Tuesday, 30 June 2015

REMEMBER WALNUT WHIPS?



Not too long ago, I realized that I hadn't had a WALNUT
WHIP in many a year, so I promptly bought one.  I was a little
disappointed to see that the chocolate covering was no longer the
rough-hewn, twirly, individually poured masterpiece I remember
from my youth, but a smooth, characterless, mass-produced,
mould-formed coating that was less appealing to my eye.

Sometimes they're right - you can't go home again.  Not
unless you've got photographic evidence of where you lived.
Oo-er, that's a bit too abstract - even for me.  Do any of you
recall these tasty treats - and when did you last have one?

CORGI TOYS' BATMOBILE...



Here's an ad from the pages of TV CENTURY 21 featuring
CORGI TOYS' BATMOBILE.  Following hard on the heels of
the ASTON MARTIN DB5, this cemented Corgi's reputation as
the premier diecast toy company in Britain, with DINKY trailing
a close second.  Can you remember the excitement of when you
first acquired this fantastic toy?  Then let's hear all about it,
Bat-fans - the comments section awaits!

YOGI & HIS TOY...



I happened to mention YOGI & HIS TOY in
a response to a comment a while back, and someone
asked me what it was.  Here's the cover to the very first
issue in case whoever asked wants to see it.  I think it's
obvious as to what the comic was all about without
me having to spell it out - anyone ever buy it?

WALTZING ON TOP OF THE WORLD - SPOT THE DIFFERENCE...



I'm declaring this JIM REEVES week, so every
day, I'll be posting at least one of Mr. Velvet's songs
on this 'ere blog.  Jim also recorded a slightly longer
(at least, it had more verses), raw country version of
this song, but this is a later, softer rendition from
when he'd become more of a balladeer.

******

Oh, look - I've found the earlier Country version.
Listen to the one above first, then give this one a spin
for a couple of verses - what a difference!

(BOND) BABE OF THE DAY - DIANA RIGG...



Oh, DIANA - you are naughty!
What would Mr. STEED say?
(Probably "Phwoaaaarr!!")

HEY, LET'S REVISIT TAHITI...



Here's the double-language version of this
ultra-soothing song by JIM REEVES.  Check
out the previous post for the same song sung
completely in South Afrikaans.

EVER BEEN TO TAHITI...?



This is an interesting little song.  The version here
is in South Afrikaans, but there's also another version
in English and South Afrikaans - both sung by the
mighty JIM REEVES.  Enjoy.

CAROLINE NIN - ONE FOR MY BABY...



A girl I knew attended the Edinburgh Festival
in 1999 and recommended a singer she'd seen at The
Gilded Balloon - CAROLINE NIN.  The next year,
myself and two friends went through to Edinburgh to
watch her perform at a different venue in the city.  I
enjoyed her performance so much that I bought her
CD, which was available at the end of the show.

And she even posed for a photo with me.  (I'm the
one on your right, in case you were wondering.)

Monday, 29 June 2015

ANOTHER (BOND) BABE OF THE DAY - MARTINE BESWICK...



Oh, go on then - feast your eyes on the
magnificent MARTINE BESWICK.  It's
every red-blooded man's duty.

ARE YOU GOING TO SCARBOROUGH FAIR...?



Did you know that ANDY WILLIAMS was
JIM REEVES favourite male singer?  True!  So
here's Andy with SIMON & GARFUNKEL
with a little song I'm sure you'll all enjoy.

GOODNIGHT IRENE...



JIM REEVES sings GOODNIGHT IRENE.
(What more do you want for free?)

(BOND) BABE OF THE DAY - DIANA RIGG...



Look - it's Christmas today!  And here's your present -
the delicious, delectable and delightful Dame DIANA RIGG!
(Whaddya mean it's not Christmas - it's June, the shops will
have the decorations up!  They usually do!)

BOOKS ON COMICBOOKS (& THEIR CREATORS)...



There have been quite a few books on comics written
over the years, and I have some of them in my collection.
If you've read any of them, feel free to share any thoughts
or observations you may have about the sometimes
controversial contents some of them contain.

