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Thursday, 30 September 2010

Banderas She Sells

The Banderas were a female British duo consisting of Caroline Buckley as vocalist and violinist/keyboardist Sally Herbert. Most people remember their great track: This is Your Life. I also liked this one above: She Sells. How very right they are.

Hoora for Moyra Melons new ear rings

Moyra Melons was determined that her square shaped red ear rings would not steal the show, so she decided to make a Christmas pudding to take the blokes' thoughts away from her more alluring attributes - a fabulous pair of crimson ear rings.

It just goes to show that when it comes to playing down her exciting ear rings; Moyra can always pull something out of the bag. Something that will distract your attention away from the dazzling ear bling.

It only works for a short time though. After a while, I find my pre-occupation returning to Moyra Melons' enticing lobes. Don't you? 

About William Horwood's Duncton Wood

I remember buying Duncton Wood from a booksellers in Cheapside, London. I worked in the Royal Mail, King Edward building.

I was instantly drawn to this book, because I had read Watership Down and thoroughly enjoyed the fantasy of living in the rabbit kingdom.

Duncton Wood (the first story) stands complete by itself. Further stories followed in the same fantasy world, which I admit; I did not read. The first (Duncton Wood) was a marvelous adventure for anyone who wants to escape into the animal world.

Duncton Wood is a kingdom of moles given human-like qualities of speech and advanced society, similar to the rabbits in Richard Adams' Watership Down. The hero mole is called Bracken and he falls in love with a female mole called Rebbecca who is the daughter of a tyrannical  mole called Mandrake. The story is wonderfully written and the reader is taken on a quest - almost like a biblical animal saga. The mole community is overshadowed by a huge stone circle, like many that are about the British Isles. These monolithic stones dominate and shape the mole's world. During the story all sorts of other interesting characters appear including the old crippled scribe mole from Uffington. His name is Boswell. This tale is good by it's own standing as I have read only this one.

After the success of Duncton Wood, other stories followed: Duncton Quest and Duncton Found made up the trilogy of the Duncton Wood Chronicles.

There followed another trilogy called Duncton Tales, Duncton Rising, and Duncton Stone.

Thunder Child

Have you ever enjoyed H.G. Wells War of the Worlds, an all time classic Science Fiction story written in 1898? It tells of a Martian invasion that begins in Britain in the County of Surrey just South West of London. Close to a town called Woking. In fact, if you ever visit the town there is a statue of a Martian tripod in the shopping center. If you have read this story, you will know of the ironclad H.M.S. Thunder Child that is forced to defend the paddle steamer full of refugees. Do you wonder what it would be like to join the crew a few days before the event? You could follow the brave men on their terrible journey around the coastline and up the River Blackwater to Maldon and the final confrontation with three Martian tripods?

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Giving You Thunder Child fights the Martian Tripods

The Last Days of Thunder Child.
(Science Fiction Fan's Pastiche Story.)

Have you ever enjoyed H.G. Wells War of the Worlds, an all time classic Science Fiction story written in 1898? It tells of a Martian invasion that begins in Britain in the County of Surrey just South West of London. Close to a town called Woking. In fact, if you ever visit the town there is a statue of a Martian tripod in the shopping center. If you have read this story, you will know of the ironclad H.M.S. Thunder Child that is forced to defend the paddle steamer full of refugees. Do you wonder what it would be like to join the crew a few days before the event? You could follow the brave men on their terrible journey around the coastline and up the River Blackwater to Maldon and the final confrontation with three Martian tripods?

From Mars, the meteorites shot through space bound for Earth and conquest over all lifeforms that live there. The Martians were unfeeling towards mankind as humans are to sheep or other lesser creatures.

The meteorites land in fields and woodland. After a time, there emerges the terror of mankind. Colossal tripods, before which, humanity flees as the onslaught of the fighting machines begins. People are destroyed by heat rays and black toxic gas. Those that survive are forced to flee the persuing devestation.

Aboard H.M.S. Thunder Child, the crew are blissfully unaware of the savage terror. Only the new Captain knows and only upon the journey, at sea, do the crew begin to learn the unbelievable news from semephore stations.

Fear grips the population and hordes of refugees make for the coastline to flee the country. Their world is gone and only death and destruction follows. Ships of all nations and sizes must aid the mass evacuation...

Amid all of this, the mighty little ironclad, H.M.S. Thunder Child must play her role to the full and rely on the bravery of a small crew.

