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Big n juicy - modern musings mediated - est 2003


 

 

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drD's essential guide to modern knowledge

Some Scottish steet furniture
Sunday, February 29, 2004

'Bon Accord', the motto of the City of Aberdeen is emblazoned on many of their lamposts - it's was also the title of their online city newspaper - sadly no more.
Following my recent lampost [ I know I know ]. Douglas, a regular reader, has kindly walked miles across the city of Aberdeen, braving the elements to bring us this fine collection of spectacular Aberdonian street furniture. Douglas has kindly written some commentary to go with the shots so I've included this. It's almost as if he's blogging himself now....



"This was the view from my window just before I set out. We've had snow all week. Also note how scenic the view is. :-) From here (on King Street) it's a short(ish) walk to Union Street and the city centre. Walk along Union Street avoiding the kamikazee shoppers and you get to Holburn Junction. Go down to the left and just a short way along you come to:

It had stopped snowing by this point. This is on the corner or Justice Mill Lane and Holburn Street Aberdeen. It's not a lampost. I think it's a vent for drainage or sewage or something. Some years ago it got painted but before that I'd never given it a second thought because it was grey and just....there. Still, isn't it pretty now? From here carry on down Holburn Street to the junction with Great Southern Road. Head on down great Southern Road and you'll see the lamposts I mentioned. I don't know a great deal about their history but Great Southern Road ends at a bridge called the George the 5th Bridge. Which probably has something to do with it.

This shot shows some of the double standards. Note how the third one back has different light fittings? I doubt any of the actual lights are original. Also some of the lamposts on this road are more modern and I suppose they are replacements for damaged ones. Near the Holburn Street end they are painted blue but, nearer the bridge end they are painted slightly differently. Which leads me on to:

Which shows what I mean.

These shots show some more doubles and the singles too. From here I cut through the Duthie Park and back up to Union Street. By this point I've walked quite a distance. A quick go round the town centre then up to PC World (sad) then back down home via Hutcheon Street where :
this shot is taken. I'm not entirely sure what these are for and the weather was turning bad again. There is a railway tunnel under the road so they could be vents for that but, it exits just on the other side of the road and I would have expected something like these to be about halfway along. rather than near the end. First time I saw them they were painted grey and then, some years ago, they got painted in the colours you can see now. All the vans and things that are visible in this photograph are because of burst water main (happened last night). I also took this opportunity to make sure I could still walk up this road as it's on my route to work. I walked miles for this. Which was good exercise and I went to places I
hadn't been in a while which was nice too. Shame the weather was not at it's best. I'm not the worlds best photographer but I hope you enjoy them. Most of the rest of the lamposts in this city are very like anywhere elses really."


Thanks Douglas - much enjoyed seeing these.

freshly squeezed for you by drD at 11:41 PM  

What have we learnt this week?
Saturday, February 28, 2004


astroturf is no more.
There's a place where very bad lookylikeys go.
Oral sex at 70 - now there's a mental image.
Oral sex is not without risk.
Sydney Opera House is visible from space.

Via here to here - and you thought you'd seen the last of her.
Quickos has made a movie or two.
Carry On Abroad is Wrapstar's favourite carry on when he's not carrying on at the Call Centre.


freshly squeezed for you by drD at 2:55 PM  


Friday, February 27, 2004





It's DrD and he's 93 and he's a PhD - so there's hope for me. He he.

freshly squeezed for you by drD at 9:10 AM  


Thursday, February 26, 2004

HM Government


UK Citizenship Ceremony
Offical guidance



Venue
The venue must be a setting appropriate to the conduct of the ceremony of UK citizenship.
A poorly decorated church hall, out of town DIY store, inner city crack house or motorway service station are all good choices. Venues unique to regional localities may also be chosen; eg: Former internment camps, disused coalmines, nuclear power plants, highland sheep sheds or low cost regional airports - all have a unique place in UK society and are thus good choices also.

