Saturday, 30 September 2006

Lili Marleen


Underneath the lantern,
By the barrack gate
Darling I remember
The way you used to wait
'Twas there that you whispered tenderly,
That you loved me,
You'd always be,
My Lili of the Lamplight,
My own Lili Marleen

Time would come for roll call,
Time for us to part,
Darling I'd caress you
And press you to my heart,
And there 'neath that far-off lantern light,
I'd hold you tight ,
We'd kiss good night,
My Lili of the Lamplight,
My own Lili Marleen

Orders came for sailing,
Somewhere over there
All confined to barracks
was more than I could bear
I knew you were waiting in the street
I heard your feet,
But could not meet,
My Lili of the Lamplight,
my own Lili Marleen

Resting in our billets,
Just behind the lines
Even tho' we're parted,
Your lips are close to mine
You wait where that lantern softly gleams,
Your sweet face seems
To haunt my dreams
My Lili of the Lamplight,
My own Lili Marleen.

This is the version sung by Vera Lynn. Listen to it at the link below - she has such an incredible voice - it sends shivers down my spine.


... and this is the version sung by Marlene Dietrich

Outside the barracks, by the corner light,
I'll always stand and wait for you at night,
we will create a world for two,
I'll wait for you the whole night through,
for you, Lili Marleen,
for you, Lili Marleen.

Bugle tonight don't play the call to arms,
I want another evening with her charms,
then we will say goodbye and part,
I'll always keep you in my heart,
with me, Lili Marleen,
with me, Lili Marleen.

Give me a rose to show how much you care,
tie to the stem a lock of golden hair,
surely tomorrow you'll feel blue,
but then will come a love that's new,
for you, Lili Marleen,
for you, Lili Marleen.

When we are marching in the mud and cold,
and when my pack seems more than I can hold,
my love for you renews my might,
I'm warm again, my pack is light,
it's you, Lili Marleen,
it's you, Lili Marleen.

Listen to the bugle, hear its silvery call
Carried by the night air, telling one and all
Now is the time to meet your pearl
To meet your girl, to meet your sir
As once I met Marlene
My sweet Lili Marlene.

Underneath the lantern by the barrack's gate
There I met Marlene, every night at eight
That was a time in early spring
When birds all sing and love was king
Of my heart and Marlene's
Of my heart and Marlene's.

Waiting for the drum beat signalling retreat
Walking in the shadow where all lovers meet
Yes those were days of long ago
I loved her so, I couldn't know
That time would part Marlene
That time would part Marlene.

Then I heard the bugle calling me away
By the gate I kissed her, kissed her tears away
and by the flickering lantern's light
I held her tight, 'twas our last night
My last night with Marlene
My last night with Marlene.

Still I hear the bugle, hear its silvery call
Carried by the night air, telling one and all
Now is the time to meet your pearl
To meet your girl, to meet your sir
As once I met Marlene
My sweet Lili Marlene.

... this is the version sung by Lale Andersen (link below) but I am not sure of some of the words because they are a bit indistinct on the recording and I cannot find a copy of the lyrics on the WWW. I have also changed the spelling of Marleen to Marlene to match Lale's pronunciation.

Surely the favourite song of soldiers during World War II, Lili Marleen became the unofficial anthem of the foot soldiers of both forces in the war.

Original German lyrics from a poem The Song of a Young Sentry by World War I German soldier, Hans Leip *22.9.1893 in Hamburg, †6.6.1983 in Fruthwilen, near Frauenfeld (Thurgau), Switzerland who wrote these verses before going to the Russian front in 1915, combining the name of his girlfriend, Lili (the daughter of a grocer), with that of a friend's girlfriend or by a wave given to Leip, while he was on sentry duty, by a young nurse named "Marleen" as she disappeared into the evening fog.

His poem was later published in a collection of his poetry in 1937.

Recorded just before the war by Lale Andersen (Eulalia Bunnenberg), the song sold just 700 copies, until German Forces Radio began broadcasting it to the Afrika Korps in 1941.

The songs was immediately banned in Germany, for its portentous character, which did nothing to slow its spread in popularity.