Find out what happens and read: The Last Days of Thunder Child By C.A. Powell


Cortina Mk 3 in the 70s car showrooms

Sometimes the 70s is regarded as a bit of a cheesy decade. I had started secondary school in 1972 in Hornchurch, Essex, UK. I would go down to the shops to buy chips, instead of spending my diner money on a school canteen dinner ticket. Still, that is a silly thing aside. There used to be several car showrooms along the main road and I always loved the Cortina MK 3.

From the basic 1300 to the sublime 2000 GXL with its durable 2.0 litre OHC engine. There were of course other variations between these two ranges and most would admit; give the 1300 a miss. On the basic level, it was as basic as could be expected.

Generally the car was easy to handle though it had considerable body roll and soft suspension. As kids we always liked to look through the car windows of the GXL models because the interior always looked like tomorrow’s world. This was the future and I loved the shape; the small boot with sloped rear window and the longer front. At the time they looked so modern. I would dearly love to own one – a GXL of course, with the wonderful interior. Who knows – maybe one day?

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Moyra Melons wondered if her ear rings were too showy.

Moyra Melons new ear rings were single pearls on a small gold leafed mounts. They were subtle but very heavy and she wondered if they were a bit too showy. 'Here look for yourself,' she said bending over so the guys could get a closer look.

I answered honestly and said, "They were very showy, but that's the way a ladies ear rings are supposed to be." Am I not right?

The rest of the blokes could not make their mind's up. They kept asking Moyra to lean forward so they could get a much better look at her marvelous ear rings. I can't, for the life of me, understand why they had to keep asking her to bend forward for another look. The blingful ear regalia was all too obvious without making Moyra go through that same old paraphernalia.

Is it just me, or can't other blokes notice a nice set of ear rings when they are twinkling in front of them? I don't know what else distracts them from such fine ear jewelry, do you?   

H.M.S. Thunder Child at

Pastiche novel.

Queen - Seven Seas Of Rhye (Top Of The Pops) 21. February 1974

This clip and song is the first time I ever remember seeing the band Queen. I had no inkling of how big they would become. I thought they were a bit too glam in their dress when I first see them in this and I thought glam rock was going out. This band certainly was not glam-rock. One only had to listen to the music to realise that. I was looking at they way they were dressed and thought it was a bit yesterday by 1974, plus I was only 13. What did I know? The music however, was definitely tomorrow and I grew to love this band. Now when I hear this particular track; I think it is great. A taste of what was to come from a dynamic band.

Chi Mai with Katica Illenyi playing violin.

Katica Illenyi was born in Hungary 1968. She is a world renowned violinist and singer and started to play at the age of 3. In this clip she plays Chi Mai by Ennio Morricone. It is sublime - please listen.

To play so exquisitely takes great dedication and though I'm no musician, I can appreciate the beauty of this lady about her wonderful craft. It must take hours and hours of practise day in and day out. Katica Illenyi as been doing this from infancy.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Moyra Melons needed reassurance concerning her new ear rings.

Moyra Melons came into the office and candidly asked if her latest ear rings were a bit over the top and stood out too much to the detriment of other things about herself.

The admiring blokes were eager to say, "No Moyra, your ear rings are fabulous and they don't play anything down." I think they genuinely believed this.

To be honest I would have said her ear rings were the most prominent feature about her and do play things down. However, that's the way it should be. I'm sure that is how any red blooded male feels. All that matters is the splendid ear bling and with such finery hanging so tantalisingly, such a lady as Moyra Melons can't go wrong. Would you not agree?

Monty Python - Alien ray that turns victim in to Scotsman

In this Monty Python sketch an alien space craft hovers over the city and zaps humans with a ray that turns the victim into a Scotsman. All part of the abstract humour of Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Gregorian Master of Chant - A moment of peace

This is a very well done Gregorian chant and a lady with a sublime voice leading. It is called A Moment of Peace and it is very moving. Hope you enjoy...

The Wicker Man 1973 (Britain's Best Horror flick)

It is called Britain’s best horror movie and I would have to agree. It is not full of gore and most of the film could be termed suspense or thriller, but it is a horror and for probably one reason. That reason however, is terrific. It is one hell of a slap in the face and even though I now know the ending it still does not stop me from enjoying this cult classic film.

I remember the first time I caught it on TV. It was by accident and I did not fancy it when the announcer said, “…and now for our late night film…”

The introduction was a plane flying across the Scottish Isles with this stirring folk music. My imagination was captured immediately. When the boat plane lands in the bay of a remote Scottish Isle, the isolated island folk are very strange towards the mainland policeman who emerges. The Highland constabulary has sent the man to the remote Isle on official police business. He is looking for a young girl who has gone missing.