If not, just enjoy looking at the covers.









Sunday, 28 June 2015

BABE OF THE DAY - BRIGITTE BARDOT...



If ever words were redundant, then this is surely
such a case.  Gentleman - BRIGITTE BARDOT!

OH, WHAT A GAY DAY...



Y'know, it may never have happened, but then again, it could
have.  For the sake of discussion, let's say it did.  'Twas my brother's
birthday and he had received a present from my parents.  Now if my
bruv was getting a present, I wanted one as well.  "But he's only getting
present because it's his birthday.  You'll get a present when it's your
birthday," said my parents.  "No, if he's getting a present, then I want
present too."  I was big on equality, you see.  Equality asper-
ceived it, that is.  If he got something then so should I.

"Ridiculous!" you say.  "If you get a present on your birthday,
then that is equality.  If it's not your birthday, you don't qualify for
a present, regardless of however much you may want one."  "No," I
cry.  "If he gets something I should get something as well, whether it's
my birthday or not.  It's not fair otherwise."  So I stamp my feet and
sulk and my folks give in and buy me something too.  Now I'm happy,
because, as you can plainly see, I'm one of those people who don't
like to see other people getting something that I'm not getting,
whether I qualify for it or not.

Which brings me to the subject of The U.S. Supreme Court legaliz-
ing gay marriage in all 50 states.  Marriage has always been between
men and women.  In some cultures, it was between one man and several
women, but for the purpose of our discussion, the number is immaterial.
The point is, only men and women got married.  As I've said before else-
where, to be a husband required having a wife (at least one), and being
a wife involved having a husband, and that's the way it was con-
ceived and carried out down through the centuries.

Then one day, society relaxed a bit and turned a blind eye to
same sex couples living together.  Society even decided (after much
bullying and many hissy fits) that gay couples' relationships could have
the same tax breaks and inheritance rights that married couples benefit
from.  Guess what?  It wasn't enough for them.  "If straight couples can
marry, we should be allowed to as well!" they cried.  Even 'though they
didn't qualify because marriage is between  husbands and wives, and
the notion of two husbands or two wives is simply ridiculous and
doesn't meet the requirements of the institution.

But they wanted it, so society caved in and gave it to them -
even 'though they had no real  right to expect it, ask for it, or insist
on it.  It's nothing more than an absurd imitation of an institution that
belongs to others, by a group that want it merely because they object
to anyone else having something they don't - whether they're intrinsi-
cally entitled to it or not.  Equality is only something that applies to
those who meet the conditions.  Same sex couples didn't have the
requisite mix of genders for marriage, so, technically, they just
didn't qualify for it - nothing to do with 'inequality'.

And one thing proponents for gay marriage forget is that, in
a sense, gay people have always had the same rights to marry as
everyone else - to someone of the opposite gender.  That was the re-
quirement under the law that the rest of us were subject to;  the fact
that they may not have felt inclined to avail themselves of that right
shouldn't mean that society is obliged to rewrite the rules to ac-
commodate their wish to impose their view on the rest of us.

Granting something to a group of people mainly because  they
want it, isn't necessarily rectifying an inequality - it's simply giving
in to the demands of those who want the rest of society to dance
to their tune, regardless of how off-key it happens to be.

Next thing we know, people will be wanting to marry their
horses.  Wait, I forgot - they already do that in some parts of
America, don't they?  Saints preserve us!

Saturday, 27 June 2015

THE COMPLETE FANTASTIC FOUR COVER & IMAGE GALLERY - PART SEVEN...


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

As I've said before in previous parts of this cover gallery series,
The COMPLETE FANTASTIC FOUR was one of the more memorable
MARVEL U.K. weeklies, featuring a mix of old and newer adventures in the
cosmic quartet's history.  I actually had quite a few U.S. colour editions of the
main tales in the mag, but the grey tones lent an interesting mood to the stories
(especially the ones from the 1960s) , and made them fascinating collectors'
items in their own right.  But why take my word for it?  See for yourself
in the accompanying pages laid temptingly before you.












