Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Interim News

Computer is still at the worksho~; a few blogs are in m/s and Book III has been released early.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Windows Crash

My computer´s Windows Vista system has crashed; hence the silence. As the computer and the Windows system are both British it is proving the devil´s own job to get this sorted out in Brasil. Any suggestions are most welcome...

Monday, 7 November 2011

The Agony; The Ecstacy. Another Eden. Le Coin Perdu

Ocean-front plots are always smaller than those anywhere else. Accordingly, this plot has a very small garden and courtyard. We have always wanted to have a large garden; both productive and ornamental. Now we have found a perfect spot, on a cliff, sixty feet above the main lagoon, with a 180' vista of the lagoon, the strand, and the ocean as well as various landmarks. There are no street lights over there or near neighbours so the absence of 'light pollution' will mean that there will be spectacular night skies. Seven acres is enough to do what we want and the grounds (which have been neglected) are stocked with everything from clove and cinnamon trees to jack fuit; bananas; coconuts; citrus fruits. Dendrobium orchids and other symbiotic plants, including air plants, hang from the trees around the house; there is an enormous loggia smothered in bouganvillea, and there is a cliff path down to the property's own 120 metre lagoon beach.

The trouble is (imagine the dilemma), that we love the current house and the constant sound of the ocean but the other is probably too good an opportunity to miss...Watch this space and, meanwhile, here is a piccie of the lagoon beach; more to follow, assuming that L'Opération: Le Coin Perdu proceeds.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Hot-Bedding Kristin Scott-Thomas

I realized the other day that I might well have hot-bedded Kristin Scott-Thomas but I don't remember anything about it. Well you don't remember much from the first five days of life. OK, OK - we were born in the same hospital within a few days of each other. Back then there was only one maternity hospital in Cornwall.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Packing a Cinematic Punch

Maybe it's jsut because my mother took us to see it for the first time on the big screen when we were really very small, maybe it's because it is, on any view performed, directed and filmed with the sum of perfect accomplishment and, no matter how many times I see it, I don't think that any other scene, in any other film, packs the same punch as this:


Friday, 4 November 2011

Impedimenta: Free The Spirit

If you are going to live abroad, I strongly recommend that you consider the things to take and the things to off-load. We have still got a mountain of stuff stored in England and really wish that we had got rid of most of it. If you make the leap, you will soon realize that most possessions are just an encumbrance on - essentially freedom of movement: true impedimenta! Moving it all around (and paying for it), insuring it, housing it, securing it, worrying about it. Better by far to get rid of it!

Moreover, lingering memories of lugging and hauling and humping ruddy-great, mammoth-like suitcases (stuffed and straining to breaking point with useless rubbish), from the nervy scrummage surrounding airport carousels and pushing them around on groaning trolleys, with defective wheels, mean that I would never, ever, ever (I don't care what she says), ever again travel on an airplane with more than: a down pillow, a good book, a notepad and pencils, a box of sweets, a snuff box, a few large handkerchiefs, a hipflask, eau de cologne (each when permissible), a toothbrush, a razor, a comb and the smallest possible cabin bag to put it all in. There is some great merit, on short trips, in cutting it all down to: toothbrush, razor and comb.

Then you just pause as you stroll towards the exit, and watch the senseless, dyspeptic, frowning lemmings scuttling off down the rat-run towards the carousel. You smile a  little smile - and get the hell outa there.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

The Lovely Evelyn Laye, CBE

Photograph by Bassano Studio, 1917.
Having mentioned Evelyn Laye (1900-1996), here she is singing 'I'll See You Again' from Noel Coward's 'Bitter Sweet':


More about her later but, for now: Prince Albert (later George VI) first saw her on stage when she was nineteen and was so overwhelmed that he sent out for flowers in the London night and presented them to her backstage, stammering that he'd like to invite her out but that their families would not have allowed it. However, they remained friends for the rest of his life and it was Evelyn Laye who was responsible for the introduction of Lionel Loag (the speech therapist) and she also gave the King breathing and singing exercises. The Queen Mother seems to have known of his remote infatuation and humorously tolerated it, referring to her as 'your girlfriend'. When Evely Laye was nearing the end of her long life, the Queen Mother suggested to the then Prime Minister, John 'Dimbo' Major, that she be made a Dame of the British Empire but, useless lump that he was, he did nothing about it: he was probably caught up with banging the fragrant Edwina Curry.

Book III

Remember remember the 30th of November:


Jessie Matthews

Jessie Matthews, OBE (1907-1981) has a City of Westminster Council green commemorative plaque on the Blue Posts pub in Berwick Street, Soho, London, W1, where she was born into poverty. It describes her as 'Musical Comedy Star of Stage and Screen' . I like that. It states the truth.Indeed in the 1930s she was undoubtedly Britains most popular and biggest star. Having begun by understudying Gertrude Lawrence in Charlot's Revues in the USA, she got her chance when Gertrude fell ill and the public loved her. She introduced to the world such famous numbers as Noel Coward's 'A Room With A View' and Cole Porter's 'Let's Do It'. From the show 'Evergreen' she got her signature tune 'Over My Shoulder'.

Post WWII, she was less popular but she became Mrs Dale in 'Mrs Dale's Diary' a BBC radio 'soap' opera, in which she enjoyed considerable success. However, it is sad to think that our grandparents thought of her as the biggest musical comedy star and my generation remembers her for playing the part of a middle-aged matron. She continued to undertake stage work.

Her second marriage to Sonnie Hale caused a dent in her popularity for a while as she took him away from the popular Evelyn Laye.

Anyway, here she is:



And - eat your heart out, Ginger Rogers! In the USA Jessie was called 'The Dancing Divinity' and she was judged by many good judges to have been a better dancer than Ginger.


See those kicks:-


And, finally, what became her signature tune, from Evergreen (1934):