Saturday 13 April 2024

Grab a pack of cigarettes, and meet me on the porch

A view up my back passage today... [click to embiggen]

It's been a gorgeous Spring day in London, and I have spent hours in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers pottering, splitting-up herbaceous plants, and generally basking in the sunshine.


My day was mainly accompanied by the mellow joys of BBC Radio 2 - but, surprisingly enough, this one - a recent triumphal "find" by Madam Arcati - was not on their playlist!

Can't imagine why...

Brenda, put your bra on, there's trouble next door
Grab a pack of cigarettes, and meet me on the porch
Marvin baby mama 'bout to catch him with a whore
Brenda, put your bra on (bra on, bra on)

I knew she shouldn't let that bitch watch her baby
I used to work with her at the Krystal
She always got them good shifts just 'cause she had good tits
And cut her shirts off at the middle

Brenda, put your bra on, it's just gettin' good
Shit's goin' down in the trailer-hood
Pants 'round his ankles, still sportin' wood

Brenda, put your bra on (bra on, bra on)
Brenda, put your bra on (bra on, bra on)

Well, did you hear that? There went the good dishes
I hope they don't knock out the cable
Ol' Suntan City won't look quite as pretty
When Gina puts that ass through a table

Brenda, put your bra on, there's trouble next door
Grab a pack of cigarettes and meet me on the porch
Marvin baby mama, put that whore on the floor

Brenda, put your bra on (bra on, bra on)
Brenda, put your bra on (bra on, bra on)
Put it on
Put it on, shit

Brenda, put your bra on, here comes Channel Four
We ain't never been on the TV before
Grab the marijuana, stick it down your drawers

Brenda, put your bra on (bra on, bra on)
Brenda, put your bra on (bra on, bra on)
Brenda, put your bra on (bra on, bra on)
Brenda, put your bra on

A classic.

I love it!

Friday 12 April 2024

A hugging kissing fiend

TFIF! We're almost at another weekend, dear reader - and the party planning starts right here!

We are well overdue another feast for the senses, with one of the maestro Mr Bill McClintock's marvellous mash-ups, so without further ado...

...Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a great weekend, peeps!

Thursday 11 April 2024

Phallic-shaped straws and cock deely-boppers

Naturalist and national treasure Sir David Attenborough has turned his analytical eye to the brutal and feral rituals of the hen party.

“In order to mark the entry into womanhood of a 33-year-old accounts manager from Doncaster, the females are invited into a WhatsApp group. And so it begins.

“The hierarchy of the herd determines those convened to this time-honoured rite of passage, with the blondest taking primacy. Though there will be wise elders, such as mothers, workmates and nans, incapacitated by drink early.

“They become a source of awkwardness later once males – selected for their attractive plumage and physical strength – are assembled before the bride to engage in a traditional G-stringed mating dance symbolising the loss of her last vestiges of girlhood.

“As the pack stalks the raw, savage plains of Bradford, the hens assert their herd identity through the use of sashes bearing the words ‘Team Bride’. These prove that they have pledged allegiance to her for the duration of the ceremony and will swarm interlopers.

“The bride herself will wear a veil or superior sash to demonstrate her leadership. It is highly unusual for any of the hens to switch allegiance to rival brides at this point, but ever motivated by primal needs they may if pissed and a better party is going home.

“Sometimes the bride will also adorn herself with L-plates. This semiology serves to ward off any other potential mates and demonstrates that she will shortly lose her virtue to one particular male, ignoring the fact she slagged about for some years.

“Fertility symbols are crucial. Repeated reference to the phallus symbolise the young woman’s confidence in grappling with the challenges of marriage. An inflatable penis to ride upon, phallic-shaped straws, and cock deely-boppers all prove she has come of age.

“The ritual ends in the untamed jungle of nightclub ThrustZ where the women parade before males demonstrate their attractiveness to potential step-fathers of their young through the use of traditional mating calls, such as ‘Snog the Bride’.”

The Daily Mash

Of course.

Wednesday 10 April 2024

A-no place to roam

[No. Not that one...]

Sad news of the departure last weekend of the improbably-nicknamed Clarence "Frogman"* Henry to the Doo-Wop-a-Go-Go Rooms in Fabulon...

