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Sunday, 28 November 2010

Giving You: The Christmas Kids (A Short Story)

Little Mandy was woken in the early hours of the morning by the torch – her squinting face bathed in the bright beam. Her younger three and a half year old sister, Lucy, stood behind the light and whispered.



“It Christmas.”



“Not yet Lucy, we must wait for the morning light or Father Christmas won’t come.” Even though she could not put her finger on it; at five years of age, Mandy felt uncomfortable with her younger sister’s more leading nature. Lucy always seemed to be one step ahead on matters. Well maybe not on this occasion. “If we get up before he comes down the chimney; he won’t leave presents. We must be asleep or it doesn’t work.”



“Father Christmas been and gone.” Her tone was matter of fact as though they need not concern themselves with such things.



“How do you know that?”



“We left drink! It gone.”



The torch beam left Mandy’s face and swung across the room to the set of draws where the empty brandy glass was.



“Daddy said leave special Father Christmas lemonade before going back up chimney. Look! He drunked it.”



Mandy got out of bed, feeling the excitement swell. “He can’t come and take them back can he?”



“No, he come here first.”



“How do you know that?”



“Uncle Jim tolded me he does.”



“When Lucy?”



“Yesterday.” Lucy looked pleased with her knowledge. “I said, ‘Do Father Christmas come to you?’ And he said, ‘yes.’”



“So how do you know he comes here first?”



“If he visit grown ups first; he be late and I say, ‘Will see me first?’”



“Did Uncle Jim say yes Lucy?”



“Yes.” Lucy looked agitated. “I make sure.”



“So we can go down now.” Her voice had that thrilled edge to it and now it was really Christmas. Father Christmas had been, drank his brandy and moved on to other houses. She looked at Lucy confused. “Father Christmas will be drunk when he gets home.” She knew that Father Christmas drank grown ups lemonade as her Dad sometimes did.



The torch went out and the exasperated whisper replied in the blackness. “It don’t matter, he come here first.”



“Are we going down Lucy?”



The torch came back on with the beam pointing up at the ceiling allowing Mandy to see that Lucy had her finger over her lips – the younger of the two was now firmly in control of the situation. “Be good girl. Don’t wake Mummy and Daddy.” And like the little madam she was; gently took her elder sister by the hand. “We go to Harry and Tom in their room.”



Gingerly, the two little girls tip toed out into the hallway and made for, their ten year old brother, Harry’s bedroom where he slept with their elder cousin, Tom.



It was Harry’s turn to squint in the beam and he turned away from it muttering. “Mandy, you did this last year.”



“It ain’t me, it’s Lucy.”



“I woked her up,” came the defiant whisper. “Shoosh! Or you’ll wake Mummy and Daddy.”



Harry pulled the blanket over his head and giggled at his little sister’s antics.



Mandy did likewise, relieved that her brother was quickly over being grumpy. “Its Christmas morning and Father Christmas has been.”



The covers came back down and Harry sat up with his dishevelled hair pointing in all directions. He had a big mischievous smile upon his face. His little sisters still believed in Father Christmas and he was aware of the wonderful magic it held for them. His Mother had thoroughly drilled him on not spoiling the belief and in complying; he found it exciting to see their expectant faces looking at him in wonderment.



“Lucy, did you check to see if Father Christmas drank his special lemonade?”



“Yep, he’s drunked it all up.”



Again Harry tittered. “Well done.” He gave a mock look of being serious. “You didn’t spy him through the covers did you?”



“No.” Her little tone was utterly flabbergasted. “I were sleep.”



Mandy nodded her head in agreement. “It was too dark anyway.”



“Are you sure you did not get the tiniest peep of Father Christmas drinking his special lemonade.” Harry could not help grinning and knew when his little sister was being sparing with the truth.



She looked down at the floor and pursed her tiny lips and her jaw became pointed as though trying desperately not to sulk. Her eyes slowly lifted up to stare at him as he placed his hand over his open mouth in mock dread.



“He did not see you looking did he?” Her brother’s eyes sparkled and Lucy recognised the tone of his good natured teasing. She shook her head sheepishly and was delighted to see him hold out his arms, into which she happily moved.