After the German occupation of Yugoslavia, a radio station was established in Belgrade and beamed news, and all the propaganda fit to air, to the Africa Corps. Lieutenant Karl-Heinz Reintgen, the director of Radio Belgrade had a friend in the Africa Corps who had liked the tune. He aired Lale Anderson's version for the first time on 18. August 1941. General Feldmarschall Rommel liked the song and asked Radio Belgrade to incorporate the song into their broadcasts, which they did. The song soon became the signature of the broadcast and was played at 9:55 pm, just before sign-off.

After the song was broadcast there was no holding it back. The Allies listened to it and Lili Marleen became the favourite tune of soldiers on both sides, regardless of language.

The immense popularity of the German version spawned a hurried English version, supposedly when a British song publisher named J.J. Phillips reprimanded a group of British soldiers for singing the verses - in German. One irate soldier shouted back : "why don't you write us some English words?". Phillips and a British songwriter Tommie Connor soon had an English version in 1944. Anne Shelton's English hit record started the songs popularity with the Allied countries. Vera Lynn sang it over the BBC to the Allied troops. The British Eighth Army adopted the song.

It was sung in military hospitals and blasted over huge speakers, along with propaganda nuggets, across the frontlines, in both directions.

Where do you go to ....

You talk like Marlene Dietrich .....
And you dance like Zizi Jeanmaire

Peter Sarstedt Where Do You Go To (My Lovely).

Renée Marcelle Jeanmaire, known as Zizi Jeanmaire, (born April 29, 1924) is a ballet dancer and wife of renowned dancer and choreographer Roland Petit. She became famous in the 1950s because of her titular role in the ballet Carmen, produced in London in 1949.

Born in Paris, France, she met her future husband and long-time collaborator Roland Petit at the Paris Opera Ballet at the age of nine. In 1954 they married, and their successful shows put her on the road to stardom. By this time she was the prima ballerina at Les Ballets des Champs-Elysées. She became noted for her energy and passion.

This led to a brief stint in Hollywood (where she was credited as Jeanmaire), appearing in the musicals Hans Christian Andersen (1952) and Anything Goes (1956). After that, she concentrated on ballet, producing more than 60 shows with Petit.

American artist Joseph Cornell was obsessed with Jeanmaire, although they only spoke briefly when he visited her dressing room after a performance of Carmen, he treasured her autograph, he kept a folder of Jeanmaire clippings and pictures and he staged a personal tribute to her at his gallery: La Lanterne Magique du Ballet Romantique by Joseph Cornell.


Marlene Dietrich was born Maria Magdalene Dietrich in Berlin-Schöneberg, Germany to Louis Erich Otto Dietrich and Wilhelmina Elisabeth Josephine Felsing on December 27, 1901. Nicknamed "Lena" within the family, she contracted her two first names to form the then-unusual name, Marlene, when she was still a teenager. Marlene studied the violin before starting work as a chorus girl and actress for Max Reinhardt in theatre productions in Berlin and Vienna throughout the 1920's.

Marlene made her film debut in 1923. In 1929, she got the role of "Lola-Lola" in UFA's production, The Blue Angel (1930), which was one of the first European sound films. The film was directed by Josef von Sternberg.

She then moved to Hollywood to make Morocco, for which she received her only Oscar nomination. Her most lasting contribution to film history was as the star in several films directed by von Sternberg in the pre-Code early 1930s, such as The Scarlet Empress and Shanghai Express, in which she played "femmes fatales". She gradually broadened her repertoire in Destry Rides Again, The Spoilers, A Foreign Affair, Witness for the Prosecution, Touch of Evil and Judgment at Nuremberg.

Dietrich sang in several of her films (most famously in von Sternberg's The Blue Angel, in which she sings "Falling In Love Again"("Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuss auf Liebe eingestellt"), having made records in Germany in the 1920s. Following a slowdown in her film career, she made a number of records first for Decca, Elektrola, EMI, and for Columbia.

Dietrich died peacefully of natural causes May 6, 1992, at the age of 90 in Paris, France. A service was conducted at La Madeleine in Paris before 3,500 mourners and a crowd of well-wishers outside. Her body, covered with an American flag, was then returned to Berlin where she was interred at the Städtischer Friedhof III, Berlin-Schöneberg, Stubenrauchstraße 43-45, in Friedenau Cemetery, not far from the house where she was born.


"Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)" was a #1 hit in the UK charts for 4 weeks in 1969 and was awarded the 1969 Ivor Novello Award, together with David Bowie's Space Oddity.

