Tuesday, 30 August 2016

When I say "Earl Grey," you say "Yes, please!"

A strange article in The Guardian today focuses on the rise of "... the world’s unlikely capital of steampunk... the humble farming town of Oamaru, three hours south of Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island."

Apparently, supported by the special effects team from Lord of the Rings and the availability of local farm equipment and junk shops, thousands of enthusiasts regularly descend on the town, and as a consequence Oamaru made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest gathering of steampunks in the world.

I am most intrigued by the sentence: "Steampunk games such as teapot racing [were] invented in Oamaru..."

What on earth is it? How does one set up a "teapot race"?

Maybe the "king of steampunk rappers" Professor Elemental may be able to explain; he knows a thing or two about tea - here's A Cup of Brown Joy:

That almost took my mind off going back to work for a moment...

Monday, 29 August 2016

Pure imagination

RIP Leo Bloom, Willy Wonka, Dr. Frankenstein, The Waco Kid - all the creations of the comedy genius Gene Wilder (born Jerome Silberman, 11th June 1933 – 28th August 2016)

Genuine meal appeal

Everyone's auntie's favourite little girl singer, Dana (who, scarily, celebrates her 65th birthday tomorrow) first became a sensation when she won the Eurovision Song Contest for Ireland with the sugary-sweet ballad All Kinds of Everything way back in 1970.

Imagine everyone's surprise (shock? horror?) when, at the end of that decade she decided to get all "suggestive" and grown-up with a very different genre of song...

On this Tacky Music (Bank Holiday) Monday - here's the camp "classic" Something's Cooking in The Kitchen!

Well I'm your ten star blue plate special
I've always heard you say
But you're treating me tonight
Like I'm left overs in the greasy spoon café
And you're my high class de-luxe menu
With genuine meal appeal
But now you got some doubts about me eating out
And you know that just ain't real

Cos something's cookin' in the kitchen
Something's brewin' in the air
Something's burnin' in your microwave
And freezin' in your Frigidaire
Something's cookin' in the kitchen
Something's steamin' up the room
Something's broken down your thermostat
'N' I'm pickin' up a feelin'
You're gonna hit the ceilin' soon

Baby, there's one lesson you oughtta know I've learned
When you order what you want in other restaurants
You're sure to get your fingers burned
So try to be a little more tender
C'mon fall right off that bone
'Cos I don't go chasin' after hamburger
When I got steak at home

Awe-inspiring lyrics, too.

Having failed miserably to follow up her earlier successes, it is probably no wonder Dana drifted away from music towards a new career - in politics, of all things, unsuccessfully standing twice (on a "family values" ticket) for the post of Irish President (a strange move, considering she was actually born in Islington, London). Latterly, she seems to have become even more of a "god-botherer" than ever; her latest record is a tribute to Pope John-Paul 2. Yuk.

Have a good week, folks!

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Are you ready to transform yourself?

So much crap is talked in the papers in this, the "silly season", about childhood obesity, the latest fad diets, the latest fad exercise regime, blah-de-blah.

I'm OK - I still have my personal trainer...

[D'ya know - it has been six years since I first discovered the delights of Miss Nicholas Gorham..?]

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Proxima B is the new Hoxton

First-time buyers have been urged to start looking at buying property on Proxima B.

Estate agents who believe the newly discovered Earth-like planet presents young professionals with their best chance to get on the property ladder are anticipating fierce competition for desirable spots on its barren surface.

Estate agent Emma Bradford said: “Proxima B is the new Hoxton.

“Just a modest 4.2 light year commute from central London, it boasts a wonderful natural rock surface and average temperatures of around minus 40 degrees, which compares well to Glasgow.

“You can get an impressive two acres of molten rock for a very reasonable price and you’ll get so used to clouds of cyanide gases venting into your home you’ll wonder how you managed without them.

“But the time to act is now. If you wait to buy until the first probe lands you’re already too late.”

Wayne Hayes said: “We did a bit of reading about the area and apparently one side of the planet is shrouded in perpetual darkness, so location is important to us.

“In the end we’ve put in an offer on a crater that looks like a fixer-upper, but were gazumped by an hyperintelligent colony of living silicate from Alpha Centuri who wants it for his buy-to-let portfolio.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

[The "real" story on Reuters]

Friday, 26 August 2016

Don't forget the light ales, Laurence

It's a Bank Holiday weekend (our last till Xmas) and there's additional cause to celebrate, as one of our all-time favourite actresses Miss Alison Steadman celebrates her 65th birthday today!

As it is the end of the week, and certain traditions have to be adhered to, this is a somewhat convoluted tribute to the great lady... One of Miss Steadman's greatest creations was the monstrous "Beverley" in Abigail's Party. Her favourite singer was - as described by her hapless husband "Laurence" - "that fat Greek".

"So, Laurence, Angela likes Demis Roussos. Tony likes Demis Roussos, I like Demis Roussos, and Sue would like to hear Demis Roussos: so please, d'you think we could have Demis Roussos on?"

Here he is - with his first and probably only foray into the world of dance-floor music (replete with some very exotically-attired cheesy "dancers" to boot) - Demis Roussos and L.O.V.E Got A Hold On Me!

Thank Disco It's Friday?

Many happy returns, Alison Steadman, OBE (born 26th August 1946)

Read about our "audience with" Miss Steadman and her appearance in an Alan Bennett masterpiece.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

"I fill this bra"

From the BBC:
Madonna made a surprise appearance at a 25th anniversary screening of her film Truth or Dare at the Museum of Modern Art in New York last night.

The documentary, which was known as In Bed With Madonna in the UK, followed all the drama from her Blond Ambition Tour.
I still can't watch it without thinking of French and Saunders...