“Well that’s alright then.” He gave her a firm cuddle and lifted her onto the bed. “What did he look like?”



“He had big red coat and white beard.”



“What else?”



“He drunked lemonade, fell over, crawled out of door laughing and Mummy told him off.”



Harry giggled again remembering how tipsy his Dad was when putting out the presents, wearing the Santa outfit, and staggering up the stairs, full of inebriated tomfoolery to the girl’s room to get the Brandy that had been left for Father Christmas.



Tom rolled over and rubbed his face before yawning. He looked over defiantly – as a rebellious twelve year old sometimes do. “There’s no such…”



“Shut up Tom!” scolded Harry harshly. “They’re little girls. Don’t spoil things.”



“Yeah, we little girls,” replied Mandy and Lucy.



Both boys sniggered at Lucy’s harsh reply because she was apt to agree with all things her big brother said – even when she was not sure what they meant.



“Come on then, let’s go down stairs and see the presents, shall we Lucy? And turn the torch out if you don’t want to wake Mum and Dad.”



Lucy complied and allowed Harry to carry her along the hallway with Mandy following, holding Tom’s hand. Their cousin was now playing along dutifully for the benefit of the little girls as they made for the stairs.



Lucy gasped as they passed the open door of their parent’s room and put her hand over her mouth. She had seen something that startled her. The rest of the children smiled at her antic as combined with the quite and darkness she unwittingly lent a sense of enthusiasm to the exquisite occasion. All put fingers to their lips – even Tom, who was beginning to rediscover the wonderful innocence of bygone Christmases.



They reached the bottom of the stairs and were overjoyed to see the array of wrapped presents beneath the big beautiful Christmas tree. All except Lucy, who still had her hand over her mouth looking at them with dismay?



Harry put her down and was a little disappointed to see her looking so unsure.



Tom knelt before her and took her hand feeling robbed of a grand occasion by the little girl’s lack of joy. “What’s the matter Lucy?”



Mandy was oblivious to the boys and her sister as she moved forward to the Christmas tree and peered down at the delightful sight of wrapped presents. She was only vaguely aware off Lucy’s mumbled reply to the boy’s concerned enquiries, but turned when both hissed trying to contain their amusement as they rolled on the floor with joyous gritted teeth. They dared not allow the hilarity to escape and wake the sleeping adults.



“What you laughing at Harry? Stop it Tom – she’s only a little girl.”



Lucy was standing before the boys, as they rolled about the floor, each holding his stomach; she had a big grin on her face knowing that she had accidentally elated them in some way.



Tom got on his hands and knees and looked at Mandy. “Lucy thinks we have to go back to bed because Father Christmas as drunk too much special lemonade and can’t get up the chimney.”



“Why? He’s gone.”



Harry tried to explain between chuckles. “She said she saw him when we were on the landing.”



Lucy looked at her, not knowing whether to laugh or be worried as she whispered, “Father Christmas in bed with Mummy.”


Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Andre Rieu - Meine Lippen sie küssen so heiß


This piece, played by the fabulous Andre Rieu, makes me want to stick a rose between my teeth, stand on one leg and with the other raised (knee level with stomach). Both my arms are held straight up and with ill deserved confidence; I would pose before an attractive female - trying to woe her to dance with me like the man and lady in this scene.

I like to flatter myself that I would look dashing and irresistible while this tune is playing - having an attack of the virtuosos by a real virtuoso of the violin.

http://tinyurl.com/355gsrh



Tuesday, 23 November 2010

kc and the sunshine band - get down tonight.mpg


A fine soul song from KC and the Sunshine Band. This clip is from a concert in 1977. It only seems like yesterday but now it is 33 years on. I loved this time and it reminds me of my youth when my life before me, seemed like a big adventure quest. I suppose it was really, but sometimes these wonderful clips take me back and stir little memories of how I used to feel.