Everything starts from here and if you have not seen this 1973 movie starring Christopher Lee as the aristocratic lord of Summerisle, Britt Ekland as the pub landlords voluptuous daughter and the hero of our adventure Edward Woodward as the moralistic policeman who will find the missing young girl – one way or another. Also Ingrid Pitt as the librarian and Diane Clento as the school mistress.

It was released as a B movie to 'Don't Look Now' but it gained cult status and began to rise in ratings as the years went on.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Moyra Melons tells office workers to look at her ear rings.

In this photo Moyra Melons is getting ready to go to work, sporting a new set of ear rings for the rest of the office workers to look at. She knows working in an office doing boring admin work can get laborious, to say the least. The men find it exceptionally so, and Moyra makes up for this with some rather pendulant ear bling that hovers sublimely for all to look at. She is a lady who knows how to blow the cob webs away. All the men say it brightens up their day because there is not much else to look at apart from Moyra Melons exciting ear rings. This lady knows how to display her ear jewellery in the humblest of ways. Its a subtle approach and Moyra has a language of her own, which says, "Come on boys, cheer up and look at these." And, of course, they do. Wouldn't you? 

The death of Captain Scarlet

I'm on a little Kiddie nostalgia trip at the moment and it is all because of my youngest son Ryan showing me that old TV advert about breakfast serials. This is a clip when Captain Scarlet (Overtaken by baddie Mysterons) is shot and killed by Captain Blue. He falls to his death but his body reconstructs and though the baddie Captain Scarlet (under Mysteron control) is gone, the good Captain Scarlet returns with indestructible powers. Something accidentally left by the nasty Mysteron aliens. This makes Captain Scarlet higher then a coffin nail and he goes on to have loads of adventures saving Earth from the nasty Mysterons with Captain Blue. Every week Captain Black tries to bring about a new catastrophe for Earth. He is overtaken by the Mysterons too and remains at large.


Tv Theme Captain Scarlet End Credits

The end credits to Captain Scarlet - the indestructible man because his body could re-construct due to the baddie Mysterons making him so.

CAPTAIN SCARLET free badge advert for SUGAR SMACKS

When I was a small boy, there was a lot of wonderful British and American cheesy TV. programmes that really captured the imagination. There were all sorts of fictional heroes and as an infant I had very naïve optimism about the world I lived in. Good was good and bad was bad. It was a world of black and white with no grey areas. Of course this is not the way of the world, it never has been and it never will be. 

The other day my youngest son, Ryan, brought something to my attention when he was on net and it let in, one of those moments. I had to put it here on my Retro Brit scrap book.

Sometimes it is nice to go back and live within that bubble – that fake old world – now packaged in memories of kiddie nostalgia. I clearly recollect one of these three adverts in the above short clip. The one with the free badge from the Captain Scarlet TV show. As soon as I saw the advert as a boy; I was on at my mother to buy that particular serial. This breakfast serial advert was cleverly done in collaboration with one of the old British science fiction puppet shows. They were from the Gerry and Silvia Anderson stories that all children loved in Britain’s sixties decade. It must have worked wholesale, for the breakfast company, because I remember my mother bought two boxes of serial, one for me and one for my sister. This was because we both wanted badges. I got Lieutenant Green and my sister got Captain Scarlet – the prize of all the badges. I was so upset – I was a boy and she was a girl. Girls did not even like Captain Scarlet – it was a show for boys. The entire sulky little boy things within me, bubbled to the surface. For a short time my sister was adamant that she did like Captain Scarlet and wanted to wear the badge, but eventually she gave in and let me have it – the ultimate of all the breakfast serial badges – Captain Scarlet himself.

I went to school wearing my Captain Scarlet badge and other boys had their badges – their parents also buying the breakfast serial. I was the only one who had the Captain Scarlet. This made me the centre of attention and I was about six or seven years of age. It went to my head and I struggled with the temporary celebrity of it all. The school boy champions wanted to swap their badges with me. I remember one having Colonel White and the spectrum emblem badge. These were the best footballers and best fighters in the school and I had hit the big time. All because of my Captain Scarlet badge.

Even in the school boy world of commerce, there are decadent moguls and one such tubby little boy came in with an outrages offer that swamped everything else other school friends could swap. The heavy currency this particular little boy offered was a toy Aston Martin, James Bond car. This was with the obligatory ‘I’ll be your best mate’ thrown in to the bargain as well. I relented and exchanged the badge and acquired this toy with a little man that flew out of the roof when you pressed a clip on the side. My celebrity had been sold short, but I had aquired a James Bond car - another British hero from a world of good and bad - black and white with no grey areas.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Being wooed by Moyra Melons' terrific ear rings.