The venue should be equipped with the following:
1. Large format poster of Tony Blair.
2. Blu-Tak to affix poster to wall of venue.
3. Tape player (purchased from Argos).
4. Tape recording, tracks to be included:
Eastenders theme (Simon May Ensemble)
Greensleaves (Karaoke version - For use in England)
Donald where's yoor troosers (Billy Connolly - For use in Scotland)
Bread of Heaven (Max Boyce - For use in Wales)
Things can only get better (D Ream - For use in Northern Ireland and Islington)
Congratulations (Sir Cliffe Richard - Bhangra Mix)
The Star Spangled Banner(National Anthem)

5. Folding table.
6. Union flag tablecloth.
7. Supply of protect and survive leaflets.
8. Black bin liners for collection of post ceremony litter.
9. Job seekers allowance claim forms.

Ceremony
Celebrant: All rise.

All the aspiring citizens present will stand while the theme music from Eastenders is played

Celebrant: Dear friends and asylum seekers we are gathered here today/this evening/this lunchtime/in despair (delete as appropriate) to assume the rights and responsibilities - [ the celebrant will glance meaningfully at the TB poster at this point ] - of United Kingdom citizenship. This is a step not to be taken with a pinch of Maldon Sea Salt. If any person present does not know who Jonny Wilkinson is could s/he now leave the room and make their way to the front desk for re-programming. Pause for departures.

I will now ask those present to respond and make a series of pledges - the response in each case is "I do"

Celebrant: Do you promise to discuss the weather with a stranger at least once a week?
Citizen: I do

Celebrant: Do you pledge to eat fish and chips on Fridays?
Citizen: I do

Celebrant: Do you promise to strive for a consumer lifestyle fuelled by unsustainable debt and dodgy ringtones?
Citizen: I do

Celebrant: Do you pledge to follow the plotline of at least one televison soap opera for the rest of your life?
Citizen: I do

Celebrant: Do you pledge to undertake one of the following regularly:
a. Car boot sale
b. National Trust visitation
c. DIY
?

Citizen: I do - a b or c

Celebrant: Having made your pledges we now come to the final part of the ceremony, the Oath of Allegiance.
Please face the picture of Tony Blair and repeat after me.

I will talk proper English and try to fit in with my neighbours.
I do solemnly swear that I will obey all laws commands and dictates of our leader - for he has lovely teeth.
I promise to pay the bearer on demand.
I love Queen Brenda and will keep a picture of her in my house - I will pray for her in my own way.
I will not drop litter or play loud music.
I recognise that this oath may be recorded for training purposes and that I may be deported if I do not keep up repayments to my trafficker.

Celebrant: That concludes our ceremony. You are now citizens of the United Kingdom. Please leave quietly so as not to disturb the neighbours - place your litter in the black bin liners by the door.

All the citizens will then depart whilst 'Congratulations' is played. Other regional music may follow

freshly squeezed for you by drD at 7:30 AM  


Wednesday, February 25, 2004


freshly squeezed for you by drD at 11:39 AM  


Tuesday, February 24, 2004


freshly squeezed for you by drD at 11:42 AM  

Raising the roof
Monday, February 23, 2004

This beautiful building - one of the wonders of the modern world - has a fascinating history. Drama, innovation, radical engineering, some of the finest concrete ever poured, political disaster, death - it's all there if you dig deep enough. Bennelong Point - the site on which Sydney Opera House stands was once a tram depot. It's transformation into a symbol of Australia; the right building in the right place at the right time - is all the more remarkable given that the construction method to a large degree was invented as they went along. Nothing like it had ever been built before and so totally new approaches were required.

Blue Witch, today posted a 'mystery' picture - it wasn't long before it was identified, but unless you've seen the Opera House close up - or a detailed picture - you'd probably not guess that the 'sails' - or shells as they were known by the builders - are covered in over one million ceramic tiles.

The original 60s/70s tiles were largely replaced in the 1990's as they had fallen into disrepair - they discussed selling off some of the originals as souvenirs - minutes of the discussion here. I haven't been able to find out if they actually did this though. This is how they replaced the tiles.



There was an anti war protest in March 03 - this is how they cleaned the paint off the tiles.

Hornibrooks were one of the original contractors for the opera house.
They have a great website detailing it's construction.

The construction of the roof is brilliant. Jørn Utzon's design for the shells was eventually based on modified spherical geometry. However these complex 3D forms meant that there were very difficult problems with the shell and tile geometry. Despite using, then, state of the art, computers (think mid 60s - ie sub Sinclair spectrum) to plot the complex 3D geometry - the tiles did not fit properly when it actually came to mounting them. There was lots of clever jiggery pokery needed to make it work - but make it work they did.

