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I’d forgotten

Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

how good television can be as a distraction or maybe it’s because a mini miracle occurred this week and there were two movies worth watching – Kinky Boots and In Her Shoes.

Kinky Boots is a lovely story, a little contrived in parts but well worth watching for a good script and excellent performances. In Her Shoes was quite a surprise – Cameron Diaz especially. But one up for the wrinklies – the best parts of the film are definitely those that take place in the residential home. Both films highly recommended for chill out time.

But it’s to the wireless I turn for hours of entertainment and there’s a huge amount of good programmes coming up this Christmas – so many that I’ll have to write a separate entry but in the meantime you might like the opportunity to listen again to We’ll Keep a Comic in the Hillside, a two parter in which “Welsh comedy writer Stephen Carver asks if there is such a thing as a distinctively Welsh sense of humour”. Part 1 is on at 23:30 GMT (about 40 minutes from the time stamp of this post), part 2 at the same time tomorrow night and both will be available for seven days on the Listen Again page.

The Afternoon Plays this week have also looked interesting so I’m saving them up for a bumper listen on Saturday while cleaning and packing to head home to Wales. Tuesday’s in particular – Martha My Dear by Annie McCartney – looks like good fun:

Martha has always been an agony aunt for her wayward friends, but the publication of a steamy bestseller casts doubt on dear Martha’s confidentiality.

I’m avoiding writing about the events this week, partly because I try and avoid four letter words used in anger (here at least) and a certain funeral parlour deserves a whole string of ’em so I’m keeping it zipped to ponder. But dammit, the vultures!

I almost forgot

Friday, December 8th, 2006

to point you toward this week’s episode of I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue (you can either listen to it right now (recommended) or to the repeat on Sunday at 12 noon GMT. ISIHAC is always funny but this week’s had me and Mrs Trellis giggling like schoolgirls while peeling the tatties on Monday night. Best bit? Oh definitely Rob Brydon singing along to the Tom Jones hit, Sex Bomb. Be still my beating heart.

p.s. The new banner is part of a series for the so-called festive season – bah humbug – and once I get it organised will be rotating (or replaced if you hit the refresh button). More on that later but the first banner picture (legs plus Santa hat) is alas not of me but a stock photo by Marius Muresan at Stock Xchng. The font is Rebecca from Da Font and I used the ever so useful STC Font browser to sort through the many fonts that have ended up in my fonts folder (here’s a sample screenshot). Want a sneak preview of some of the other banners? A sweet little angel, a warm little angel and maybe this not so little angel.

Night, night.

Highland Hip

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

Here’s one for Croila:

Forget the skirl of the pipes and the screech of the fiddle, Scottish music just got funky. Sally Magnusson travels throughout the Highlands, meeting young musicians who are giving traditional music a contemporary twist.

Harpist Ingrid Henderson is building a state-of-the-art music studio on the shores of Loch Shiel. She’s determined to base her career in the Highlands, the source of a new brand of vibrant music which is popular from Buckingham Palace to Arisaig.

To be aired today at 15:45-16:00 GMT so you’ll have to get your skates on, that’s about 45 minutes from now.

For comedy fans a welcome return to Tina C’s State of the Union Tour. The last series a few years ago was very funny.

Missed them? Both programmes should be availabe for 7 days after broadcast on the Listen Again page.

p.s. Fan-flubbing-tastic!

Quack Quack

Monday, July 17th, 2006

It’s just dawned on me that those of you who follow posts through Bloglines and various rss feeds will not have seen the really! exciting! addition! to the sidebar. So here it is in a post.

Coming soon…

Young woman lying peacefully in chair, rubber duck balanced on nose.

All will be revealed in the next few days but in the meantime I would love to hear what you think it’s all about. A duck fan club? A tribute to Donald Duck? Or something completely unrelated to our feathered friends?

Note: Jokes about Web 2.0 and domain names ending in -r are expected, nay encouraged. But be kind, us effelumps have long, long memories… :-)

Honour

Saturday, July 15th, 2006

I’m sat in front of the wireless, freshly made latte and eccles cake for refreshment, ready to listen to the Saturday play on BBC Radio 4 starting in a couple of minutes from now (at 14:30 BST).

Honour by Joanna Murray-Smith

An emotionally charged dissection of a marriage, especially recorded for Radio 4 after its successful West End run at Wyndham’s Theatre.

Honor is faced with her husband’s confession that, after 30 years of an apparently happy marriage, he is leaving her.

There’s a great cast (Diana Rigg, Martin Jarvis, Natascha McElhone and Georgina Rich), the play had rave reviews when it was on stage with the same cast so it should be good.

If you want to join me, virtually speaking, you’re most welcome. But I’m afraid I ate the eccles cake during the writing of this post so it’s a BYOB (Bring Your Own Biscuits) kinda party.

Update

Well, the play will be available for the next seven days but to be honest, I wouldn’t bother. Maybe I was too distracted but it failed to hold my attention and I started clock watching from about 10 minutes in. Shame.

Desert island discs

Monday, July 10th, 2006

I’ll go first then, shall I?

The 8 discs

Hallelujah, John Cale
Pearl’s a Singer, Elkie Brooks
Town Called Malice, The Jam
I heard it through the grapevine, Marvin Gaye
Little Boxes, Malvina Reynolds
You are my sunshine, Elizabeth Mitchell and Daniel Littleton
Brezairola, Barbra Streisand
The Blower’s Daughter, Damien Rice

The 1 disc

I heard it through the grapevine, Marvin Gaye

The book

I’m not particularly struck on having the bible there waiting for me but you’re not allowed to swap. Still, the Complete Works of Shakespeare should be the ideal opportunity to study the bard at length so I think I’d request a scholarly but accessible critique of his work… or maybe Simon Schama’s The Embarrassment of Riches : An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age?