The song is about a girl named Marie-Claire from the "back streets of Naples" who grows up to become a member of the jet set, and lives in Paris.

It is often suspected that the name Marie-Claire is inspired by the originally French Marie Claire magazine, a women's fashion weekly first published in 1937. One theory says that this song is about the Italian star Sophia Loren, who was abandoned by her father and had a poverty stricken life in Naples.

Friday, 29 September 2006

Happy Birthday Radio 3

29 September 2006 is the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Third Programme. Radio 3 will be celebrating this anniversary with live concerts and specially commissioned programmes.

Who are you? The US knows the answer if you are on a plane from Europe

European and US officials have been holding last-minute negotiations to renew a deal on the transfer of airline passenger data before it runs out on Saturday.

There have been warnings of chaos if agreement is not reached. Airlines would face massive fines if they flew to the US without supplying the data - and they could be prosecuted under European data protection laws if they did.

It is likely there would be huge queues at US immigration, as officials scrutinised the tickets of arriving passengers for some of the data they can now obtain electronically.
Under a 2004 agreement between the EU and the US, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) can access European airline reservation databases and pull out 34 pieces of information about each passenger.

Your history of missing flights
Your frequent flyer miles
Your seat location aboard
Your e-mail address

However, the 2004 agreement was annulled by the European Court of Justice in May, which ruled that officials had failed to give it an appropriate legal basis.

Isn't it time we told America where to stick their demands.

Padua builds wall in drugs battle


Ring of steel divides Padua

The authorities in the historic northern Italian city of Padua have erected a steel wall around a housing estate notorious for drug-dealing.
The wall, surrounding six apartment blocks, is three metres (10ft) high and runs for 84 metres (275ft).

The area sealed off is home to some 1,500 people, many of whom are immigrants from Africa.
Veneto regional governor Giancarlo Galan condemned what he called the new "Berlin wall".
Padua's Socialist mayor, Flavio Zanonato, described it as an "enclosure" needed to help tackle the drug dealers.

Police are keeping the estate under surveillance, with checkpoints at the new barrier.

... and when I saw the film Banlieue 13 I thought it was fiction!

Thursday, 28 September 2006

Warning as sex offender absconds

Redpath left his approved accommodation recently

A high risk convicted sex offender who poses a serious threat to children is on the run in Northern Ireland.

The PSNI have taken the unusual step of warning the public about Paul Hunter Redpath.

They said the 35-year-old should not be approached by members of the public and poses a serious threat to vulnerable children and young people.

Redpath left his approved accommodation recently and has not been seen since, despite police attempts to locate him.

A police spokesman said he had failed to comply with his probation conditions and the PSNI have asked him to give himself up.

Redpath is described as 6ft 2ins, thin with blue eyes and a fair complexion. He also speaks with a Scottish accent.

Daily Telegraph

Blood tests taken from four ponies suspected of being involved in a doping scandal at a junior show jumping event have proved positive, officials said yesterday.

More than 30 ponies were due to take part in the British Show Jumping Association's junior championships in Jersey on Sept 9.

But the event was cancelled after competitors complained that ponies were lethargic.


Yesterday, after the ponies tested positive for the sedative, the BSJA said it would discuss the issue.

Penny Crutwell, the chairman of the Jersey branch, said: "This is not something we have had to deal with before, so we will be taking a few days to consider what options are open to us.

"This whole thing has been quite a shock to the Jersey equestrian world. We have only just received the blood test results and we have informed Kim's family and the family who own the affected horses. At the moment we are still investigating the allegations against Kim."

Blood samples from two horses, Dromard Gizmo and French Mustard, were tested at the showground in St Lawrence along with samples from Flying Sunbeam and Conhrenny Thumbelina.

* What stupid names for horses!

Marina Mauger, one of the owners, said she was devastated. "It was the realisation of my worst fears," she said. "It was news I just didn't want to hear. I would never have let my child get on the pony if I'd known it had been sedated.

"It competed in the warm-up class and came fourth with four faults. But on the lap of honour, it could barely manage a trot.

"The pony, Conhrenny Thumbelina, was ridden by my youngest daughter, Francesca, who is only nine and very tiny for her age. It's awful to think what could have happened. The pony got round because he is so honest."