The tiles were made up in panelled batches called 'tile lids' and then applied to the concrete shells which are actually an open framework beneath the lids. Evidence of this framework can be seen on the underside of the shells where the beautiful concrete structure is exposed.


The original tiles were Swedish made and were a slightly off white colour. Around the perimeters of the tile lids the tiles were matt and within the lid bodies a more reflective finish. This is one of the reasons that the roof of the house shimmers and reflects the colour of the sky so beautifully.


The shell structures are incredibly light given their size and were assembled using tensioned precast concrete elements. The tile lids were preassembled on site and then raised into position on the shells. There is a great photo of a tile lid tray under construction on the Hornibrooks site. I have some further photos of the process that I'll add here soon.

The building of the opera house is documented at length in this book. Probably too much information - unless you've visited and wondered, like me, how they did it.


That's neat, that's neat, that's neat, that's neat, I really love your tiger feet

How we used to dance to this one.
So long Les Gray - who died today.

freshly squeezed for you by drD at 7:54 PM  

Lampost lurve
Sunday, February 22, 2004
Out for a walk earlier, I decided to wander into a local development of what I can only describe as Yuppie Flats ('apartments' for my American friends). The estate has been open for about a year and is still being constructed. It's all multi-tonal brick with patches of timber cladding and stainless steel and glass balconies. Optimistically a large number of residents have placed aluminium cafe style tables and chairs on their bijout balconies. They looked a bit sad in today's biting freezing wind. Not a soul could be seen in this place; luxury cars parked outside the designer front doors betrayed the presence of the aspirational occupants within but no sign of humanity in the streets outside. No children playing - for this is a child free development, no dogs being walked - poochies are prohibited too, nobody passing by on the way to somewhere - there is only one road in and out. This is truly a sterile godforesaken place; on the outside anyway. The most interesting things for me were the designer lamposts that line the roadways. They are very nice indeed. Conical stainless steel columns with a hemispherical domed lanterns on top. Nice little mounting details where the lantern joins to the column. Look like they might be German made - a sort of tell tale quality about them.

Anyway I was reminded of some great lamposts I've seen in the past.
The first lampost to make an impression on me in design terms was the Parisien swan neck design I saw on my first visit to the city in the 1980's. Graceful, understated, highly functional; quintessentially French elegance with an unashamed forward looking presence.

This lampost was later used at several sites within the UK; most extensively in Milton Keynes where it can still be seen lining many a boulevard.

Glasgow is the city of Mackintosh so what finer tribute can they pay him than deploying numerous Mockintosh stylee lamposts all over the shop. This little number

is planted at the east end of the Glasgow School of Art (GSA) - I once spent several hours looking at this particular elevation as I queued for the Mackintosh Centenary Exhibition in 1996 - but that's another story. The Mackintosh style lamposts can be seen at several sites around the city in addition to the GSA precincts. It's a very nice design indeed - I certainly would not object to having one outside my house. It can also be seen at the Hillhouse in Helensburgh - you know you're getting near the house when the ordinary lamposts suddenly change to the Mackinstosh style ones.

Well, you might be thinking by now that I'm a sad old sod to be going on about lamposts. I care not - unashamed street furniture fetishism is mine. How excited I was, then, to find a site dedicated to the lamposts of New York City and to learn that the authorities there are holding a competition to design a city lampost for the 21st Century. Forgotten NY is a lovely site with many a section devoted to the urban heritage of the city. Kevin Walsh, owner of the site, is a lifelong lampost enthusiast. A great article in a recent New Yorker describes his early fascination with streetlights from his childhood in the sixties. Kevin has got it bad, that's for sure. As you might have guessed I'm pretty afflicted myself. Now I wonder if any readers know of any sexy streetlights in their own locale?

lol
"I often wonder, 'Why couldn't the pretzel George Bush was eating have been bigger?' "
Drub.


