the Ukraine War in the headlines, which says a lot; there was some kind of "chav riot" in the dystopian council estate of Ely in Cardiff; and some twat called De Santis decided to run for candidacy for the US presidential election against another twat called Trump (yawn). 

There was, however a slew of departures [or at least, news about their deaths] of some very famous names indeed, including: George Logan, aka "Dr Evadne" of the fantabulosa Hinge and Bracket; the (formerly) gorgeous Helmut Berger; satirical author Martin Amis; fabled light entertainment show choreographer (with his troupe "The Young Generation") Dougie Squires; (erm) the former "national treasure", TV star, Royal portraitist and hit singer who was latterly revealed as a sex offender Rolf Harris; film-maker and author of the scandalous Hollywood Babylon Kenneth Anger...

...and, of course...

RIP, Miss Tina Turner!

Tina Turner (born Anna Mae Bullock, 26th November 1939 – 24th May 2023).


Saturday 20 May 2023

We've vamos-ed

Our hotel's room service is flawless...

By the time you see this, dear reader, we should be in the air - winging our way to Barcelona and then to Sitges!

I haven't played our "holiday mantra" for a while, so all together now!

"Normal" service should resume some time after next Wednesday.

Friday 19 May 2023

A Spaniard shoots

It's the last day of work before our holiday, dear reader. Once the work laptop closes at 4pm, I won't be opening it again for another ten days!

Let's start the celebrations with one of España's finest gay-not-gay entertainers, the (once) gorgeous Señor Miguel Bosé [who is so amazingly popular in Spain he has produced not one, but two albums of his hits, re-recorded in duets with estimable international superstars such as Shakira, Ricky Martin, Fangoria, Ivete Sangalo, Michael Stipe from R.E.M. and even Penelope Cruz] - and ¡Gracias Disco es viernes!

He's been shot up the back a few times, no doubt...

Thursday 18 May 2023

Take me to the place I love

We're counting down the hours to our mini-break in Sitges this weekend [Madam Arcati and I fly out at the crack'o'doom on Saturday and fly back on Wednesday]! It's "officially" to celebrate our friend Paul's 70th birthday [hence why I call him "Jurassic Paul"] - but it's also unofficially a little treat to round-off our 25th anniversary month.

Speaking of which...

...whoever would have thought that this little slice of brilliance was a quarter-of-a-century old this week?!

Time flies... scarily.

Wednesday 17 May 2023

Together always?

UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDaHoT) today:

As we mark the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, we face a stark fact. In every corner of the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI+) people continue to face violence, persecution, hate speech, injustice and even outright murder.

Meanwhile, retrograde laws continue to criminalise LGBTQI+ people around the world, punishing them for simply being who they are. Each assault on LGBTQI+ people is an assault on human rights and the values we hold dear.  We cannot and will not move backwards.

The United Nations firmly stands with the LGBTQI+ community, and will continue working until human rights and dignity are a reality for all people.

I renew my call to all Member States to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and end the criminalisation of consensual same-sex relations and transgender people.  Being yourself should never be a crime.

In keeping with this year’s theme - “Together Always:  United in Diversity” - I call on the world to speak with one voice to eliminate the stigma, discrimination, harmful practices and often deadly violence endured by LGBTQI+ people.

Human rights are non-negotiable.  They belong to every member of the human family — no matter who they are or whom they love.  Let’s continue working to build a peaceful, just world in which all people are free and equal in dignity and rights.

Let's take a look at what actually is happening in some of those member states, shall we?

Despite some good news, such as Switzerland and Cuba legalising same-sex marriage, and Antigua, Barbados, Saint Kitts and Nevis decriminalizing homosexuality, let's charge our glasses for our traditional toast:

To the governments in the bulleted list above, and those of Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Oman, Jamaica, Myanmar, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Zambia, Sudan, Iran, Maldives, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Italy, Romania and Bulgaria; and to all the insane Trump acolytes and wannabees (like DeSantis), the pseudo-religious evangelists, imams and and rabbis, the tin-pot dictators, rappers, media moguls and to anyone who espouses hate against us...

...All, together, now!


Fun fact for IDaHoT:

Did you know that Grandpa Walton was gay and Grandma Walton a lesbian? Well there goes the illusion of old time American values. Good night, John Boy.