Some Ladies want to copy Moyra Melons, but they don't have an inkling. There is no attempt at getting better ear rings and because of this; they have lost - straight away. They should abandon their crass and futile attempts at trying to be like Moyra Melons because they will not be able to pull it off.

This is my advice to any ladies out there. Instead of being jealous of Moyra; go out and buy a nice set of ear rings. From this base point you will be able to walk about catching bloke's admiring looks, thus developing a unique look of your own. There is only one Moyra Melons but there is only one you. Keep that in mind.

Nothing is more embarrassing then seeing a couple of nice young ladies trying to pull off this dreadful look alike without the appropriate ear wear. It stands out a mile. It just will not do, and all us guys know what you are trying to do. When we are in pubs, having a geezer chat with one another we say things like, "How vulgar and shallow." and "Where were the ear rings?"

These little touches make all the difference to vulnerable and sensitive blokes like us. We don't like to feel threatened by intrusive ladies with nothing subtle on offer. We want to be wooed by lovely ear rings. Moyra Melons knows her admiriers are as wooed as she wants. That's what makes her such a peach - great ear rings, would you not agree?




Sir Thomas John Woodward was born 1940 in Trefforest, Pontypridd near Cardiff in Wales. He is noted for his powerful voice and charismatic stage presence. He came to fame in the 1960s and has sung most forms of popular music. He is internationally known as Tom Jones. The above clip is Delilah - one of his many famous trade mark songs. He has sold over 100 million records.


Lillian Board and France's Colette Besson

Lillian Board was born in Durban South Africa on December 13th 1948. Her parents returned to their native Britain in 1950 before Lilian was two.

I was a seven year old schoolboy when I first heard the name Lillian Board. We all knew that this nineteen year old athlete was Great Britain’s new golden girl of the track and the Mexico 1968 Olympics was the first games I remember because my junior school teacher, mister Larter, had made a chart that he stuck on the classroom wall. It contained a column of circles: Yellow for gold, Grey for silver and red for bronze. Each morning he would revise the chart and stick Great Britain’s new medals on the chart. We all expected gold for Lillian but got a grey for silver because a French lady called Colette Besson pipped Lilian right on the finishing line. Still Lillian was only nineteen and not yet at her peak. Our golden girl would be better in Munich 1972 - roll on Munich.

In the mean time Lillian Board and Colette Besson would have some fine duels on the track. In the following year Lillian won the European 800 m title and the 4x 400m rely title pipping Colette Besson during the final stages – a roll reversal of the Olympics. Again, Brits were excited and saying roll on Munich.

Before the 1970 Commonwealth Games began in Edinburgh, Lillian Board had to pull out of the games because of pains. Tests revealed a terrible illness. Lillian Board had colorectal cancer and it would tragically claim her life before the year was out on December 26 a few days after her twenty second birthday. The UK was stunned by the death of their golden girl.

She was awarded an MBE in the 1970 New Year honours list and is commemorated in Munich, where she died. An avenue bearing her name leads to the Olympic stadium.

(France’s great athlete, Colette Besson, pays tribute to Lillian in the above clip. She speaks kindly in her native French and both ladies duelled well in these bygone days. Sadley Colette, also passed away of cancer in 2005. Both are sadly missed from that era.)

The Story of H.M.S. Thunder Child at

Join the crew of H.M.S. Thunder Child in this pasiche Science Fiction story. Follow during the days that lead up to the Battle of the Blackwater when the brave ironclad must confront three Martian tripod invaders. Queen Victoria's United Kingdom lies in chaos but H.M.S. Thunder Child while race forward to be counted.  

Friday, 24 September 2010

Moyra Melons superfluous things take the gaze from her ear rings.

Every time a bloke looks at Moyra Melons he realizes that there is something unassuming about the lady. Nothing stands out, at first, yet you ponder and realise there is something about her. Something that does not always catch the eye immediately. Yes you've got it - the lovely white ear rings. For those fellow academics who have read Retro Brit before, they would notice straight away. 

Moyra Melons has got superfluous things about her person to tone down the sparkling ear bedazzlement and she, once again, puts these meagre yet subtle attributes to cunning use.

Notice the way these tiny white pearl clusters are de-emphasized again by modest glasses and a thin necklace. It takes your mind away from how alluring her ear rings really are. This in turn stops the admiring fellow from getting too over excited, which goes to show how very tactful Moyra Melons really is. I can't think of any other way to take a blokes gaze away from such lovely ear rings, can you?


Russ Conway Sidesaddle - Sunday afternoon favorite.