The patient has received further treatment at the request of his public.
As you can see, the results have only been partially successful. It is now perhaps best that no further surgery is carried out lest we precipitate a total facial collapse.
The whole Joan Rivers facectomy nightmare being never far from my mind.

freshly squeezed for you by drD at 12:21 PM  

What have we learnt this week?
Saturday, February 21, 2004



Blue Witch has a sand collection bottle in her coven.
Douglas has issues with large bellies following him around the room.
Bow Road tube station has acquired a mysterious padlocked door at the end of the blue wall furthest away from the station entrance.
Elsie is back and she's got blue lips.
Mark has a rollout schedule.
Work has started on the V&A Spiral - a major landmark building in the nation's capital.
Harriet has had a bald patch in one of her eyebrows for ages.
8-9mm of rain fell in Simon's works garden between Monday and Friday.
Birdman has a friend who runs a taxi service.
Over 30% of Alan's underwear respondent readership wear briefs.
Your tits will not deflate if you stop drinking.
The tomb of Agamemnon at Mycenae is devoid of any light.

freshly squeezed for you by drD at 9:52 PM  


Friday, February 20, 2004


Why?

freshly squeezed for you by drD at 11:52 PM  

Fairy
Thursday, February 19, 2004


The latest TV advert for Fairy Liquid features grinning loon turned 'chef', Ainsley Harriot, extolling the virtues of 'natural' Fairy Liquid. Yeah right.



This stuff allegedly contains artificial musks which apparently are absorbed through skin, may cause liver damage and interfere with brain messages. Yep mother nature will love that for sure.

London News
To London today and I had a really weird feeling whilst at Euston station - like something horrible was going to happen there - I had to get out because I felt really spooked. My weird feelings about places are usually several months ahead of time. My last one was in NYC in August 2001 - shudder. I hope I'm wrong about this one.

Musuem News
Work has begun to build Daniel Libeskind's Spiral at the Victoria and Albert Museum [ crap website with ace museum attached ]. After years of delay they have finally started shifting large heavy objects around on the roof of the building. Today it sounded like there was a steam train up there. They've also closed the Frank Lloyd Wright gallery - this is the most important collection of his work on permanent display in Europe and it's closed. Albeit in a good cause - I understand the collection is to be relocated as part of the Spiral development. FLW of course did his own spiral a while back. Never mind - the Spiral is going to be seriously groovy when it's finished. I'll have to do a BnJ photolog of it all. Those hand made fractal tiles are getting me all hot and bothered just thinking about em.

It's non-stop action at the Dull Mens Club
"Dear DMC: My husband is a civil engineer who not only looks at traffic cones, but traffic lights, culverts and asphalt. His comment on our second trip to the Grand Canyon. "Oh, look, honey. They've installed new curb and gutter since last time we were here."

freshly squeezed for you by drD at 10:58 PM  


Tuesday, February 17, 2004
6 packmax pack

"Control is key for men. It is a central characteristic of the so-called 'real' man. He controls others just as he controls himself. But fat, especially around a man's belly, is soft and unpredictable. It's essentially 'feminine' and out-of-control. It has no fixed shape, no clearly defined edges, no obvious use or purpose. It sticks out, wobbles and slows a man down. It makes him vulnerable, a larger target, a potential victim."

Ooh er - I never knew a bit of a belly means your life is effectively over.
What a load of old self absorbed bollocks this is.
Mind you if your bollocks are self absorbed I think you're in trouble.
Why is 21st century masculinity so complicated?
It was all far easier when you could walk around with a big club grunting.
Which brings me to Alex Ferguson. What so winds up those two Irish guys that they spend millions of pounds just to put the wind up Sir Alex? So driven by some weird racehorse argument that they seek to contol him at any cost. Testosterone is a weird substance for sure.

freshly squeezed for you by drD at 10:47 PM  

Yawn
Monday, February 16, 2004

A place — in cyberspace — where the dull can share thoughts and experiences, free from pressures to be "in and trendy," free instead to enjoy the simple, ordinary things of everyday life.

If you think your life is boring then perhaps you are far more stimulated than you think.
There is a place where The Dull can go to celebrate and luxuriate in the mundane, remark wittily upon the banal and stand proud in the knowledge that to be dull is to be someone.

