Tuesday, 30 June 2015
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 (above) 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?
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!
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?
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!
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
|Images copyright their respective owners|
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.
Sunday, 28 June 2015
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 a 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 a present too." I was big on equality, you see. Equality as I perceived 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 legalizing 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 elsewhere, 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 conceived 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 intrinsically 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 requirement 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 accommodate 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
|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.
Friday, 26 June 2015
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!
Posted by Kid at Friday, June 26, 2015
Thursday, 25 June 2015
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
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.
Tuesday, 23 June 2015
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.
I 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, though 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 (before emigrating), we'd do a drawing together - him on one half of the paper, me on the other. Then we'd separate it, 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. 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 them together again, as was meant to be our custom. Perhaps I'm confusing 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 someone to dig through his back issues and find the comic whose cover panel had been copied 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 subject 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 buy 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 remembered 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: He's still with us - got a Christmas card from him and his missus.
Monday, 22 June 2015
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!
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
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
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.)
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.
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 something 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.