I always remember Russ Conway on my Dad's LPs when I was a kid. He was one of many musical artist my Dad would listen to on a Sunday afternoon. This particular piece was always a favorite and brings back memories from the sixties and seventies when the records came out before Sunday Lunch.

The Legendary Guy Gibson

Guy Gibson was born in Simla India in the year 1918 during the time of the British Raj. At the age of six he moved to Cornwall, England, United Kingdom and went to boarding school in Kent.

In 1936 he joined the RAF and by the outbreak of the war was a bomber pilot. In 1940 he won the DFC and became a night fighter in Bristol Beaufighters acquiring four kills over a high number of missions. As time went on, he shot down other German bombers too. By 1942 he had won the DSO.

Many of his subordinates remembered him as being brash, tough and aloof because he was a strong disciplinarian and considered by some, arrogant. However, this might be a harsh over all judgement as these ways could be considered good qualities for the type of dangerous and stressful work these men had to carry out and Guy Gibson was very dependable in command because of this.

In 1943 he was selected to command 617 Squadron. His new mission was to destroy the Ruhr Dams with bouncing bombs. These new bombs were the invention of Barnes Wallis. This attack was exceptionally daring and required precision Speed, height and accuracy under intense enemy fire. Of 19 Lancaster to fly on the mission, only 11 of the bombers survived. The rest were lost on the raid and 53 crewmen were killed.

Two of the three dams were breached and devastation from the flooding was extensive. However, the enemy were able to rebuild quicker then expected. After this raid, Guy Gibson was awarded the Victoria Cross.

He was later killed in the year of 1944 when his mosquito crashed in Holland. His navigator Sqn Ldr Jim Warwick was killed too. Guy Gibson was just 26 years old.

David Bowie - Song and Interview from Ziggy Stardust days.

David Bowie doing a song and interview from 1973 during his Ziggy Stardust days. He is a versatile entertainer with a strange and compelling way. He had been going for just a few years by this stage and this clip is from a relatively early part of his long career. His persona has changed a few times, but he still remains a very charismatic person.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Who was United Kingdom's famous executioner? (Albert Pierrepoint.)

Albert Pierrepoint lived from 1905 to 1992. He achieved an unwanted celebrity as one of Britain’s top executioners through the 1940s and into the 1950s. When executioners were vetted in Britain, they were required to be firm, polite and above all, very discreet about their work. Being an executioner in the British prison service was a well paid part time job and those men that did this ominous task had other day jobs that they could acquire release from when necessary.

Albert Pierrepoint was the third member of his family to do this dubious task. His father and his Uncle Tom also executed criminals for the prison service. By 1932, when Albert was invited to an interview, his father had been dead for some years and his mother was unhappy that he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps. Though he got support from his Uncle Tom.

He passed the vetting board and was put on the list. Surprisingly, his first job as an executioner’s assistant was with his Uncle Tom and it was not in Britain, but in Ireland. He went as assistant with his uncle to Mountjoy prison in Dublin and assisted in the hanging of an Irish Free State criminal Patrick Dermott.

He assisted many hangings through out the 1930s and then began to be the actual hangman in 1940. He took part in the execution of over 600 criminals, but what really blew his cover as a hangman was when the war ended and many of Nazi Germany’s war criminals were publicly brought to account.

Field Marshal Montgomery met Albert Pierrepoint in London in 1945 and instructed him to be ready to go to Germany, where he would be participating in the execution of Nazi war criminals. When Pierrepoint arrived in Germany he was shocked by how many war criminals he had to execute each day. He got on with the dreadful assignment and executed more then 200 including the famous SS female concentration camp officer Imra Grese.

When he arrived back home, his discretion was blown and many who knew him were shocked to discover he was one of the nation’s hangman. He continued in his work and hung the innocent Evans of the famous Christie murders and also hung the last female to get the death sentence in Britain – Ruth Ellis.

In 1956, he retired from the prison service and moved to the sea with his wife. He believed hanging only satisfied revenge and did no good, which is strange coming from one of Britain’s executioners. He did a few t.v. interviews in the 1960s 70s and 80s, plus a book. He died in 1992 age 87. He is sometimes referred to as the last hangman, but this is not so because hangman still functioned in Britain up until 1964.

Moyra Melons watching televison in great ear rings.

Even when Moyra Melons is at home, watching Eastenders, she makes the effort. Maybe no one is around, but to Moyra Melons, it is no excuse; a lady can still wear a smashing set of ear rings. 

All else might be low key or uninteresting when reclining in front of the tv, but the ear rings are still there saying, "Come on now, don't ignore these."

