She Kissed Me

but I didn’t turn into a Prince just a starry-eyed stripling.

Over at his blog home Larry Muffin celebrated the great (such an overused word but in this case nothing else would do) actress, activist and politician Melina Merkouri. It brought back a memory from my misspent (well not so much misspent as overspent) youth which I thought I’d reshare. So for Pierre who missed this when I first wrote it in 2008 I give you an old man’s fond memory:

Willy Or Won't He

Early March of 1967 I was in my first year with Air Canada (my employer for the next 33 years) at Toronto Airport. A clerk in the Operations tower, I worked in a fishbowl perched at the end of a boarding finger reached by a metal spiral staircase. In those days people walked outside to board an airplane, any airplane not just the small propeller ones. One windy afternoon I had struggled down the stairs with an armload of flight plans heading for the terminal. A charter flight from Philadelphia, carrying Melina Merkouri and the cast of the Broadway-bound Illya Darling, was deplaning as I walked towards the terminal.

I don’t recall how it happened but I tripped and 25 flight plans and I fell to the ground in an undignified pile. As I scrambled to collect the plans and my dignity a smoky accented voice asked: Are you…

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Throwback Thursday – Food Glorious Food

Sadly I do seem to have run out of Gratuitous videos of the Hounds from Hell for real. And things around here are rather routine these days with nothing of great excitement taking place. So when in doubt, as so many of us have recently, I turn to the comfort of food.

With the advent of summer – I’ve been assured we will get something resembling summer at some point – it’s time for a bit lighter fare. The less time spent in the kitchen the better so I thought I’d share a recipe from this date (July 9) in 2009.

I haven’t made it in several years but given that some really lovely tomatoes are currently on the market and tuna in olive oil was on sale this week it may just make it’s way onto a menu this coming week.

Willy Or Won't He

Some how or other I never got around to posting this – and given the Saint’s name day how could I have forgotten. Anyway better late et al. And it was a great, though sadly our last, evening with Yves, Rolando, Joe and Peter. That’s the way of life in the foreign service as people move around from post to post.

Well yes we are – tonight as we say goodbye to two of our colleagues at dinner – we are starting with tuna salad. But not just any old Tuna Salad. Back in March when I was in Barcelona I had THE TUNA SALAD! It was around 1400 and we were heading up to the Gaudi Parco Guell. The old tummy was suggesting that food was in order but the pickings for sustenance were a bit scarce in the area – a sandwich shop appeared to be the…

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Nicky and Nora – The Early Years VI

Well wouldn’t you just know it I found a few more videos lurking in the depths of the archives at YouTube. So in an effort to assuage their beloved Uncle Pervy’s disappointment in last week’s announcement I thought I had better post them.

Though the energy levels aren’t quite the same every couple of days Nicky still goes into a frenzy of teasing and tearing around the house. With time Nora has learned that if she just stays in the one place she can still snap at him and give domineering growls to send him scurrying away.

Both of the Hounds have a thing for feet and licking. There have been suggestions that we hire them out at a health spa as an exfoliating treatment.

Nora has a complete vocabulary of growls, throaty whines and piercing barks that convey her needs and wants to the humans that were put on this earth to serve her.

Now having done more farewells than Adelina Patti, Sarah Bernhardt and Elizabeth Schwarzkopf put together – I swear this is the last of the Gratuitous Hounds from Hell videos.

The word for July 2nd is:
Assuage /əˈswāj/: [verb]
1.1 To make (an unpleasant feeling) less intense.
1.2 Satisfy (an appetite or desire)
Middle English: from Old French assouagier, asouagier, based on Latin ad- ‘to’ (expressing change) + suavis ‘sweet’.
Hopefully where our Uncle Pervy is concerned both meanings of the verb have been met.


Nick and Nora – The Early Years V

It looks like I may be coming to the end of the home videos from when the Hounds from Hell were mere Puppies from Purgatory. (And the world gives a collective sigh of relief.)

This is an early on that was buried deep in the archives. The deep growl is Nora that high pitched squealing is Nicky. He always did – and still does – instigate things and then play the wounded victim after the fact.

I know, I know – telling them they were “bad puppies” probably scared them for life and caused them to turn into the delinquents they are today. Well okay either that or the fact that they are dachshunds!

Nora has always been the investigative sort. It is that interest in the world around her that has led to vet bills that would put a kid through college.

The word for June 25th is:
Omnipotent /ɒmˈnɪpət(ə)nt/: [adjective]
1.1 Having unlimited power
1.2 Having great power or influence
Early 14c., “almighty, possessing infinite power,” from Old French omnipotent “almighty, all-powerful” (11c.) and directly from Latin omnipotentem “all-powerful, almighty.”
Or as Ernestine often stated of the unlimited power of the Phone Company: That’s ‘potent’ with an ‘omni’ in front of it.”

Nick and Nora – The Early Years IV

Well I know this will come as a surprise but I have more gratuitous puppy videos. I know, I know! Like Miss Bennett I “contrive to delight” you endlessly.

So without further ado I give you:

I forget where we were heading when this video was taken but the Hounds from Hell were going back to the breeders’ in Capena while we were away.

When they returned from their visit to Capena Nicky developed some tummy problems. Inquiries poured in from all over – in fact the first question normally asked was not “how was your trip” but “How’s Nicky doing?” We knew where our friends’ priorities laid.

What could be more pleasant than morning coffee on the terrace with the gentle sounds of the trams rattling in the background, the odd ambulance siren, and two battling Hounds from Hell.

The word for June 18th is:
Conflate /kənˈfleɪt/: [verb]
1. Combine (two or more sets of information, texts, ideas, etc.) into one.
2. Confuse
Late Middle English (in the sense ‘fuse or melt down metal’): from Latin conflat- ‘kindled, fused’, from the verb conflare, from con- ‘together’ + flare ‘to blow’.”
The second meaning is a new one (1973) and though Webster’s has it, Oxford is till out on the matter.