And just because we all need a little playtime on a Monday morning. And what better playtime is there than a toy train. And what better toy train than Thomas the Tank Engine. Though he and I may have been born in the same year and some of us have lost our steam not our Thomas. He has a few tricks that would make those skateboarder pups look like amateurs.
Okay playtime over time to get back to the workaday world. Oh wait a minute I’m retired – I’ll play some more; the rest of you carry on!
On this day in 1984: Anarchist Émile Henry hurls a bomb into the Cafe Terminus in Paris, killing one person and wounding 20.
I am always struck by the incredible amount of musical talent here on the Island. And it isn’t just in one genre – it can be folk, Maritime-country, jazz, classical, metals of various weights, rock etc As an example my friend M. who sent me this link is a talented singer and an incredible Bendy Sex Whistle player. Yes that girl plays an incredible Bendy Sex Whistle!
So what’s the big deal says you? What’s so “NSFW” about silly names for instruments of the orchestra. Okay you made the puerile comment about the saxophone but that hardly warrents covering the screen and fretting about the IT police? Well fine then how about this pleasant little piece by Thomas Morely, the master of the English madrigal? He and Robert Johnson are the composers of the only surviving contemporary settings of verse by Shakespeare. This fetching little ditty is sung here by the grandfather of all countertenors Alfred Deller. It is based on various “toys” and dainties to satisfy milady’s appetites that were available in select shops in London in days of yore.
And yes you did hear right! Now back to work!
On this day in 65 AD: Earthquake in Pompeii, Italy.
It’s an odds and ends sort of day – grey skies, cold wind, the odd flurry, nothing much planned other than walks with the HFH and checking the post box. So I thought these few odds and ends would do for a gloomy day chuckle.
This is for all those moms out there who don’t go to “work” or even better those who have two jobs – one at work the other at home.
The remarkable Bette Midler has just ended a run in Hello Dolly on Broadway and a search found this clip from the old days when her Delores DeLago was fishtailing through life.
And before he made it big in Hollywood William Claude Dukenfield(s) was a vaudeville headliner. When he first appeared on stage he didn’t speak because of a stutter but over time began a line of muttered patter at offending books, balls, and cigars. By the time he hit the Ziegfeld Follies in 1915 he was a comedian of whom Sarah Bernhardt said: He is an artiste [who] could not fail to please the best class of audience. This is an outtake from The Old Fashioned Way and that’s Baby Leroy loping the tomato at the end.
On this day in 1967: The “ultimate high” of the hippie era, the Mantra-Rock Dance, takes place in San Francisco and features Janis Joplin, Grateful Dead, and Allen Ginsberg.
Okay it’s Monday morning and that coffee pot better be on!
Let’s hear it for that life-affirming nectar of the bean of Rubiaceae Coffeeae Coffea arabica. A toast to that roasted nugget, the gift – if legend is to be credited – of an unknown Yemeni goatherd that invigorates and awakens the senses.
Fire up the coffee maker, the French press, the mokka pot, the espresso machine or whatever equipment is needed to perfume the air with that intoxicating aroma.
Let’s start the morning off right. What are you going to have?
One of the standing jokes about Coffee shops is how the “baristas” mangle names. My friend Siobhan has endured all manner of iterations of her name so I send this out to her. It could be worse Siobhan they could want your shoe size!
This one is for Esteban who maintains that he is subhuman and unapproachable until he has had at least a gallon of coffee in the morning. Having never approached him in the morning I’ll take his word for it.
And me? I’ll have a double latte with low fat yak’s milk, no foam and a dash of Madagascar cinnamon. With a twist of lemon!
On this day in 1970: The Boeing 747, the world’s first “jumbo jet”, enters commercial service: Pan American Airways Clipper Victor made its maiden voyage from John F. Kennedy International Airport to London Heathrow Airport.
When I need an educated (for want of a better word) laugh I often check out the BBC programme QI (Quite Interesting) on YouTube. Now I freely admit that often the references draw a blank but the interplay is witty, erudite, and often blushingly (for my delicate North American sensibilities) earthy. And I have learned all sorts of often useless information with which to bore my friends and family at social gatherings. Such as: did you know that Killer Whales are memers of the dolphin family and actually are ruthless and calculating killers. Well there you go! Now you do!
The host for the first twelve years of its broadcasting history has been that delightful “lovey” Stephen Fry. His sidekick since the show’s inception in 2003 has been Alan Davies. Their double act cast Fry as the all-knowing headmaster and Davies as the lovable but naughty schoolboy.
Here’s Sandi Toksvig, David Mitchell, Rob Brydon, Davies, and Fry holding forth on airline pilot accents.
There are several references in this episode that escaped me – though I finally figured out the Jordan Sandi Toksvig refers to is UK personality Katie Price and I must say Rob Brydon does a pretty good imitation. Geordie I knew was a North Country accent and it turns out Brummie that of Birmingham. And apparently Fry’s Aussie accent is dead on for Melbourne.
Fry retired from the show in February of 2016 and Toksvig took over the moderator’s chair. Davies has stayed with the show and though the dynamics have changed it is still witty, informative, and a good laugh. One of my favourite clips is the entire panel – Bill Bailey, Jimmy Carr, Brydon, and Davies – takes the piss out of Fry as he tells us what “they say at the Acropolis where the Parthenon is ….”
On this day in 1822: Greek War of Independence: Demetrios Ypsilantis is elected president of the legislative assembly.