Try as you might lads, you can't can you? It's no use - Moyra will not go un-noticed. This lady loves to display her ear bling in all sorts of mellow ways. I would be delighted to let her sit on my sofa and watch Eastenders. I'd make her a few cups of tea while she was watching the show because I'm not an Eastenders fan really. I'd do the tea thing so I could pop back in to look at the ear rings now and then. I would have to be subtle about it though, because I would not want her to think I was weird.


Why Napoleon's Marshal Ney of France was the Bravest of the Brave.

Bravest of the Brave - Marshal Ney of France
I am a Brit and my country fought a long and hard war against Napoleon’s France – like many nations throughout Europe, but this man, despite being a foe, was very brave and honourable. As school boys we all knew of Napoleon’s Marshals and though they were our nation’s enemies, we were taught to have respect for these soldiers of a bygone age.

I think Michel Ney was one of France’s best known Marshals of the Napoleonic times. He was to become much loved by his French soldiers and revered and respected by his enemies too. He was born in a place called Saarlous, which was in France in 1769. Today the town is in Germany.

He joined the army in the 1790s and rose rapidly through the ranks and was caught up in the times of the turbulent French revolutionary wars. In 1797, after taking part in other battle actions, he led a charge against Austrian Lancers at the battle of Neuwied. During this action he was captured but exchanged for an Austrian General.

In 1804 he was made a Marshal in Napoleon’s new imperial Army and from this moment his fighting career really took off. He was at the Battle of Jena in 1806, took part in the siege of Magdeburg in 1807 and brought reinforcements in time to save Napoleon from defeat at Eulou. His battle honours were becoming very impressive.

In 1808 he went to Spain and in the first year won some minor actions. Then in 1809 he routed a combined British and Portuguese force at Barlos. In 1810 he took part in the invasion of Portugal and took Ciudad Rodrigo from the Spanish and Almeida from the British and Portuguese. Despite these winning actions the over all campaign failed and during the retreat from Torres Vedras he held the rear guard and fought a number of retreating actions against Britain’s Duke of Wellington. He was removed from the final campaign for insubordination.

Then came 1812 and Napoleon’s grand invasion of Russia. Five hundred thousand troops of many nations led by France. Marshal Ney was given a command and accompanied the Empower Napoleon on this huge invasion. It went terribly wrong for the French and although they took Moscow; there was no surrender from the Russians who retreated further into the depths of their vast country. Winter came and France was forced to retreat. Marshal Ney held the rear guard all the way back during the horrendous winter conditions. This monumental retreat has become legendary and Marshal Ney was nicknamed ‘Bravest of the Brave’ by his fellow countrymen. He was known as the last Frenchman to leave Russia and his iron bravery had echoed across Europe among ally and foe.

From 1813 to 1814 the enemies of Napoleonic France began to close in on the nation – pushing its imperial borders back to the confines of France itself. From the East, Marshal Ney was caught up in actions against many nations – among them; Russia, Prussia, Austria and Sweden. From the South, came the British who had crossed the Pyrenees mountain range and entered France. The situation became hopeless and France faced ruin.

There was a revolt among the chief of Marshals and Ney was chosen as the spokesman to demand Napoleon’s abdication. At first the Empower tried to refuse and there was an argument, but eventually Napoleon was made to see how hopeless the situation was. He went into exile and the Bourbons reclaimed the throne of France.

In 1815 Napoleon returned from exile and Ney was sent to stop Napoleon causing a new war. Marshal Ney made a promise to bring the old imperial emperor back in a cage. It was a futile pledge because when he stood before the man, he could not do such a thing. Instead he joined forces and so began the Hundred Days War. There were other small battles that culminated in a grand final one in Belgium – at a place called Waterloo. This epic battle was very closely fought but Britain’s Wellington, with the aid of Prussia and other nations managed to defeat Napoleon. Again, the old Emperor was sent into exile and Marshal Ney was arrested for treason.

On December 6th 1815 he was led out before a firing squad. He made a short speech and refused a blindfold. He was allowed to give the command to fire upon his self and did so. Thus ended the life of Marshal Ney – Bravest of the Brave. He is buried at the Pere Lachaise Cemetery and his execution caused deep resentment and public division in France.

Lipstick in the Haystack (A short story)

“Those blooming townies have been out this way again Boy. Almost caught two of the blighters last night. I comes to the stable, because the horse was restless, and what do you think I sees? I’ll tell yer – one of those townie boys and his Jezebel, midway into their sneaky routine,” he cursed in the most vulgar of fashions to Tom, the young farm hand.

The old man’s face flushed an angry crimson behind a huge bulbous, pock-marked nose, which Tom knew, was due to years of dedicated cider drinking.