Yes, if the warning on a Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding: "Product will be hot after heating" - tickles your funnybone.
If fuel consumption spreadsheets get you all hot and bothered. If you've ever wondered how long a line you can draw with a biro. If watching 'Airport' is your idea of a good night in. You may well be Dull. Admit it, come out to yourself - you're Dull and proud.

Have you ever wanted to make the colours on Big n juicy less bright? There is a place where you can learn to do this.
Have you ever wondered why the baggage carousels at Gatwick Airport rotate anti-clockwise? The answer can now be found.
Have you ever imagined how different sand could be from one part of the world to another?

The time has come to log on, drop in politely and vist the Dull Mens Club.
I'm so excited I may well stay up for ten minutes past my bedtime.




freshly squeezed for you by drD at 11:10 PM  

Parts
Sunday, February 15, 2004

Having always fancied my chances as a plastic surgeon, how delighted I was to come across this little gem where I was able to put my latent skills into practice.
You'll notice that I may have over operated on a few places. - [ The patient kept emitting a strange girlish howl every time I tried to straighten out the nostrils. ] - I think, though, overall the effect is quite good.
Can't quite put my finger on who but it reminds me of someone no?
Meanwhile, with the parts I had left over I approached Mr Tony and manufactured this news story.
So much to do - so little time to do it.


freshly squeezed for you by drD at 6:04 PM  

Compare and contrast
Saturday, February 14, 2004

Iraq 1996
"Sheikh Lami Abbas Ajali looked around at the small cell where he spent several bleak weeks of his life and recounted the torture: How he was hit, prodded, had his eyelids pulled back, electric shocks applied to his temples and genitals, how he was handcuffed with tight manacles and then lifted into the air from behind.

He recalled Saturday how torturers stuffed 10 suspects into an eight-foot by six-foot room so only two could sleep at any given time while the other eight were forced to stand. And how he was kept blindfolded, never quite sure where he was, where they were taking him, what would hit him next."

Source: Gulf News

Iraq 2004
"Pentagon officials have said Saddam Hussein is entitled to all the rights under the Geneva Conventions.
Prisoners' rights under the Third Geneva Convention include:
Protection against violence, intimidation, insults and public curiosity
Protection against pressure of any kind during interrogation
Food rations and drinking water sufficient to keep prisoner in good health
Adequate clothing and washing facilities
Adequate medical treatment."

Source: BBC News

freshly squeezed for you by drD at 4:48 PM  


Friday, February 13, 2004



Here are the answers:
1. What was the date of the longest week?
A. Friday, April 18, 2003

2. This House is empty now. Who were the co-writers?
Burt Bacharach, Elvis Costello.
A. Friday, November 07

3. What was launched in 1994 to appeal to the growing lunchbox market?
A. Mini Jaffa Cakes and Jaffa Cake Bars.

4. Why is Mr October in the news today?
A. See Mr October here. He was in the news on Tuesday. He is, of course Michael Portillo.

5. What does Harry do at weekends?
A. Works as a skivvy at Buck House - also Toilet Ducks Liz's lav

6. If I was to say, 'Durdathawhy' to you what would I be saying?
A. It's 'Hello' - in Cornish.

No T Shirt winner but Mark came closest with 4 out of 6 answers correct so he gets to nominate the charity of his choice for a donation. Well done Mark.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Here's the final question in the Bignjuicy first anniversary T shirt competition.

Sixth question - for the exclusive Bignjuicy T shirt:
6. If I was to say, 'Durdathawhy' to you what would I be saying?
Remember - if you have all 6 answers now then email them hyperspeed to moi to win that exclusive prize!




freshly squeezed for you by drD at 6:45 AM  

Photo challenge
Thursday, February 12, 2004



Q. These men all have something in common - see if you can you work out what it is?

Ich bin ein
You know you want it



Go on!
Enter the Bignjuicy first anniversary T shirt competition - final question tomorrow - result posted tommorrow evening. Meanwhile here's the penultimate question.

Fifth question - for the exclusive Bignjuicy T shirt:
5. What does Harry do at weekends?
Remember - keep your answers to yourself until you have all 6 and then email them as fast as a BBC resignation to win that exclusive prize!

freshly squeezed for you by drD at 7:00 AM  

Zero hour
Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Nearly a year ago I wrote about the winner of the design competition to rebuild the Ground Zero site in New York City; my favourite living architect, Daniel Libeskind. I speculated at the time, "What is so refreshing is that this visionary approach to architecture, which in some ways redefines what buildings are, may be given space in the most expensive real estate in the world."