Who? I hear you ask. His moment in the spotlight was mainly in the 1950s and early 60s - and indeed his fame was such that he was the opening act for the Beatles during their tour of the US and Canada in 1964. This is probably his most popular and enduring hit:

However, during my research into the man, I stumbled across this simply marvellous interpretation of his earlier, self-penned number!

[Oh, how we loved that woman..!}

RIP, Clarence Henry II (19th March 1937 – 7th April 2024)

[*He apparently got the nickname "Frogman" because the way he used to perform was likened to "croaking", and he incorporated it into the lyrics of Ain't Got No Home]

Tuesday 9 April 2024

Of knobs, Marc Almond and alpacas

It's another snippets post, dear reader...

  • Sad news for S&M queens: The gay artist Rex has departed for the great Mineshaft in the sky. He leaves a legacy of (mainly kinky) erotic drawings behind to rival that of Tom of Finland...
  • More knob news: On 14th July at Chilfrome, Dorset, locals and visitors alike will descend upon the town to try their hand at knob-related activities. These include knob painting, knob and spoon races, knob darts and pyramids, and guess the weight of the massive knob. Organising committee member Ian Gregory said: "We are not doing knob eating this year, we don’t want people choking on a knob." Dorset Knob Festival returns!
  • Soap news: Neighbours favourite, the long-serving stalwart "Harold Bishop" (Ian Smith) is due to return to the Aussie-soap-that-will-not-die [where Kylie Minogue, Margot Robbie, Russell Crowe, Natalie Imbruglia, Delta Goodrem, Jason Donovan, the Hemsworth brothers (Liam and Chris), and Guy Pearce all started their careers] this year, at the age of 85! He made his first appearance in the show in 1987, and last appeared as a regular character fifteen years ago.
  • And, finally: An escaped herd of alpacas caused havoc when they wandered onto onto a busy dual carriageway in Cambridgeshire.

The weather? Shit again.

Closing headline - Soft Cell's last ever hit single from the aforementioned This Last Night in Sodom:

Monday 8 April 2024

La fête à Séville

Sigh. It's been a splendid weekend - the Diva exhibition on Friday, and two days of warm (if very windy) weather, potting-on, refreshing and generally pottering in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers. Now it's over, and the same old, same old joys of a working week resume.

There's larks and merriment on the horizon, however - we're off to Spain again in May! We'd already booked our apartment for a week in Benalmadena, but prior to that we are doing a little bit extra. Our hotels are now booked for day #1 in Seville, #2 in Cadiz, and #3 in Jerez! So, three cities (two of which we have never been to before) in a row, then off to city #4 (Malaga) on route to the Costa del Sol for our usual seven days of doing bugger-all by the Mediterranean...


In keeping with all that anticipated joy five weeks away, on this Tacky Music Monday I have just the thing...

I said when I posted this joyful number back in 2017: " can one resist the espectacular that is Raffaella Carra hosting a stage-full of crap flamenco dancers, children and safety gays, with a tribute to the music of Seville? Not me!"


Have a good wek, dear reader.

Sunday 7 April 2024

We looked like nuts

"In my honest opinion we looked like nuts in those years. Nobody can have been as badly dressed on stage as we were." - Björn Ulvaeus.

It is fifty years this weekend since Abba stormed the previously stuffy old Eurovision Song Contest (held in 1974 in the UK's gayest city, Brighton, aptly enough), and embarked on a world-conquering musical journey in the process. Suffice to say, nothing quite like them nor their song Waterloo had ever been seen before...

My, my, at Waterloo Napoleon did surrender
Oh yeah, and I have met my destiny in quite a similar way
The history book on the shelf
Is always repeating itself

Waterloo - I was defeated, you won the war
Waterloo - Promise to love you for ever more
Waterloo - Couldn't escape if I wanted to
Waterloo - Knowing my fate is to be with you
Waterloo - Finally facing my Waterloo

My, my, I tried to hold you back but you were stronger
Oh yeah, and now it seems my only chance is giving up the fight
And how could I ever refuse
I feel like I win when I lose

Waterloo - I was defeated, you won the war
Waterloo - Promise to love you for ever more
Waterloo - Couldn't escape if I wanted to
Waterloo - Knowing my fate is to be with you
Waterloo - Finally facing my Waterloo

So how could I ever refuse
I feel like I win when I lose -

Waterloo - Couldn't escape if I wanted to
Waterloo - Knowing my fate is to be with you
Waterloo - Finally facing my Waterloo

Half a century agop? Gawd, I am old...

