Librarian Pervert

Well my Lusty Librarian Lunedi Lunacy (see what I did there – alliteration!!!) inspired (if that is the right word) my blog buddy Old Lurker to bare his soul about a deep dark secret. I am humbled, if a bit smug, that what was largely a literary lark tapped into his libidinous library lust and led to a true confession much in the manner of the pocket books that inspired it.

And having no sense of propriety I thought I’d share his admission with you.

On this day in 1757: English poet Christopher Smart is admitted into St Luke’s Hospital for Lunatics in London, beginning his six-year confinement to mental asylums.

Old Lurker

Willym recently posted some salacious book covers, which is as good an opportunity as any to commence the “shocking disclosures of sexual perversion” phase of this blog. Today’s shocking disclosure is: librarians.

I do not know how I ended up this way. Probably it is because I have an unhealthy fondness for libraries. Libraries are full of delicious books that (in principle) I am allowed to sign out and ravenously consume, provided that I don’t slobber on the pages and/or accumulate too many late fines. I know that some freaks purchase new books and develop long-term loving relationships with them; I do not understand these people. A passionate three-week romance is plenty for me, and then back to the shelves you go, delightful reading material. Maybe we will have a second go-around, but until then there are plenty of books in the sea.

That makes me a bookslut AND a…

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A Fluffle of Bunnies

illuminator
This artful limner or illuminator included this selfie in his illustration for a 14th century Bible in the treasury at Rheims Cathedral.

Since we are in the Octave of Easter I present for your consideration a fluffle (and yes that is the correct collective noun for a bunch of bunnies) of rabbits as seen through the eyes of Medieval limners.

A friend of mine, who was a Medieval scholar, always said that Monty Python and the Holy Grail was historically accurate in much of its detail.  I think I’ve finally figured out where they found the inspiration for The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog.  If these illustrations are anywhere near the truth bunnies back then were vicious!

So much for Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail or even Bugs Bunny – you don’t fool with that fluffle!  However this next group may speak to that old adage about music soothing the savage breast.

All these delightful (?) bunnies were found on Discarding Images a Facebook page that features illustrations from the margins, borders and capitals of illuminated manuscripts.  It’s a constant source of amusement, pleasure, and offers brilliant examples of the illuminator’s art.  However you really have to wonder about the strength of their mead or what exactly good brother herbalist was giving them to steady their hands and improve their eyesight.

On this day in 1025: Bolesław Chrobry is crowned in Gniezno, becoming the first King of Poland.

There is Nothing Like This Dame

Dame-Patricia
Dame Katherine Patricia Routledge proudly displays the insignia of her newly – and so justly – awarded DBE.  March 24, 2017.

I have never made any secret of my love for Patricia Routledge who I consider one of the great performers in my lifetime of theatre going.  I first saw her in 1967 at Toronto’s O’Keefe Centre in the Broadway bound Darling of the Day (though it may have been called Married Alive at that point).  It was a show that changed titles almost as often as it changed directors and sadly folded after 31 performances in New York.  Blame for its failure was laid at many door steps – leading man Vincent Price, the work of five various book writers, even Jule Styne’s music and Yip Harburg’s lyrics came in for some criticism.  But the praise for Patricia Routledge was unanimous and she was – howbeit briefly – the toast of Broadway.  Her next Broadway appearance was to repeat the story:  Leonard Bernstein and Alan Jay Learner’s 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was savaged by the critics and lasted seven performances after a tortuous try-out period.  But on opening night  Patricia Routledge received a mid-show standing ovation for her performance of “Duet for One (The First Lady of the Land)”. And on closing night the orchestra stopped the show to give standing-voice to their delight and approval. Flop or not that’s one show I wish I had seen.  Routledge was to receive Tony Awards for both these shows.

I was to see her again the summer of 1969 on stage at Chichester in Pinero’s The Magistrate   holding her own with Alastair Sim who was  giving what was considered by many as his greatest onstage performance. It was one of those theatrical events that stays in my mind until today.   For Routledge it was only the first of her many appearances at the Festival in comedy, musicals and drama.

She makes Chichester her home and works tirelessly for local and national charities both church and theatre related.  It was for these efforts as well as her theatrical work that her name appeared on the 2017 New Year’s Honours List.  On Friday a very smartly attired Patricia Routledge arrived at Buckingham Palace and was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire for her services to the theatre and charity work.  At her investiture Prince Charles recognized that it was an long overdue honour for the 88 year performer.

Though she is best know for the widely-viewed Keeping Up Appearances her television career has included the proto-type for what was to become Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads monologues, murder mysteries, drama and comedy.  On stage most of her initial successes were in musicals – which comes as a surprise to anyone who every heard her Hyacinth Bucket vocalize for poor Emmett.  In a recent interview she said that you have to be a good singer to be able to sing off key.  Anyone who has listened to that episode would draw the conclusion that she must be a great singer.

Here she is giving proof of what had the critics and audiences on their feet back in 1967-68 in the eleven o’clock number from the ill-fated Darling of the Day:  Not On Your Nellie!

Around the same time she appeared as the Mother Superior in a studio recording of The Sound of Music.   Where the previous clip showed a bit of the Broadway belter this excerpt is almost operatic.

Though she has slowed down a bit she is still tours doing two shows:  Admission: One Shilling about the Wartime concert pianist Myra Hess and Facing The Music – reminiscing about her career on the musical theatre stage.

Congratulations Dame Patricia – there truly isn’t nothing like a Dame!

Some other appearances by Dame Patricia on Willy Or Won’t He:
As the very opinionated and not at all shy Kitty on Victoria Wood:  Lunedi Lunacy
A very rare early recording of popular songs: Mercoledi Musicale

On this day in 1807:  The Swansea and Mumbles Railway, then known as the Oystermouth Railway, becomes the first passenger-carrying railway in the world.

06:29 – It’s Spring

Yes it appears that this morning at 06:39 Spring arrived in all it’s glory!  Even as I speak write people are throwing aside gloves and scarves; boots and downy coats are being jettisoned, and toques and muffs cast to the (very strong) winds.   And then they are very quickly gathering them up again and shivering as they put them back on.  Yes it is Spring on the Island – or at least on some Island somewhere.

I honestly think we should rethink this whole: the sun is directly overhead the celestial Equator so that makes it Spring theory.  We all know that here in Canada – and it appears this year no region is being spared – snow at Easter is not an unknown; hell snow for May Day isn’t much of a surprise either.

However in honour of the season – if not the day – I call to mind a little ditty (oh grow up I said ditty) that one of my former supervisors at Air Canada use to recite every March 20th.  George was an Ottawa valley boy and had an accent that suggested that exotic mix of Irish and French that you find out Packingham way.  To this day I can see him standing on the steps of the control podium and  in my mind’s ear (!) hear him declaim:

spring-birdSpring has sprung!
The grass has rize!
I wonder where
the birdies is?

They say the bird
Is on the wing!
But we all know that
that’s absurd!
We know the wing
Is on the bird!

They are real poets in the Valley!

Happy first day of spring – now where the hell did I put that thermal underwear?

On this day in 1854: The Republican Party of the United States is organized in Ripon, Wisconsin.

It’s All A Matter of Interpretation!

I know there is a better version of this out there but I can’t seem to find it.

But I still want to know – what the hell is the answer?

And thanks for my friend Shirli for putting me on to this.

On this day in 1794: Eli Whitney is granted a patent for the cotton gin.