Soul Train Line Dance to Earth Wind & Fire's "Mighty Mighty"




The Soul Train used to have some great funky dance scenes to some great 70s soul sounds. Everyone looks vibrant and happy - the presentation of this show was simple and wonderful - the songs and the dancing spoke for itself.

http://tinyurl.com/355gsrh




Monday, 22 November 2010

Status Quo - Pictures Of Matchstick Men


This was one of my favorite Quo songs and I can remember watching this on television when I was a kid back in 1968. I wonder if they had any inkling how long they would be going for. This is a little flowery and reflects the signature of that particular time. Of course they developed or metamorphosed into a more raw type of rock group, but the beginnings are evident here and I have to admit, I like the flower power element to this early step in Quo's career. 

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Moyra Melons ear rings in minimalist room

Moyra Melons was always looking for new ways to allow men to notice her splendid taste in ear bling. Her latest idea was to clear her room of furniture paint the walls plain white and wear a plain white dress.

Then she sat there, very contentedly waiting for her husband to come home from work. She was certain that amid plain white walls and white dress, in a minimalist decorated room; her poor husband could not help, but notice the subtle glow of the ear rings she was wearing.

Picture, if you will, her husband as he walks through the door. What will be the first thing screaming at him when he looks upon Moyra Melons sitting there? Yes you got it - her gorgeous ear wear because Moyra has cleverly fashioned things so that nothing else stands out - would you not agree?


Thursday, 18 November 2010

Alice Cooper - Poison


Alice Cooper is an absolute showman and much of his singing is performed in live concerts. He has been going for a number of decades now and is always popular where ever he travels to perform. This track is called Poison and it it one of my favorites.


Marillion - Torch Song



I had to put this other song up by Marillion. As I have said on another blog; this band really makes me drift and think on all sorts of issues.


http://tinyurl.com/355gsrh


High pitched singing geezer of 10 CC ( Donna)




I remember the first time I heard this on Top of the Pops in the early 1970s. I remember my mother and father laughing, but still they liked it enough to buy the single. The band went on to do some excellent songs and some fine albums too. It seems like yesterday, but it was 35+ years ago and I was in Secondary school. Happy days when everything always seemed to be exciting. I suppose we all love our own little era - even such little charming yet trivial things like this song, which is a fine and quaint tune by the band 10 CC. I sometimes wonder what some of the old school mates are doing nowadays after a few decades of trials and tribulations.


Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Aeroplane


Another gem by Red Hot Chilli Peppers coupled with a nice piece of choreography to help the song along. Not that it needs any help, but this is a very happy and colourful presentation.

What Would Middle Age Priests Make of Marilyn Manson - Fight Song?




I would like to place this lot in a time bubble and put them on a stage in medieval Europe somewhere and watch the faces of the Christian religious orders when hearing the lyrics. I'm sure it would be a picture. Of course I would have to zap them away and back to today's times before the inquisitions could lay hands on them. I'm sure these people of our great protesting times would be regarded as the ant-Christ by the most moderate of people, during the middle ages. Peasants would be terrified of them and run willingly into the arms of fundamentalist Christian orders that ruled in those times.


Sunday, 14 November 2010

Margaret Thatcher's political end (Poll Tax Riots London 1990)


She was one of the best though she was a person with many faults. I think Maggie deserves recognition because she was a true patriot and many did admire her greatly.

Well, I would not mind betting that there are a lot of people shouting "No Way" But then there will be as many applauding. When I was 18 years of age, Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister of United Kingdom and she gave the country a blooming big kick up the arse. The trouble was, I don't think she always knew when to stop kicking and many of us imagined we had bottoms that were constantly smarting. The reason I have picked Margaret Thatcher for praise is because I am  now 53 and I own my house because of her. I did not appreciate it at the time. I thought she was as hard as nails, which she was.

I worked in the Royal Mail (Post Office) throughout the 1980s decade and it seemed to be a rather turbulent time. I remember the unemployment and the clashes with the unions, most notably the miners strike. Everyone that confronted her was swept aside and I was one of the young who thought she was too harsh.

