Friday, 25 November 2011


What cheer, my hearties!

No proper film quiz this week - but a double one next time.

However, here's an easy interim question:

Who whinged about his duck illustration ending up on the wrong US postage stamp??  And what did his wife say, to cheer him up?  (No need for the actual quote - a paraphrase will do nicely.)

It's been so long since I posted so today's nonsense is what you'd call an 'interim' or 'holding action' in a bid to cling onto the few friends I have left.

I turn my back on the garden for a matter of days and what happens?  It breathes a huge sigh of relief, to have me out of the way for a spell and flourishes.  The tuberose which has been sulkily  in unmoving bud for about two months suddenly blooms - well, nearly - my Daphne bholua 'Darejeeling' has bursting flower buds and the first if the winter bulbs, Iris reticulate are already pushing their sharp-pointed little shoots through.  The lawn has grown at least an inch, in less than a week and the meadow grasses are nearly 6 inches high.  It'll need another light topping with the non-rolling Hayter.

The 'tache,  grown for 'Movember,' is lopsided but the violence are genuine Viola odorata 'Governor Herrick.'
The tie is by someone called Duchamp or Dechamp - but not to be confused with that famous urinal.  Or maybe.. .
It has been eventful.
Last Thursday I witnessed, along with the PG, my brother-in-law's wedding.  The Registrar, who was younger than any of us, gave the couple - both coming in to bat for a second innings, and both grandparents  - a stern lecture on the solemnity of the marriage vows, before making them man and wife.

I wore a bunch of sweet violets in my button hole, as did the PG.  You'd probably call hers a 'corsage'  but mine was, distinctly a coarse-arge.

Afterwards we went to a pub in Barnes to nibble whitebait and later to the Groom's flat for a small party before moving on to a superb Italian restaurant not far from the Thames for a big, posh dinner.

A three-year old Ukrainian boy smeared red caviar over my suit trousers and then ate an entire plate of the stuff, spread on discs of toast.

On Friday we went to Eugene Onegin at the London Coliseum which has a better roof than the one in Rome.  Onegin was a complete sh1t but I have to say, Tatiana was a bit of a pillock and Olga should have been thoroughly spanked for her wantonness.

On Saturday, after a day with our grandchildren, we sat in the Old Vic to see Synge's Playboy of the Western World.

Since then, and since my mother moved to a retirement home, we've been sorting out the contents of her house.  How can you concentrate on packing up stuff when confronted by a trunkful of old family photographs?  We spent a morning gawping at the past.  My brother's shorts, at 4 years old, were much worse than mine when I was 7.

I'm listening to Eugene Onegin.  The music is pure Tchike but none the worse for that.

This day last week We were sampling a pre-opera pint of Youngs bitter.  Not what it was, now it's no longer brewed in Wandsworth, and now that Youngs is no longer independent.  Good pubs, in London's West End are rarer than hens' teeth.

This week's film was Rebecca another Hitchcock gem, though not particularly 'Hitchcockian.'  A magnificent Mrs Danvers.

Bye for now!


  1. I like your tache very distinquished and less Frost looking now. I think going through your parents stuff must be hard. Hopefully my parents OCD at getting rid of stuff will help me out in the future, they dont keep anything!!

  2. Mel /MellyChristl25 November 2011 at 19:42

    Very dashing! Reminds me of Sean Connery!

  3. Ohhh - I feel for you. Going through parents' stuff is one of the hardest things to do.

    Whatever you do, don't bring all your mother's belongings home with you - we're still knee deep 3 years on!

    Courage mon brave.

    Looks like the tickle monsters will be out in full next week ;)

  4. I think those taches actually lend a lot of derring-do, if that's the right expression, to many a man's face :-)))

    Hmm, wrapping up my mother's belongings was both interesting and also sad - at least your's is still around.

  5. PS I think you look pretty dapper. But then my husband has a full set so I'm biased!

  6. Goodness, is that supposed to be an easy question? After recourse to Google, the best I can come up with is 'Ding' Darling, who created the Federal Duck Stamp programme and illustrated the first stamp. These were not postage stamps but sold to raise money for wetlands conservation.
    Apparently, he wasn't happy with his first draft for the stamp, but it got sent to the printers by mistake. I can only assume his wife, Genevieve, said something along the lines of: "Never mind, darling."

  7. Just coming towards the end of the 'photos and possessions challenge' in relation to an elderly relation - I find I'm looking at things which are special to me in a new way.

  8. You look extremely dashing in your wedding gear - in a kind of Laurence Olivier as 'dentist' in Marathon Man meets David Niven way.

    OldmaSock is another one with a penchant verging on OCD for clearing stuff out. She has already dumped some family photos after being strictly instructed not to. I love the old family photo albums, the black and white portraits make both my parents look like 40s film stars.