When Ellen Corby (Grandma Walton) died in 1999, the chief mourner at her funeral was Stella Luchetta. If this lady was mentioned at all in the press, it was as friend and/or caretaker. However, it was an open secret in Hollywood that Stella was much more than that. The couple had been in a committed relationship for forty-five years by then. Ellen's last words were spoken to Stella. They were 'love you'.

When we look at the history of the Gay Rights Movement in the USA, only a handful of people stand out. One of those is Harry Hay. Harry was a member of the original gay rights organisation, the Mattachine Society. Yet go back to 1934, to the very beginning of this civil rights story, and look beyond Mr Hay to his boyfriend... young Grandpa Walton (Will Geer).

All those decades... and still a "Baby"?





Happy 50th birthday, Baby Steve!

We've been best friends for a long, long, long time, sweetie...

...and this one was probably around when we first met in the Log Box in Newport all those years ago!

Everybody dance now! [Just that little bit slower. And creakier.]

Tuesday 16 May 2023

Monday 15 May 2023

We wuz robbed again - but the UK has a lot to be proud about

Eurovisionland is a strange and unpredictable place, indeed. I mean, who would ever have thought we'd sit down for a marathon four-hour viewing session that would include a song about being possessed by the ghost of Edgar Allen Poe, six women with ginormous hair-plaits dressed as druid nuns, a Dungeons and Dragons-themed combo complete with a dwarf playing a penny-whistle, a group of ballroom dancers forming a human centipede, a heavy metal band arriving on stage in a 1980s Toyota, a camp-as-tits Boy George sound-a-like with a love of hats, and some middle-aged rockers wearing dresses and military caps, taking the piss out of Putin and other dictators, singing about tractors and then stripping to their baggy underpants on stage?!

We would, of course..!

"Our gang" [below: Hils (France), Crog (Portugal), Russ (Cyprus, complete with goat), Baby Steve (Switzerland) and Alex (Italy), Lou (Ukraine, aka Volodymyr Zelenskyy), Sal (Austria)] once again did us proud at our celebration of the "Gay World Cup" aka the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday. I allocate three countries each - one for booze, one for food, and a third for costume and/or flag-waving - and the results were colourful to say the least!

With a buffet-of-all-nations to sate our appetites soak up the vast quantities of exotic booze on offer, and photo-shoots all done and dusted, it was time for the "show of shows" to begin!

Hosted by the UK in Liverpool on behalf of Ukraine [which, for obvious reasons, was unable to do the usual duty of the previous year's winner], the organisers at the BBC certainly pulled out all the stops. The staging was superb, the special effects flawless, and the presenters (Graham Norton, actress - and budding gay icon - Hannah Waddingham, singer and TV presenter Alesha Dixon, and Ukrainian singer Julia Sanina, with additional commentary by comedienne Mel Giedroyc) were excellent, and sometimes hilarious - and the whole shebang kicked-off with with a most remarkable intro indeed. Famous artists all paying tribute to 2022's victorious Stefania by Kalush Orchestra, including our own runner-up Sam Ryder, Sir Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Joss Stone and more... but probably most notable for an appearance by none other than Catherine, Princess of Wales, at around the 2½ minute mark!

Of the contest itself? We all had our scorecards at the ready, and watched all twenty-six performances with the usual mix of shock and awe, shouting at the telly, "phwhoaar"s at some of the totty...

Italy's Marco Mengoni

...taking advantage of some of the boring ones to go for a pee, a top-up or a fag, and "oh-fuck-how-did-they-get-into-the-final?" groans.

Then a break - and more madness, confusion and a really emotional moment, courtesy of the interval entertainment; a selection of previous Eurovision winners singing from the vast back-catalogue of songs with their roots in host city Liverpool. You might prefer to skip the bland and deadpan rendition of Imagine at the opening segment of this clip and skip to around the 2:10 slot:

You never saw them in the same room...

John-John (as usual) came up with the best "look", with his almost-true-to-the-original impression of audience favourite (and one of ours!), Käärijä of Finland (whose was one of the maddest of all performances).

Speaking of which...

The Dolores Delargo Towers jury votes were as follows:

#5 - Moldova: Pasha Parfeni - Soarele şi Luna

#4 - Belgium: Gustaph - Because Of You

#3 - Finland: Käärijä - Cha Cha Cha

#2 - Croatia: Let 3 - Mama ŠČ!

#1 - United Kingdom: Mae Muller - I Wrote a Song

This was, of course, in complete contrast to the actual votes...