As much as it pains me to say this, I believe she got more right then she got wrong. I can visualise myself as a young man in his twenties - full of high ideas and morals - being disgusted with this older me, who is writing this. But if I could, I would like to reach down that time corridor and grab myself by the collar. I'd spit. "You are so full of Bull - you know nothing and she will do you right in years to come." She did, and to be fair on Maggie, she is one I did not appreciate at the time. I think a lot of us secretly miss her. Sometimes undesirable elements took the country on and I could not have wished such enemies upon a more formidable opponent. (I almost felt sorry for them)

If I could make one complaint to Margaret Thatcher it would be:

Why did you steam roller through the Pole Tax without properly reviewing such things. It could have been a good idea if you had taken the many variables of income into the equation. You really did drop the ball on that one and then it was the old; "And you to Brutus" from most of your ministers. It all stemmed from the Pole tax - I'm certain it did. You could have had a few more years, but for that.
No doubt, Mrs Thatcher would still hear none of this.

It is believed that the Poll tax signified the beginning of the end for Margaret Thatcher. She had stood her ground on many issues over 11 years and won. This, the hated Poll tax, was one she would loose, but only after her ministers manoeuvred her into quitting a short time later on other issues. However, the Poll tax was the original cause that began to really spiral out of control for her.

It is thought that the riot in central London, with the countrywide opposition to the Community Charge (especially vehement in the North of England and Scotland) contributed to the downfall of Margaret Thatcher, who resigned as Prime Minister in November the same year, defending the tax when opinion polls were showing 2% support for it. The next Prime Minister, John Major, announced it would be abolished.

War of 1812 - 1814 (USA against UK and Canada)

The War of 1812 was a little known military conflict in Britain, which was fought between the forces of the young USA and those of the British Empire – predominantly today’s Great Britain and Canada. The USA publicly declared war on Britain in 1812 for a number of reasons, including trade restrictions, press ganging of American merchant sailors into the Royal Navy, British support of American Indian tribes against US expansion, and the humiliation of American honor. These reasons were real on the part of the USA, and Britain was aiding the development of Indian nations to thwart the USA expanding westward.


However, behind the scenes, the USA was stealthily planning to absorb Canadian provinces into the American union and while Britain was engaged in a war in Europe against Napoleonic France. The US saw, what they believed, a good opportunity to strike. The USA was expecting more support from French Canadians then she got and upon this basis, the USA under estimated the over all Canadian will not to be part of the USA. In this theatre of the conflict, the USA lost. As far as Britain was concerned in thwarting US expansion westward and imposing international treaty restriction upon the young USA - well, Britain lost. These were strong issues of the time for both nations but their prominence diminished as the fruitless war almost got out of control. Britain had more pressing things to worry about in Europe and the USA got her nose bloodied against the Canadian militias. It was in the other theatres that the war began to take more unexpected turns.


From the British aspect, Napoleon's grand army was all but destroyed after the ill fated invasion of Russia. The joint forces of Austria, Prussia, Russia, Sweden and Great Britain were able to defeat France. This brought about an unexpected change of events for the USA. She was suddenly faced with a more focused and formidable force then expected.  



At first, the war was fought on a defensive basis by Britain. She relied on the strategy of Canada's volunteer forces. The Canadian militias were formidable against US aggression and managed to repel various American invasion attempts of her nation's provinces. The USA did manage to win control of Lake Erie and control parts of Ontario. They also defeated the Indian allies both in Canada and in the south west of their country which Britain had been manipulating.


However when things radically changed for the British Empire with the defeat of Napoleon in 1814; they were able to adopt a more aggressive approach and sent larger combat forces to the conflict. What followed was an upping of the political stakes. Britain and Canada won victories and the USA was able to win victories too. During one episode, the British managed to capture and burn Washington D.C. but eventually the Americans managed to repulse the British in this theatre of the war.

The White House during 1812 - 1814 War

At sea, both naval forces attacked one another scoring victories that were memorable on both sides, but neither side could seem to gain an upper hand.