One year on and it's clear that the visionary Libeskind has come square up against the down n dirty reality of that expensive real estate. An article in the current issue of the New Yorker details the story of the painful political battle that Libeskind is engaged in to realise the key elements of his masterplan for the site. A process of political interference, commercial pressure from the owners of the site and the appointment of competing designers for specific elements of the masterplan leaves Libeskind playing some sort of political game whilst trying to preserve the integrity of his powerful vision and also to actually build something himself. Thus far not a single actual building will be designed by Libeskind. His masterplan is now being talked of variously as a set of general guidelines or ironclad rules. His iconic 1776 foot tower has been replaced and all elements of the striking and poetic original have been inflated into a thinly disguised office stump with a spike on top.

Depressing that New Yorkers who were sold a vision truly befitting the status of this hallowed site seem now to be destined to be given a design by committee. I wonder if we won't see Libeskind walk away at some point like Jørn Utzon did when the Sydney Opera House project finally got to him in 1966.

Soy uno

Fourth question - for the exclusive Bignjuicy T shirt:
4. Who is Mr October?
For a bonus point why was he in the news yesterday?
Remember - keep your answers to yourself until you have all 6 and then email them as fast as a BBC resignation to win that exclusive prize!

freshly squeezed for you by drD at 11:45 AM  


Tuesday, February 10, 2004



After a heavy day at the mill I crawled home to my pit in darkness, curled up in my brown paper bag and cried myself to sleep. Awww. No time for blogging when you're one of the great oppressed.


J'ai un ans
Third question - for the exclusive Bignjuicy T shirt:
3. What was launched in 1994 to appeal to the growing lunchbox market?
Nothing to do with Linford Christie OK?

freshly squeezed for you by drD at 12:01 AM  

Hello Dolly
Monday, February 09, 2004



Mention Dolly Parton and you inevitably think of two things.
Er 1. She is a big brassy American blonde. 2. She's been around forever.
What else do you think I was referring to?
I've always thought Dolly was a bit, well, Dolly in every sense of the word. I'd never really thought of her as a serious musical artist that's for sure. Today I changed my opinion having listened to The Grass is Blue.

Dolly goes back to her roots with this Bluegrass album and really enjoyable I found it too. I've never been into country music so got this with a bit of trepidation. Really good vocals, some class songwriters and superb musicanship make for an enjoyable and moving album. Dolly is exposed here; scrubbed up like a fine piece of shaker furniture - her inherent talent and heritage shine through. From the mournful fiddle playing on Billy Joel's 'Travelin' Prayer' to the declarative acapella, 'I Am Ready'. If you're averse to country - give this a go - you might be surprised.

Found today
Amazing images from the surface of Venus - taken by incredible 1970's Soviet probes. Truly spooky when you think the probes were destroyed within minutes by the immense atmospheric pressure and corrosive chemical cocktail that passes for an atmosphere. Like a glimpse into hell.

I am one
Second question - for the exclusive Bignjuicy T shirt:
2. This House is empty now. Who were the co-writers?

freshly squeezed for you by drD at 7:06 AM  


Sunday, February 08, 2004



It's a special day today.
I've been doing this for a year.

In honour of this auspicious occasion I've decided to mark the day with a special Bignjuicy competition which will run for the next week. Every day I'll publish a question - the answer to which can be found somewhere in the Bignjuicy archives. There will be six questions in all.

You can enter the competition by compiling your answers to the questions as the week progresses. When the sixth question is published - the first person who emails the six correct answers will win an exclusive and unique prize.

Yes, if you get all six questions right I will send you an exclusive Bignjuicy T Shirt. Only one will ever be produced - and it could be produced especially for you!

If nobody gets all six answers correct I'll donate the cost of the T Shirt to the charity of choice of the person who gets most answers correct. [ Unless your charity is anything to do with this lot or their evil ways and hangers on - in which case it goes to a charity of my choice ]. Anyway enough with the complications - with any luck it'll be a straight result.