Saturday 6 April 2024

Reality is something you rise above

  • "Unless you show off, you're not going to get noticed." - Elton John.
    [above: Elton's outlandish costume for his 50th birthday party in 1997; designed by Sandy Powell - so enormous, complete with model galleon atop the wig that emitted real smoke, that he had to be transported to the party in a removal van!]

Our "gang" went en masse to the V&A's opulent DIVA exhibition (before it closes next week) yesterday. It was my, Sal's and John-John's second visit, but a first for Madam Arcati and Hils.

Here are some (more) highlights...

  • "I'm too busy putting my energies into my performance to be a diva." - Shirley Bassey.
    [top left: Dame Shirley Bassey's stage costume, complete with monogrammed wellies, from Glastonbury Festival in 2007]
  • "To be good is to be forgotten. I'm going to be so bad I'll always be remembered." - Theda Bara.
    [top right: Theda Bara's costume from Cleopatra, 1917; possibly her own design]
  • "For me, a diva is like the great opera singer, the great film star - out of reach, in their own world, with a real gift for invention: attention-demanding performance artists with a flamboyant, compelling sense of their own importance so special and inimitable it verges on the alien." - Grace Jones.
    [bottom left: Issey Miyake bustier worn by Grace Jones on stage (it's tiny!)]
  • "I'm a curiosity in Hollywood. I'm a big freak, because I'm myself!" - Clara Bow.
    [bottom right: Clara Bow's costume from The Wild Party, 1929 - the only known surviving "flapper dress" worn by her - designed by Travis Banton]

  • "I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best." - Marilyn Monroe.
  • "I believe that it's better to be looked over than it is to be overlooked." - Mae West.
    [top left: Marilyn Monroe's "shimmy dress" from Some Like It Hot by Orry Kelly; also Mae West's diamante trimmed frock from I'm No Angel by Travis Banton]
  • "When I sing, people shut up." - Barbra Streisand.
    [top right: Costume worn by Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl, 1968; designed by Irene Sharaff]
  • "A woman has just as much right in this world as a man and can get along in it just as well if she puts her mind to it. I've lived by a man's code designed to fit a man's world, yet at the same time, I never forget that a woman's first job is to choose the right shade of lipstick." - Carole Lombard.
    [bottom left: Carole Lombard's frock from We're Not Dressing, 1934; by Travis Banton]
  • “Until you’re known in my profession as a monster, you’re not a star.” - Bette Davis.
    [bottom right: Bette Davis' gown from All About Eve; by Edith Head]

  • "Reality is something you rise above." - Liza Minnelli.
    [top left: Gown worn by Liza Minnelli in New York, New York; designed by Theadora Van Runkle]
  • "Use your faults, use your defects; then you're going to be a star." - Edith Piaf.
    [top right: The (tiny) stage costume worn by Edith Piaf (on display alongside her comb, hairbrush and throat spray!)]
  • "If I can't be me, I don't want to be anybody. I was born that way." - Joan Crawford.
    [bottom left: Joan Crawford's costume from Mildred Pierce, 1945; by Milo Anderson]
  • "The only person I really believe in is me." - Debbie Harry.
    [bottom right: Outfit worn by Debbie Harry on Blondie's European tour, 1979; by Stephen Sprouse]

  • “I’m sort of the patron saint of drag queens.” - Bob Mackie.
    [Stage outfits by Mr Mackie for Cher, Tina Turner, Cher and - um - Cher]
  • "You're born naked, and the rest is Bob Mackie." - RuPaul.

Simply stunning...

[Madam Arcati enjoyed it so much he took every one of these photos - click any pic to embiggen.]

Friday 5 April 2024

Got to be some good times ahead

It may only have been a short week, but it has been a complete pain in the arse! I have been counting down the hours for it to end...

Now we are almost here. Our "gang" is gathering after work to go (again in my case) to the V&A's magnificently camp DIVA exhibition before it closes next week, so there is cause for celebration already!