The British no longer wanted or hoped to try and control the new USA and the Americans could not hope to gain Canadian provinces, though some of their own northern states came close to seceeding from the union and joining Canada. There was no gain for either side in the long run, just an escalating stalemate that neither side could afford to loose. Britain even tried to invade the US from the south but was stopped at New Orleans. At the end of the war, both sides occupied parts of the other's territory, but these areas were restored by the Treaty of Ghent.


In the end it was a war that neither USA or Britain could claim to have won. The Americans could claim it further united and bought their nation together. However, this could also be said of Canada and this was a harsh lesson, not lost, on the USA. 


Britain had more pressing matters and would leave the USA alone to continue with other far flung reaches of her Empire and stayed out of the USA's way concerning trade and supporting the Indian nations in future.

Marillion - Sugar Mice


Another track from Marillion. I know they have recently been put on the blog before, but they are very good and this is another of their tracks which is very poignant. 






http://tinyurl.com/355gsrh

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Can't Stop (Video)


Red Hot Chili Peppers are a fabulously entertaining American band. They are very much of these times and appeal to people of varying age groups from young to old. In this way they have and are liked by a broad audience. This is one of their many splendid and diverse songs.





Guy goofs with army of lovely ladies



This advert is very well done for the reasons of comically getting its message across. It is an advert for spectacles and buying stylish ones. Personally I might not have cared, but the way to seduce a fella into, perhaps, thinking about it; is done wonderfully well here.

I can't help but giggle at this and when I'm next in the opticians, I might smile and think about this comical advert. It is very clever and once again, sex gets the message across for the average - wonderfully - shallow bloke like me. It is very light hearted, so even a feminist might lighten up and laugh - just a little perhaps... :)


Saturday, 13 November 2010

Master Charlatan - Thomas Chatterton 1752 to 1770

Thomas Chatterton in death
Thomas Chatterton never lived to be 18 years of age. He was born in 1752 and died in 1770. In his brief time he was recognised as an English poet, but most of all; a talented forger of pseudo-medieval poetry.

As a youngster he found parchment deeds in the north side of the nave of St Mary's church, Redcliffe in Bristol.

The young Chatterton would seclude himself within the attic of his house and from the parchments recreate and invent writings by pseudo medieval poets - pretending to have discovered lost works.

He managed to trick many reputable people before moving to London in the final year of his life. He had caused some mayhem among prominent people, through his writings. In London he died of arsenic poisoning from either suicide or attempting self medication.

Below is a sight with more info on the young and infamous Thomas Chatterton.



Blue Man Group - I Feel Love


Blue Man Group was founded by Phil Stanton, Chris Wink, and Matt Goldman. The organization produces theatrical shows and concerts featuring music, comedy and multimedia; recorded music and scores for film and television shows. All of the organization's appearances star a trio of performers called Blue Men, who appear to have blue skin and no voice, hair, or ears.

The original Blue Men no longer perform and have since taken on administrative roles in the Blue Men company. Because of the success of Blue Man Group, a parent company called Blue Man Productions has been created. This produces all the Blue Man shows worldwide. 
 

http://tinyurl.com/355gsrh

Johnny Cash - 'Hurt"


This Johnny Cash song is rather sad and haunting because of the lyrics and the fact that it is recorded just prior to his death. It is like a monument to Johnny Cash's life.


Marillion - Lavender


I find that Marillion are one of those bands I can chill out to when I'm on my own just listening to them. They write songs that make me think about all sorts of things to do with every day life. Sometimes it is good to just drift with them and then branch off along the path of your own thoughts. The above track is called Lavender and is very moving. They have a host of other equally splendid songs as well. Check them out on the net or chance an album.

Faith No More - Falling To Pieces



This was one of my favourite songs of the time and I can't believe how long ago it was now. Time does seem to zoom by now days, but looking at this video clip; it is good to be taken back for a moment and be entertained by this Faith No More classic - splendid song.




Moyra Melons ear rings outclasses LisaNova and HotForWords geezer!


This clip above got over 5.5 million views on YouTube. I was puzzled by this because the young lady in the video has no ear rings. Not like the wonderful Moyra Melons on the left. A refined lady for the more mature bloke about town. At least you get an eyeful of fabulous ear bling with the compelling Moyra Melons. With the young lady from the clip, all you get is a HotForWords bloke talking about a cafe lady giving a customer her kidney with an expresso. 