[If nobody enters I get to keep the T shirt.]

So, lets get things underway.
First question - for the exclusive Bignjuicy T shirt:
1. What was the date of the longest week?

Remember - keep your answers to yourself until you have all 6 and then email them as fast as a BBC resignation to win that exclusive prize!

freshly squeezed for you by drD at 12:00 AM  

Fred pair
Saturday, February 07, 2004



Writing about Benny Hill yesterday brought to mind the many characters he played. One of my favourites was Fred Scuttle. Ever the enthusiast, he would be wheeled on to play multi purpose idiots from astronauts to football coaches. His catchphrase was, "Evening viewers". Delivered always with that naughty Benny Hill grin.

Fred Dibnah, on the other hand is far more sensible. But he is very enthusiastic and he's the sort of chap you want around when you've got a mineshaft to dig in your back garden or a boiler that needs de-coking.
And he's got very shiny shoes remember.

freshly squeezed for you by drD at 10:29 PM  

'The saviour of Breakfast Radio'
Friday, February 06, 2004
Benny Hill died in 1992.
His long running show was taken off the air in 1989 by Thames Television because he was considered to be outdated in an era of growing political correctness. Saucy sketches with scantily clad girls and innuendo were no longer considered acceptable by 'right thinking' media bosses of the day. Never mind that Benny Hill was arguably the most successful TV Comic Britain ever produced.

Benny's stock in trade was naughtiness and suggestive titilation. Listening to Chris Moyles every day since he began his Radio 1 breakfast show in January I'm struck at how the spirit of Benny lives on. Moyles' stock in trade is an ongoing cheekiness usually involving laddish remarks about ladies. His current producer, Rachel, has been reduced to a public persona which sits somewhere in between tealady and page three girl. Remarks about womens breasts, 'how fit they are' delivered in a cod sleazevoice are a key part of the Moyles' repertoire. Moyles isn't as clever as Benny but he mines the same seam. Benny's show had a comfortable and familiar feel, Moyles's has more of an edge and is more knowing. I think that's why I like listening. You never quite know how it's going to go.

Particularly interesting is the development of him commenting on the news bulletins. In July 1970 Kenny Everett was fired by the BBC for making an inappropriate remark about a news item. Ever since then the news has remained a no-go area for DJ comments. Not so now. I wonder how long before Moyles runs into serious bother with a remark?

freshly squeezed for you by drD at 10:22 PM  


Thursday, February 05, 2004



Nothing new under the sun?
More on these two later.

Pie update
Following my revelations of Friday last - the quintessential geezer points me here today - fun fun fun.


Q
- for Quiz - answers here

freshly squeezed for you by drD at 10:20 PM  


Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Quick Quiz
All the answers begin with 'Q'.
[ Lets try two each and see how it goes ]


1. Mr Crisp - formerly of New York
2. Rapidly
3. Commander B's geeky guru
4. Thin birds sister
5. Line
6. Argumentative
7. Monmartre is one
8. 70's orange drink
9. typically
10. mudbath

Power surge blows the roof off superloo

No self respecting British blogger could pass up the opportunity of some gratuitous toilet humour now could he?
Blows the lid off all previous ones as far as I can see. I'm still laughing at this one.
Favourite line from the report:
"It doesn't appear to be vandalism or terrorism" -
[ a careless slip ? - they seem to have information that Al Qaeda is now targeting electric public supertoilets in Stoke-on-Trent - is nowhere safe? ]

freshly squeezed for you by drD at 10:49 PM  

Toxicity
Tuesday, February 03, 2004


I read an interview a while back with the famous American graphic designer Milton Glaser - [ beautiful website - as you'd expect] - in which he was asked about how he's managed to remain positive and creative throughout his long career. His answer was that he tries to surround himself with people who leave him feeling energised and avoids, whenever possible, people who leave him feeling drained or negative. Very simple that - almost obvious.But fiendishly difficult to practice I find.