BABE OF THE DAY - CAROLINE MUNRO...



Betcha CAROLINE MUNRO is sucking her
stomach in, but let's not hold that against her.  It's
a mighty fine stomach after all.  And the rest of
her ain't bad either.

Friday, 26 June 2015

HOW WOULD YOU HAVE ANSWERED?



I was in BOOTS The CHEMISTS today to buy some
 iron tablets, and the guy in front of me in the queue asked the
assistant for some condoms.  "Yes sir, what size would you like
small, medium or liar?" she said, with a wicked smile on her
face.  "Er, scratch that - just gimme a packet of TUNES!"
answered the  flustered customer.  You gotta laugh!

Thursday, 25 June 2015

PATRICK MacNEE - R.I.P.



Actor PATRICK MacNEE has passed away at
the age of 93.  Best known for playing JOHN STEED in
The AVENGERS from 1961-'69, and again in 1976-'77,
he'll be sadly missed by family, friends and fans.

WHY DO WOMEN DO THIS?



The next time you're standing in a checkout queue, keep
an eye out for this happening.  Woman getting served, watching
her items being scanned, waiting until the checkout person says
"That'll be £14.98 please" - and then (and only then) removing her
handbag from her arm, digging about for her purse, then fishing out
the dosh to pay for the bloody things.  I've usually got my money in
my mitt, ready to hand it over right away.  Trust me, nine and a half
times out of ten, women don't even think about going for the cash
until they hear what their shopping costs.  What the hell do they
think they're standing in line for?  And this is the gender that
claims to multi-task?  Have your money ready in future,
sister, and speed things along a little, eh?!

This has been a public service announcement.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

GOLDFINGER TRAILER...



Regarded by many as the definitive BOND movie,
GOLDFINGER actually makes more sense than the
novel it's based on.  In IAN FLEMING's book, Auric
Goldfinger's plan is to rob FORT KNOX, which, given
the sheer amount of gold stored there, would probably take
years.  The film dispenses with this idea, replacing it with a
plot to make the gold reserves radioactive, and therefore
valueless for decades, an eminently more sensible scheme.
This is the movie that set the pattern for subsequent
Bonds, and is a true classic of cinema.

BABE OF THE DAY - KATE UPTON...



Here's the lovely KATE UPTON to help start your
day with a song in your heart and a swing in your step.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

CHRISTIAN THE LION REUNITED WITH FORMER OWNERS...



There's no need to explain this one, as the story is
revealed as we go along.  For further details, there's a
45 minute documentary on YouTube which you can
access at this link.  Watch this clip first 'though.

BABE OF THE DAY - ANDREA SPINKS...



ANDREA SPINKS is a rather naughty
model and 'actress' who occasionally goes
under the name of NADIA.  I've given her a
good talking to and she's promised to be-
have herself.  (Not too much, I hope.)

DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER TRAILER...



This is the one that introduced screenwriter TOM
MANCIEWICZ's sense of humour to the BOND films,
something that poor old ROGER MOORE inherited and
was unfairly blamed for in later years.  True, Bond films
had always had humour, but Mankiewicz upped the
level almost (arguably) to the point of farce.

Had SEAN CONNERY continued in the role, the
films would've gone in the same direction they did with
Moore - simply due to the demands on each new entry in
the series to top the previous ones.  However, it has to be
admitted that DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER remains
an enjoyable romp, and is one of my favourites.

 Here's the trailer to refresh your memory.

BIFFO, KID & ROGER - AND TWO HALVES TOGETHER AGAIN...


Images copyright D.C. THOMSON & Co., Ltd

have a relative, a cousin (at least that's how we referred to him),
somewhere over in South Africa who I don't think I've seen since 1972.
Apart from once, perhaps, but, if so, it's so long ago, I'm unsure whether
I'm half-remembering or completely imagining it.  ROGER is
his name, and he and his wife MARY sent a Christmas card every year
for decades, although I'm unsure whether there's been one in the last
couple of Christmases.  I therefore don't know if he's still alive or
not, as he was a good few years older than me.

