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Thursday, 28 April 2011



If a man comes to your door and asks you to show him your bottom (backside) as part of a nationwide health survey,
DON'T DO IT!, it's a scam. The man is entirely unauthorised.
I wish I had recieved this email yesterday.......

(ps: You woudn't believe the trouble I had trying to get a picture for this post. If one goes to Bing Images and types in "Man's bare bottom" a lot of very unsuitable pictures appear!)

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Music Choice (1)

Just for the hell of it here are five pieces of music I like with You Tube links:

Turn the sound up and try not tapping your feet and getting up and dancing - it can't be done! And for good measure here is a terrific live recording of the same song.

The best of the best!

I really enjoy proper classical guitar music (not flamenco)and this tune has long been a favoutite. This is also known by several other names principally Valse Criollo.

Recorded when she was seventeen, this was the last of her top ten UK hits. They started when she was thirteen years old! For me, she is one of the finest British popular singers of all time and she should have been a world wide star. And if you like it check this out!

Although sung in the original Italian you do not need to understand the words for the emotion to come crashing through. It makes my skin tingle and I think I've got smoke in my eyes.....

Thursday, 14 April 2011

My Heroes (32): Sir Patrick Moore

Patrick Moore with Dr (of Astronomy) Brian May. Yes, the guitarist from Queen!.
 Patrick Moore is a truly remarkable man for several very different reasons. He is a real British eccentric, who always wears a monocle and is about the size of a dirigible these days. At eighty-eight years old he is the presenter of the world's longest running TV show (with the same presenter). 'The Sky at Night' is an astronomy programme that has been broadcast once a month since 1957. He only ever missed one episode due to a near-fatal food poisoning incident involving a goose egg!
He thinks he is the only man to have met the first man to fly (Orville Wright), the first man in space (Yuri Gagarin) and the first man on the moon (Neil Armstrong). Before the war he played piano with Albert Einstein in New York. He is also a very skilled composer and plays jazz on the xylophone.
He lives alone on Selsey Bill on England's south coast which is probably the most cloud free spot in Britain. He has a garden full of telescopes, some of which he built himself.
'The Sky at Night' recently celebrated it's 700th edition and in this clip  you can see him surrounded by professors and doctors of astronomy who look like nervous schoolboys next to him.
During the war his fiance, a nurse, was killed when a bomb struck the ambulance she was in. He later remarked that he never married because "there was no one else for me...second best is no good for me..."
I once heard a producer of his show saying he was the most amazing broadcaster because he spoke on cue without notes or hesitation for exactly the number of minutes required. This clip from 1960, over fifty years ago, shows him in action. You can't see the pupeteer who seems to be working his eyebrows! He has written over 70 books (all on a 1908 typewriter) but, remarkably, is a self-taught amateur astronomer, however, in 1969 he was invited to NASA for the moon landings. They said they could not have gone to the moon without Sir Patrick's highly detailed maps.
When he passes away every broadcaster on this planet will move up one place.

Friday, 8 April 2011

One in Five by Paul Curtis
One in five in
The world today
Are apparently
Chinese they say

Now we have five
In our family
So one is Chinese
I know it’s not me

Well it’s not mum
Or my dad even
So it must be one
Of my brothers then

Now is it Colin
Or Lee Woon Jae
I think its Colin
I have to say
                             Copyright © Paul Curtis.
I love the simple humour and the lovely twist at the end of this poem. I have read it many times and I always have to smile!

Monday, 4 April 2011

Painting of the Month (16 ) April 2011: Samuel Palmer

In a Shoreham Garden. Probably painted around 1830
Samuel Palmer was a British painter who was influenced by Turner and William Blake. The reason for the uncertainty of the date of this picture is that he kept his work private after some heavy criticism; that's often the fate of those trying to change the boundarys of art.
Samuel Palmer, self-portrait.
The painting has a mystical quality and is very stylised and heavily 'designed'. One's eye is taken to the female figure walking across the lawn but the subject really seems to be the tree in full blossom. But it has been depicted in an unrealistic, 'modern' way. Cascades of blossom hang down and overflow in huge bunches in a style that pre-figures Van Gogh. Palmer's work was not recognised in it's day and was rediscovered in the 1920s when modern taste had caught up with it. He would have been around 25 years old when he painted 'In A Shoreham Garden'.
Incidentally the title refers to Shoreham in Kent, very near to London and not to Shoreham in West Sussex as popularly believed.
I find it to be very beautiful and a pleasure to look at.