The young farm hand remained silent as the morning breeze ruffled his long ginger hair. He peered down at his employer with relaxed brown eyes – remaining silent as the old man vented his frustration – ignoring his dislike for the grumpy farmer’s brash and ignorant manner, well aware that Mr Jenkins had been suspicious of his stable being used for an illicit rendezvous, by a courting couple.

“Took to their heels when I walked into the stable - shot out of the other door and took off into the night, didn’t even glimpse what the perishers looked like!” The old man pushed open the stable door and Tom followed him inside.

The horse had been released into the field earlier in the morning, leaving the stable with an eerie and empty feeling as shafts of light tore through the gaps between the wooden planks, causing dust particles to swim within the rays. This did nothing to appease the gloomy silence.

“We’ll have a little search around, Tom. See if we can find anything, you never know, I might be able to find out who the blasted pair are and tell them to take their cavorting elsewhere.” He put his hands on his hips and looked into the corner where a pile of hay lay propped against the wood panels. “That’s where they must’ve been. We’ll have a little look there first,” he glanced at Tom with a devious smirk and then sauntered forward.

The old man went to work enthusiastically, rummaging through the hay while Tom showed a distinct lack of zeal for the task, causally turning over some hay with a disinterested aspect. His eyes settled on a tube of lipstick, which he recognised as Sarah’s – old man Jenkins’ young daughter. He had been with the young woman when she had bought the cosmetic a few weeks ago. It had been during the afternoon and he had run her into town to buy a few things. The sight of the lipstick surprised him, and he felt a strong kick of disappointment in the pit of his stomach. Secretly he adored Sarah and thought her to be without a boyfriend. For some time, he had harboured a desire to court the fine looking woman, but now his ambitions were dashed.

Quickly, before the old man spotted him, Tom grabbed the lipstick and put it into his pocket, knowing that Sarah would be in dreadful trouble if her blustery Father was to fathom out it was her cavorting about in the stable with her lover.

“I should have hid and waited for the good-for-nothings, when I first suspected – I knew it was up to me to do this. It’s not the first time they’ve used my stable for their mischief. Now I’ll probably never know who they are,” concluded the old man.

“Well, Mr Jenkins, if it frightens them off for good – then you’ve achieved what you wanted. They certainly won’t use your stable anymore. Not if they have any sense,” added Tom.

“Oh yeah, I knows that boy, but....” He stopped and looked around as though certain that someone was eaves dropping, then leaned forward and continued in a mischievous whisper. “I would have liked to have known who it was – I could have a little chin wag about it down at the pub with the rest of the lads.” He winked at Tom and stood up straight.

“I bet you wouldn’t,” thought Tom.

The old man looked down at the pile of hay and sighed to himself. “I’m clutching at straws aren’t I lad?”

“Yes Mister Jenkins – quite literally,” Tom smiled

“All right then lad, lets go back to the house and have a cup of tea before getting down to work, shall we?” He turned and left the stable with his recent ardour completely evaporated.

Tom was relieved but also repulsed by the old man’s hypocritical manner. It was a corrupt trait of Mr Jenkins to act disgusted for one moment, and then enjoy the funny side of things when in the Public house with his drinking friends. The old man would not be so willing to laugh if he knew that his daughter’s lipstick had been found in the stable.

They remained silent as they walked across the farmyard returning to the farmhouse via the kitchen door, entering to a welcome smell of sizzling bacon and the sight of a boiling kettle.

Sarah Jenkins was busy laying the table for her father, looking splendid and radiant with her long fair hair hanging loosely past her shoulders. Her high cheek boned face framed Tom’s admiring vision as she looked back at him and smiled.

“You’ve got a good sense of timing,” she smiled, walking back to the cooker to attend the breakfast.

Tom felt a pang of disappointment in his heart. If only he had asked her for a date some time ago. She might never have met her illicit lover.

“I knew it was up to me,” thought Tom, wishing he could be a little bolder about things.

“Well if that sizzling aroma knocks a man out, Tom!” laughed the old man, smelling the bacon. He was in a fine new mood. He strolled past his daughter and wandered into the hallway, leaving Tom standing alone with Sarah. Although he was rather disgruntled, he accepted it was not his place to expect Sarah to know of his feelings. She would never be aware, and it is no use him being grumpy about such things. He sighed and held up the lipstick he had recovered from the hay pile, knowing that they were out of sight from the old man, and raised one eye brow to deliver a light-hearted ‘caught you out’ look.

Sarah frowned and held out her delicate hand. “Where did you find that?” Her voice was puzzled.

Tom whispered sadly. “In the stable Sarah.”