Because we were both good at art, on the few occasions he
visited my family (before emigrating), we'd do a drawing together -
his part on one half of the paper, mine on the other.  Then we'd separate
it into two halves, and he'd keep the half I drew in his wallet, and I'd keep
the half he drew - somewhere safe meant to be, but I somehow managed
to lose it by the time of his next visit.  This happened twice, I believe, and
then, on September 17th 1972, we did our third attempt, half of which
you can see at the foot of this post.  What surprises me now, seeing
the date, is that I'd lived in this house for only three months, the
previous doodles having been done in my former abode.

The drawing we did was of a large panel on the front cover of
The BEANO #1492, dated February 20th 1971.  (And a big thanks
to IRMANTAS from KAZOOP!! blog for identifying the ish for me,
'cos I'd long forgotten.)  I was surprised to learn this, because I'd never
have thought I still had a Beano bought over a year before, but perhaps it
was because it was the first issue to have the decimal price on the cover.
If so, I probably also had the previous one as it was the last to have the
£-s-d price - 4d.)  My cousin signed his half PICASSO and I signed
my half REMBRANDT (modest as ever), and that could well
have been the last time I ever saw him.


Except, niggling away at the back of my memory, is a feeling
that he may have visited one more time.  I seem to remember that
either I couldn't find his half of the drawing on that occasion, or - for
once - he didn't have my half with him, so we never got to put the two
halves together again, as was meant to be our custom.  Perhaps I'm con-
fusing it with another drawing from an earlier occasion, but I've a notion
it's probably as I think I remember, because I seem to recall my sense
of elation when, weeks or months later, I actually discovered where
I'd stashed his half of our masterpiece.  Of course, I suppose it's
 always possible that I only dreamt the episode.

Which brings us to the present:  I was cleaning an old photo
frame recently, and took the photo out to clean the glass properly.
Tucked in the back was Roger's half of the drawing.  This made me
want to see the other half, so I asked good ol' Irmy, who dug through
his back issues and found the comic whose cover panel had been cop-
ied back in 1972.  I was surprised to see what would've been my half,
because I'd always imagined (not having seen the part I'd drawn since
first producing it - except for maybe once, remember) that my sub-
ject would've been BIFFO's pal BUSTER (not the IPC one),
and not a PLUG ventriloquist's dummy.

Anyway, I managed to track down and purchase the issue
on eBay, so here's the front and back covers to help you celebrate
my joyous reunion with a comic from my youth, which, to be honest,
if it hadn't been for Roger's drawing, I'd probably never have remem-
bered in a month of Sundays.  Now all I have to do is find out if my
former collaborator is still alive, and see if my part of the drawing
is still tucked away in his wallet.  If not, at least now I can re-
create it and send him a copy for old times' sake.

 Just in case he's the sentimental type.


UPDATE, 2016:  Yup, he's still with us -
got a Christmas card from him and his missus.

Monday, 22 June 2015

HEARTBREAK IN SILHOUETTE...



Ready for some more JIM REEVES?  Good.
Here's the man with the velvet voice just for you.

(BOND) BABE OF THE DAY - JILL ST. JOHN...



Until we get to the DIAMONDS Are
FOREVER trailer, here's a little taster of
007 girl JILL ST. JOHN.  (Don't point
those at me, luv - they might go off.)

LIVE & LET DIE TRAILER...



Although I was fortunate enough to see all six
previous SEAN CONNERY BOND films on the
big screen in the early '70s before the release of
LIVE & LET DIE, ROGER MOORE's debut
as 007 was the first new Bond film I ever
saw at the time of its release.

And what a cracker it was!

ARION'S UN-AMERICAN CHRONICLES...



Here's the cover of a new web comic that I'm sure many of you
will be interested in, and there's a chance to win a prize if you buy
it.  From what I can see, it looks very professionally produced, and
you can find out more details about it over on ARION's blog.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

AND THAT'S JUST THE 'TIPP' OF IT...