Because the girl in the video has no ear rings at all; I can't make out what all the fuss is about - can you? It certainly can't be the HotForWords geezer with the humungous eye-brows .

http://tinyurl.com/3676tmc


Friday, 12 November 2010

Wacky (McCain-Palin Rap) -Palin was the Choice



 This is obviously a very famous song, but being older and a little on the square side, I had never heard it before. I stumbled upon it on YouTube and now i can't stop playing it. I think it is absolutely fantastic. The bloke in the video as definitely got a screw loose, which is great for the rest of us, because he needs a few loose buts to make a wonderful wacky number like this.




Fabulous Choreography and sexual Innuendo - Dada Ft Sandy Rivera & Trix


The sexual innuendo in this marvelous choreography is extremely entertaining and very exciting. It draws people in without them immediately realising why. Of course we know what the wonderful cheeky lyrics get at, but we are cleverly bombarded by dance sequence, good looking people in stylish flash images. Everything is turning over in a splendid tempest of vision, up-beat musical sound and naughty verse - its terrific. It makes you want to go out and be really naughty... :)

http://tinyurl.com/3676tmc


Thursday, 11 November 2010

The Stealth and Daring of the Admiral Graf Spee (German battlecruiser WWII)


Hans Langdorff was the Captain of the Admiral Graf Spee and within a few short months, at the beginning of World War two, he and his ship would blaze a way into the history books with his daring commerce raids on allied shipping.

Below is some information from YouTube by sammarlow77593.

The Admiral Graf Spee was one of the most famous German naval warships of World War II, along with the Bismarck. Her size was limited to that of a cruiser by the Treaty of Versailles, but she was much more heavily armed than a cruiser due to innovative weight-saving techniques employed in her construction.

She was sent to the Atlantic Ocean as a commerce raider in 1939, where she sank nine Allied merchant ships. Numerous British hunting groups were assigned to find her, with three British ships finally tracking her down in December 1939. The Battle of the River Plate ensued, during which the Graf Spee was damaged. She docked for repairs in the neutral port of Montevideo, but was forced by international law to leave within 72 hours. Faced with what he believed to be overwhelming odds, the captain scuttled his ship rather than risk the lives of his crew.

Admiral Graf Spee was a Deutschland-class cruiser. Launched in 1934, she was named after the World War I Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee who died, along with two of his sons, in the first Battle of the Falkland Islands on 8 December 1914. She was the second vessel to be named after him, the first being the uncompleted World War I German battlecruiser SMS Graf Spee. The launching took place on 30 June 1934 with Admiral Erich Raeder delivering a pre-launch speech, and the christening performed by Gräfin Huberta von Spee, daughter of the late Vice Admiral von Spee.

Before Admiral Graf Spee was given her official name, she was referred to as Panzerschiff C and Ersatz Braunschweig, as she would be replacing the old battleship Braunschweig in the fleet inventory. She cost 82 million Reichsmark to build. After World War I, replacement capital ships for the German Navy were limited by the Treaty of Versailles to 10,000 tons and 11 inch (280 mm) guns. Electric arc welding was used in her construction instead of conventional rivets, thereby saving considerable weight by not requiring overlapping steel plates.


















Fabulous Fiat 1500 Cabriolet 1960 - 1967

This retro Italian car was a real head turner that was within reach of a wide range of people. The Fiat 1500 Cabriolet had enough power to give the driver an exciting and fulfilling experience and was a quality car to be seen in. When Italians do this type of thing; they do it in style with a unique design signature. 

The idea was born out of a joint venture between Fiat and an Italian design company called Pininfarina. Pininfarina has produced other iconic designs for a variety of manufacturers that include Fiat, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Peugeot.

On the Fiat 1500 Cabriolet they took Fiat's good idea and turned it into an absolute gem - a much sought after one among classic car enthusiasts of today - an absolute peach of a car.





http://tinyurl.com/3676tmc