A fried of mine describes certain people as 'toxic' - ie they have an adverse effect on you when you spend time with them. Others might say, 'they do your head in'. Everyone, I would guess, will know people that leave them feeling worse after spending time - hopefully the reverse is true too. For me the toxic ones often have a disproportionate effect on my mental state. I'm a sensitive soul you see. I've been thinking that dealing with the toxic ones is something I want to work on a bit because inceasingly I'm finding I'm spending time dealing with the fallout from toxic encounters. This book terms them 'invalidators' - [ sounds vaguely scifi ]. This search on Amazon gives 117 hits - nastiness is big business too!

I've realised that some people's idea of reasonable and considerate behaviour is far from my own. Some people seem to go through life behaving and believing that their views, their feelings, their everything is all that counts. All else follows from this in their world and everyone else had better fall in line or they'll be discarded as useless. People who are too loud to hear the quiet notes, people for whom subtlety is a political game to further their own egotistical purposes. These people are the spoilt children who cause so much pain and ruination in the world and my instinct with spoilt children is to give em a good slap. Unfortunately as a certain orange haired newsagent is finding out currently - this is is not a good idea. There has to be a better way - surely there is?

I'm reminded of the song, 'High Hopes' by Sammy Cahn, for some reason - the image of the Ant just keeping on keeping on.
Feeling a bit ant like today I think.

freshly squeezed for you by drD at 9:40 PM  

Snippets
Monday, February 02, 2004

Blog lite tonite been a heavy day - sigh
May not be here tomorrow the way this MyDoom thing is shaping up.
This is interesting me - thanks to Anna for the link.
The whole BBC thing rumbles on - now there's going to be a report on intelligence. Meanwhile the Big Question - WHERE ARE THE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION TONE? - remains unanswered. Reports, smokescreens, teeth.
Blue Witch spooks me even from the other side of the planet. Yesterday I write about The Ghan, Alice Springs etc - she only goes and arrives in Alice yesterday...shudder

dats all folks...

freshly squeezed for you by drD at 11:27 PM  

All aboard
Sunday, February 01, 2004


History was made today with the departure of the first passenger train to travel from Adelaide in South Australia to Darwin in the Northern Territory. The Ghan [ Named after Afghan Camel trains of old ] is now the longest North-South passenger train route in the world.

Today's trip is the first that will use the new A$1.3bn line between Alice Springs and Darwin. The total journey takes about three days. The Ghan has been running between Adelaide and Alice Springs since 1929. The train these days is a bit of a tourist trap and passes through several outback settlements on it's journey northwards. I travelled The Ghan about 5 years ago and joined the train in Adelaide after flying across from Melbourne. There was a great sense of anticipation onboard as passengers made themselves comfortable in the well appointed coaches. Like some Orient Express movie, there was lots of toing and frowing with porters, large trunks and well heeled ladies and gentlemen making a grand departure scene. At that time the train only ran one day a week so it's departure really had the feel of an event. Travelling out of Adelaide you quickly leave the city behind and before long are into the outback and a relentless landscape of scrub with vistas in which you can lose yourself for hours on end as the train trundles relentlessly north. The speed is relatively sedate - something akin to a stopping all stations commuter train in the UK - estimate about 50 mph. There is plenty of time to take it all in, plenty of time to read all the books you've brought, plenty of time to visit the spacious on-board bar and plenty of time to decide your well-heeled travelling companions may not be the sort of people you want to be cooped up with on a slow moving train for nearly twenty four hours.

My abiding memory of my trip on The Ghan is the desert. The red dry endless sands. An unforgiving landscape eerily familiar in those recent images of Mars. Thrown into sharp relief is any sign of life that instantly stands out in the landscape. A herd of Kangaroos in the distance, a road train hurtling alongside the train or most memorably a gaggle of Aboriginal children in a dry river bed whooping and somersaulting with delight as the train went past - their jet black faces and white teeth stark against the red dusty landscape. Such energy and life in so unpromising an environment.

The original Ghan line was replaced about twenty years ago by a route further to the west. The old line, which featured in the Mad Max III movie, was frequently washed away by flash floods. The new Alice-Darwin line realises a vision first expressed about one hundred years ago. The Northern Territory still has a pioneering spirit. This new line marks the beginning of a new era, the crossing of a new frontier. I hope to travel it myself one day.



Detailed map here

Linkage
Thanks to courtenay for linkage.
Mutuality update imminent...


freshly squeezed for you by drD at 1:52 PM  


 
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