Oh dear, I've had a right old time of it.  Last night I
swallowed a bottle of TIPP-EX by mistake, instead of
my VIAGRA.  When I woke up this morning, I had an
enormous correction.

(Thanks to my old school chum and media maestro
JIM SYMON, who told me that when I ran into him
the other day.  Thanks, Jim.)

THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS THEME...



A programme I loved in the '80s was COSGROVE
HALL's The WIND In The WILLOWS.  Here's
RALPH McTELL singing a full-length version of
the theme song.

BABE OF THE DAY - DALIAH LAVI...



"Okay, sweetheart, you don't need the
gun - of course I'll make love to you!" would
no doubt be my response if ever I met the
delectable DALIAH LAVI.  Wow!

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE TRAILER...



You know, considering the fact that JAMES BOND is
supposed to be a spy, the only 007 movie in the series that
immediately springs to mind as an actual 'spy movie' is From
RUSSIA With LOVE.  That's mainly because S.M.E.R.S.H.
and S.P.E.C.T.R.E. are both major parts of the plot, which in-
volves a battle of wits between British and Soviet spies over a
decoder called a LEKTOR.  Anyway, it's definitely one of
the better Bond films, and the fight between 007 and
'RED' GRANT is an all-time classic.  Enjoy.

THE VIEW THROUGH THE WINDOW...



How many houses have you lived in over the course of
your life?  Do you ever think back to any of the views that once
met your gaze when you looked out of the window?  I'm trying to
recall when the 'view from the window' began to mean anything
to me, and I think it was when we moved from my present
abode, before returning just over four years later.

At one time, the view beyond the window never held any
particular significance to me, 'til one evening in May of 1983,
when I sat and watched the rays of the sun fade over the horizon
from my bedroom, and I realized that I would soon never be able
to enjoy that scene again.  Sure, I'd be bound to see the sunlight
fade if I wanted, but it would never be from that window or of
that specific scene.  As it had been my view for 11 of my 24
years, it somehow made me feel somewhat melancholy.


When we returned to the house, I was glad to resume my
acquaintanceship with the view, which was unchanged ('though
that wasn't to last) and everything seemed right with the world
once more.  In our new house, I'd almost resented the new view,
merely for not being the old one - even 'though that had never
meant anything to me until I realized I was about to lose it. 

I think, when we're young, the view from the window has
no special significance to us;  we look out of our windows to see
what's happening (who's out there, is it raining, is it snowing), but
we pay no particular attention to what the scene is comprised of -
the details, in effect.  Over time however, without us realizing it,
 the view comes to represent a period in our lives of which
we're later reluctant to let go - to abandon to oblivion.


Today, I now even find myself missing the view I once
resented, and pining for the time in my life which it conjures
up in my mind.  Strange or what?  In fact, I find myself missing
every view that I remember (which is all of them) and I wonder
how I'd cope if I were to suddenly find myself  in the unwanted
position of having to relocate yet again.  At my age, I don't
think I'd be able to adapt to new surroundings.

I've previously related on this blog how, when I learned
that the field across the road from one of my old houses was
about to be built on, I arranged with the tenant to photograph
the scene for posterity.  I now have a record of the view outside
every house I've ever lived in, either taken from the window
inside, or the step or path just outside the front door.


It may seem strange to you, but I find it comforting to be
able to revisit my past in this way, and immerse myself in the
familiar surroundings of my earlier years.  How about the rest
of you?  Do you ever think back to the environs beyond your
windows that you once knew, or are you too busy living in the
here and now to ever think about how things used to be?

If you have any particular reminiscences of the places of
your youth, and any you miss in particular, feel free to relate
precisely what they mean (or once meant) to you.  Does your
memory, unbidden, ever return to the scenes of earlier abodes,
and do shades of yesteryear haunt your dreams with images of
happier times, taunting you with what used to be, but can
never be again - except in memory?  Do tell.

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