Speaking of Divas - here's one who is (obviously) featured in the exhibition:

Thank Disco Divas It's Friday!

Have a great weekend, dear reader!

Thursday 4 April 2024

Totty of the Day

The original Broadway version of Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific premiered 75 years ago this year [in February, to be precise]. The stud-muffin-filled movie adaptation was released nine years later - and is still hot!

Wednesday 3 April 2024

Blathering on

Workplace safety assessments are finding that the main occupational hazard facing Britons is being around twats all day.

Factors such as noise, stress, long days and dangerous conditions are all minor compared to the risk of spending up to 40 hours a week in the company of total arseholes, it has emerged.

Mary Fisher, of the Health and Safety Executive, said: “You can set up your monitor at eye level, you can get your chair adjusted, you can lift heavy objects by bending at the knee. It won’t make any difference if you’re surrounded by knobheads.

“You get a headache and back pain by 1pm every day because you have to listen to idiots standing in the kitchen blathering on about whatever idiot shit they did this weekend. Some of them have the temerity to be your boss.

“Rip asbestos out with your teeth, type a 100,000-word report with your nose an inch from the screen, lick receipt paper, stick your arm in a wood chipper - none of it is anywhere near as damaging as close proximity to a bellend who calls Friday ‘Fri-yay’.

“Even working from home means incessant emails and Zoom meetings with wankers promising to download the latest 'key learnings'. You’ll never reach retirement.”

Marketing manager Helen Archer said: “On the other hand I am a twat, and I find inflicting that on everyone else intensely relaxing.”

The Daily Mash

Of course.

Tuesday 2 April 2024

Move your body

Back to work. Sigh.

After a lovely week of on-off pottering in the garden, and a long Easter weekend in Essex stockpiling more delights for the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers, I really do not want to face the same old, same old grind again just yet...

Hey ho. Today would have been the 85th birthday of Mr Marvin Gaye, one of the finest singers to emerge from the Tamla-Motown stable, taken far too soon [he was shot dead by his own father forty years ago yesterday]. His musical legacy includes classic duets with the likes of Tammi Terrell (including Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing and You're All I Need to Get By), Miss Ross (You Are Everything), and of course a huge raft of solo classics such as How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You), I Heard It Through the Grapevine, Too Busy Thinking About My Baby, What's Going On, Mercy Mercy Me, Sexual Healing - and this one:

That cheered me up. Sort of.

Marvin Pentz Gaye Jr. (né Gay, 2nd April 1939 – 1st April 1984)

Monday 1 April 2024

There's men everywhere, no girls anywhere. What is this place?

April Fool!

I'm back in circulation, after a fab few days doing a whirlwind tour - thanks to Baby Steve and Houseboy Alex - of what seemed to be every garden centre in Essex, including Langthorns Plantery, Perrywood, Cherry Lane, and our favourites Halstead Garden Centre (aka "Maggie's"), and of course Bourne Brook Nursery (aka "Mr Baker's"), from whence I grubbed out from the cuttings bench another fourteen Fuchsias [some of them replacements for this winter's losses, some we haven't grown since before the last move (when I binned the whole collection), and five new varieties]!

I also came back with two hardy Geraniums, a new Phlox variety, a new Salvia, a Thunbergia vine and a Scaevola. That was fun on the coach, tube and bus getting home!

While I was away I missed celebrating the 90th birthdays of both Richard Chamberlain and Shirley Jones, and the 60th of Tracy Chapman - and all the "cox action" of The Boat Race. I was easily able to ignore all that bullshit that surrounds Easter [but no chocolate! no Tiger Lillies!]; however the arrival of British Summer Time came as a bit of a mindfuck as we lost an hour in bed. It was lovely weather while we were doing the plant-shopping excursion, but it definitely doesn't feel like summer here in London, with hailstorms and blustery weather again... [Oh, and I was too woozy today to catch up with the usual round of April Fools' Day jokes - so here's a few highlights.]

Apart from new additions to the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers, did I bring any musical "delights" back with me? Bien sûr! It's fortuitous that it's a Tacky Music Bank Holiday Monday:

And, finally... WTF?!

Enjoy what's left of the last day of freedom, dear reader...