Her innocent eyes widened in surprise. “I brought that the other day when you run me into town. It was a birthday present for Mummy. She only wears it for best. God knows how it ended up in the stable,” she laughed.


Comical Ali - Mohammed Saïd al-Sahaf

Many wars had their propaganda ministers; Lord Haw Haw, Tokyo Rose, Soul City Sue and Hanoi Hannah. Iraq had the famous Comical Ali who accidentally gained a celebrity for laughable reports of Iraq's exaggerated victories over American led coalition forces.

On June 25, 2003, it was reported that al-Sahhaf had been captured by coalition troops at a roadblock in Baghdad. The next day al-Sahhaf appeared in an interview for a news channel outside Iraq. Al-Sahhaf said that he had surrendered to US forces, had been interrogated by them and released.

He was paid $200,000 for the television interview, during which he appeared very withdrawn. This was in contrast to the persona of ill deserved confidence he projected as the war was being fought. During the interview many of his answers consisted of a simple "yes" or "no". He refused to speculate on the causes of the downfall of the Iraqi government and answered only "history will tell"

Although questioned by American authorities, al-Sahhaf was released, and there has been no suggestion of charging or detaining him for his role in the Saddam Hussein government. He is now living in the United Arab Emirates with his family.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Moyra Melons has fabulous ear rings, and knows it.

You can say what you like about the unpretentious Moyra Melons, but when it comes to ear rings; the lady certainly knows her onions. There is no other thing about the lady that eclipses her taste in fine ear jewelry.

A bloke can't help but stare at this woman when she sports such fine things. They are the pinnacle of what makes her a very alluring lady. Other women try to emulate her, but they can't wear a pair of ear rings they way Moyra Melons can. Couldn't you just die for a lady with lobes that dazzle with such finery.

Observe her in this picture with a look of complete contentment. "I've got great ear rings," she might be thinking, and if so; the lady certainly knows it.

Assassination of British Prime Minister

Spencer Perceval was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1809 to 1812 and is the only British Prime Minister to be assassinated while in office. He was the second son of an Irish Earl.

Considering, the times this Prime Minister lived in and what historical events unfolded; it is strange that most British people know little of him or that there has been a Prime Minister assassinated in office.

During his time he had to face an enquiry into the Walcheren expedition where 40,000 British soldiers were sent to the Netherlands to fight Napoleon’s forces and help the Austrian Empire. It went disastrously wrong and the army had to retire with thousands of troops dead from fever.

He also went through the time of the famous Madness of King George III, confronted the Luddite rioters and pursued the Peninsular War.

In his early career, he was a strong supporter of William Pitt and he got himself noticed by the man. He entered politics in 1796 and rapidly rose to prominence. In 1803 he entered government and in 1809 became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

On the evening of 11th May 1812 he was about to attended orders of the council at 5.15 and as he entered the lobby of the House of Commons, a man named John Bellingham stepped forward and shot him in the chest at point blank range. It was in the parliamentary lobby when the assassin stepped before the prime minister and fired the shot through Spencer Percival's heart.

The assassin (John Bellingham) had tried to protest and receive compensation from the British government. He believed he was wrongly imprisoned in Russia. Because his claims were dismissed, he became resentful and bitter to such an extent that he exacted revenge upon the British prime minister by shooting him. He was hanged seven days later for the crime.

Secret Millionaire and Eye-Candy for the Ladies (This Bloke is Loaded)

Ladies ignore this new (Devil may care) look at your peril. It is all the rage for many of today's self believing entrepreneurs who fancy getting themselves on tv. This new range of clothing is there to deceive, and for the self deluding lady with a conviction of her vanity, this guy is a must. 

This exciting Bert Buggerov range of clothing comes with a can of Tennants super extra, lending the (would be) smoothy a more played down image to his real suave demeanour. This repels all of those gold diggers out there, who are just looking for a meal ticket.

This bloke is saying you won't get it from him. (He is saving himself for someone special) This entrepreneurial, played down, style is all the rage among the secret millionaires. So if any of you ladies decide to bestow your feminine favours on him; you might find yourself in a boardroom a few days later with him walking in. He will be in an imaculate suit, pristine hair style and he will be smiling and saying something cheesy like, "You really do care," and there will be t.v. camera's around, filming you on one of those car crash tv shows. It will be your big moment on national t.v. You end up balling your eyes out with greedy gratitude and a windfall bunce of readies to live happily ever after with. So next time you see one of these guys in Westcliff-on-Sea; bestow some of your womanly virtues upon him. You never know where you might end up.

disclaimer note:  Retro Brit takes no responsibility for mistaken identity.