First came the long, long, long presentation of the jury votes. With 37 countries taking part (only 26 made the final), it is a bit of a slog. You can imagine, dear reader, the shouting and consternation and occasional boos and hisses from our living-room, as country after country failed to give the UK any votes at all, but Sweden, Italy, and the godawful Ariana Grande-wannabee from Israel got alternate douze points, battling it out for the top slot. In the end, poor Mae only got fifteen votes.

Public votes were announced next [and in a change of rules this year, these votes could come from anywhere where the contest is shown, not just the member countries of the European Broadcasting Union], which caused a bit of a kerfuffle at the top - as, with the Liverpool arena already resounding to chants of "Cha Cha Cha!", Finland received a massive 376 extra points (the highest score from the phone-in votes), leap-frogging them all! Unfortunately, Sweden had so many points from the juries already that the 243 extra meant their song was the overall victor by a landslide with 583 points. And here is its performer, (second time winner) Loreen!

It's no Euphoria, but an earworm nonetheless.

The UK ended the evening with a total of 24, in 25th place out of 26.

We hid our disappointment well, by switching off after Doreen Loreen's reprise performance, and cranking up the Dolores Delargo Towers YouTube party playlist until the wee small hours!

Same time, same place, next year?


Who needs Tacky Music Monday when you have Eurovision?!

Sunday 14 May 2023

Bad things tend to happen when you’re sober

Life is full of myriad problems, some bigger than others. Luckily these five can be completely solved by drinking five pints.

Feeling pressure at work? Are the tensions in your failing marriage becoming unbearable? Despite not being medically proven, five pints of ale, cider or even wine, if you’re hardcore, can temporarily eliminate the sensation of stress. The benefits are short-term though and your hangover will make everything seem ten times worse, but it’s a price worth paying for a couple of stress-free hours.

The burden of excess funds
Ouch. What’s the hot sensation from your wallet? It’s excess money burning a hole in your pocket. Quick, you’d better start splashing out on five pints before the weight of the notes drags your trousers down in front of the whole pub. If you really need to spend a fortune, buy an independent craft beer that costs shitloads for no apparent reason.

Feeling like a failure

Everyone feels like a failure now and then. Especially people with a life as shit as yours. Your career’s going nowhere, you haven’t achieved your dreams, and let’s not even get into your love life. Drinking five pints is an easy and fun goal to achieve, though. And by accomplishing it you can pretend it’s the start of turning your life around and not the beginning of an addiction.

Existential angst

Paralysed by a constant, nagging dread? Daren’t look at the news because everything’s so grim? Turn to the one thing in the world that’s guaranteed to take the edge off: five pints. By the time you’ve finished, the terrifying questions surrounding your existence will be replaced by more fun ones like ‘Should I jump over that bollard?’ and ‘Shall I have another pint?’ As with all drunken questions, the answer is ‘yes’.

Being sober

Bad things tend to happen when you’re sober. Things like divorces and root canals and going to work. It’s an overall troubling state, which is why people regularly try to escape from it by getting drunk. Five pints is the perfect amount to consume because it gets you comfortably pissed but won’t completely ruin your body come the next morning. So drink up.

The Daily Mash

Of course.

[My excuse is none of the above - but last night's Eurovision Song Contest Party, which was a hoot! (More on that at some stage, no doubt). Just five pints? Considering I went to bed at 6am, I find that highly unlikely!]

Saturday 13 May 2023

Our first guests have arrived...

...Sir Terry Wogan...

...and Volodymyr Zelenskyy!

Friday 12 May 2023

Let's discoteque right at my home; it is okay to dance alone

So, here we are at the end of another trying week at work, but on the cusp of The Big Event. It is indeed "Eurovision Eve", and the anticipation is palpable...

In the latest in my mini-series of highlights(!) from the recent history of the contest, let's practice those moves - and Thank Disco The Roop It's Friday!

Enjoy the madness - and have a great weekend, dear reader!

Thursday 11 May 2023

London's weather today... swimsuit-worthy!


And, of course, Here's an appropriate Eurovision number for the occasion:

This is the most miserable Spring...

Wednesday 10 May 2023

Life on Earth, but not as we know it

Can anything this Saturday beat the craziness of Moldova's 2011 entrants Zdob şi Zdub?

We've hit the midway point between the two semi-finals, in our continuing countdown towards Saturday's gathering of the clans for the "Gay World Cup" - the Eurovision Song Contest!

Time to roll out this old chestnut, methinks, in all its brilliance:

Love it!