Nah! I’d take the collected works of Nevil Shute. Wait! No, make that George Orwell. And it must include A Clergyman’s Daughter. [Although the Schama book is excellent and highly recommended.]

The luxury

An iron and ironing board. I kid! No, I think I’d have to be fairly boring and plump for a large set of lovely, unopened Moleskin notebooks, lined and unlined, plus a wooden box of all sorts of pens and pencils, coloured inks. Oh hell, can I just have the contents of Brighton’s Pen to Paper tucked away in my cave? Thank ye kindly.

A man in his pyjamas

Sunday, July 9th, 2006

Another interesting article, this one by Paul Donovan in The Times. How a man in his pyjamas invented a radio classic is the story of Roy Plumley’s Desert Island Discs, prompted by the fact that Sue Lawley is (at last!) stepping down as presenter and Kirsty Young is taking over in August (hooray!).

[BBC Radio 4’s] Desert Island Discs’s antiquity is such that its first castaway, in 1942, was a Viennese comedian who had fought alongside his fellow Austrian Adolf Hitler in the first world war. Despite that uneasy conjunction — delicate in a country that at the time was fighting Hitler — the programme’s creator Roy Plomley was unperturbed.

He conversed in a bomb-damaged Maida Vale studio with the comedian Vic Oliver in the cosy and above all collaborative manner that became his hallmark for the next four decades, during which he sent Princess Margaret and 1,700 others off to his mythical isle and made it a national institution.

But I was intrigued to read the following:

Because Plomley was a freelance, Desert Island Discs became his copyright. After his death in 1985 it went to his wife, Diana Wong. She still owns it but is now in her eighties and their daughter, Almond, acts for her.

Mother and daughter and the BBC agree on the need to have Plomley mentioned in the credits and the corporation pays Diana an annual sum (£5,000 in 1996, so probably more now). However, the family and the BBC cannot agree on the availability of the show after its weekly broadcast. This is why it is not available to listen to via the BBC’s website. Anybody hoping for that is greeted with this terse message: “For rights reasons, Desert Island Discs is not available as a listen again item.”

I’d always assumed that the programme was not available for repeat because of the prohibitive cost of royalities to the artists of the 8 chosen tracks. How wrong I was. But I’m sure that this has been discussed on the BBC’s Feedback programme too? Well anyway.

Now it’s your turn

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to choose:

  • Your 8 desert island discs.
  • Your chosen book. The Bible [or The Koran or your religious text of choice] and the Complete Works of Shakespeare is waiting for you on the island.
  • Your one luxury item [which must be “inanimate and have no practical use”].

Tip of the day: If you’re looking for inspiration on the luxury item it might interest you to know that Norman Mailer wanted marijuana, Oliver Reed wanted a blow-up woman and Princess Michael of Kent wanted a cat. George Clooney chose War and Peace (Zzzzzz) and an anchored yacht. I bet women across the country were swooning in delight at the thought of being anchored along with George when that programme was broadcast…

As for book choices, Engelbert Humperdinck requested one of his own recordings and his autobiography, What’s in a Name?. Egomaniacs are us. Ah no, that title should perhaps go to Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, infamous for selecting 7 of her own recordings.

Postscript

The iPodically challenged amongst us will cheer at not being discriminated against for not owning one of these new-fangled magic music boxes required by the latest meme :-)

Things I keep meaning to think about

Saturday, July 8th, 2006

A feed of BBC Radio 4 programmes as I listen to them?

A “recently viewed” function on the BBC site. You know like on Amazon, it keeps track of the products you’ve viewed in that session? That would be great on the beeb site for those of us who meander and flit, butterfly-like through its vastness.

I need to get some sleep.

On a more cheerful note

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

Put your average person in a television studio, pin a microphone to his chest and – well to be fair, how many of us would be up to the challenge? Not many, judging by these replies.

University Challenge

Bamber Gascoigne: What was Ghandi’s first name?
Contestant: Goosey, Goosey?

The Weakest Link

Anne Robinson: In traffic, what “J” is where two roads meet?
Contestant: Jool carriageway.

Anne Robinson: Which Italian city is overlooked by Vesuvius?
Contestant: Bombay.
(more…)

Oops, no title

Saturday, June 17th, 2006

Isn’t it just typical that the two people who would most appreciate the following links are temporarily away from their blogs? Although I suspect that Len is not the only one to appreciate the wonder that is the Bounce-ometer in action at Shock Absorber.

The other bookmark is for Miss Squoogy (currently exploring a well earned trip to Paris) but anyone who regularly reads AskMetafilter will appreciate this MetaChat thread:

If you wanted to post an Ask Metafilter question that would generate a lot of controversy, a flamewar, or just incredulity, what would you post? Please don’t actually post anything that gets suggested here. I just love to think of bizarre questions. The ideal candidate would cause an uproar, but wouldn’t violate the guidelines or otherwise be considered delete-worthy.

 

Quickies

A really good advert for Adidas. Hands up if you can watch this without foot tapping.

Für Elise on a Scanjet

Things to read out loud.

 

And finally…

Filed under “You just couldn’t make this up”, Man severs wife’s head, kills 2 in crash

 

I’m off to cross more links of my To Do list while catching up on some of last week’s Radio 4 output. Might start with part 1 of We’ll Keep a Comic in the Hillside.

Welsh comedy writer Stephen Carver asks if there is such a thing as a distinctively Welsh sense of humour. He looks at some of the stereotypes surrounding his fellow countrymen and women.

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