* HONEST! what has honesty got to do with it?

Disappearing species.

Who's Darwin Finch?
Right now in the southern ocean an albatross could be dying. In fact, on average, every 5 minutes another albatross is hooked and drowned.
Each year around 100,000 are wiped out. Consequently 19 of the 21 species of albatross are facing extinction. The chilling fact is that, like the dodo, children may soon be reading about the albatross as yet another example of a tragic, permanent loss.
An albatross can live for 60 years. Once they've met their mate most stay together for life and have only one chick every one or two years. So as more and more birds are killed there are ever fewer mating pairs left to replenish numbers.
The problem is longline fishing. To catch valuable fish such as tuna, huge fishing vessels set lines up to 130 km long bristling with baited hooks. The albatross see the bait, become hooked and drown.
An estimated 1 billion hooks are set each year by the world's longline fishing fleets. This has made the traditional feeding grounds dangerous places to be for all sea birds.
No-one benefits from this slaughter. A drowned, lifeless albatross is of no value to the fishermen. They would much prefer their hooks caught the fish for which they were intended.

The Kiss of Death ....

The deputy prime minister, John Prescott, last night broke the cabinet's vow of silence on the future of the Labour leadership by confirming that he will be supporting Gordon Brown as the party's future leader.

The Guardian

... and if I saw this coming towards me I would turn tail and runnnnnnn ...... Scaree!

Soccer Ref Fights Back.

Wednesday, 27 September 2006

Dealing with BT cold calls

How to deal with unwanted phone calls - NSFW.

** Contains much anger and swearing **

Line Rider

Agony or Ecstasy

Saw this on Nothing to do with Arbroath's blog and just had to share it.

Cathedral, Justo Gallego

Photo Link:

A cathedral being built by a former monk near Madrid with no planning permission may be moving closer to official approval, Spanish TV reports.
An established architect told the television channel that if the imposing structure was reinforced, the local authority might officially sanction it.
Justo Gallego started the cathedral 45 years ago after illness forced him to leave the Trappist monastery he was in.
His building materials include spray cans, oil drums and old bicycle parts.


First zero-gravity human surgery

A team of French doctors are planning to carry out the first operation on a human being under weightless conditions in a specially adapted aircraft.
It is hoped the trial will be a first step to performing surgery in space.

The doctors will be removing a benign tumour from the arm of a volunteer as the plane makes a series of manoeuvres to create weightlessness.
The surgeons will be working strapped to the sides of the plane while the patient is held inside a plastic tent.
Specially designed instruments have been fitted with magnets to attach them to the metal operating table.

During the three-hour flight above south-west France, the specially designed Airbus A300 Zero-G will be making parabolic swoops to create zero gravity.
The operation will be carried out in a series of 20-second periods of weightlessness.

I just hope nobody throws up in the middle of the operation

Tuesday, 26 September 2006

Texas parent complains about a student seeing nude art in museum.

Frisco school trustees aren't renewing the contract of a veteran art teacher who was reprimanded because a student saw a nude sculpture during a museum visit.
Sydney McGee has been on paid administrative leave from Fisher Elementary School since Friday.

Board members declined to take questions after their closed meeting tonight.

McGee's attorney says the teacher's troubles started after taking 89 students on a school field trip to the Dallas Museum of Art in April. The principal later admonished McGee about the trip, telling her a parent complained about a student seeing nude art.


Once again the moral minority are trying to decide what we should or should not see.

Something like this .......

... or this .....


... Next thing you know, they will be making their daughters wear burkas.



Very ingenuous

Inquiry into explicit porn on Scottish Parliament's TV system

Holyrood officials last night launched an investigation after explicit porn channels were found on the parliament's in-house broadcasting system.

The parliament last night said the channels appeared to have been added to the TV feed by mistake, and the supplier had been asked to remove them.

Look --- there goes a flying pig !!!

Omagh Bombings

I watched the TV news coverage of the start of the trial of the Omagh bomber which was accompanied by amateur video footage of the aftermath of the blast and I couldn't help but be shocked that somebody actually video'd this while people were lying in the streets injured, dead or dying. It really takes an extremely callous person to do this sort of thing, thinking of how much money they can be paid for the video instead of helping the injured.

The 29 victims of Real IRA bombers

1. Brenda Logue, 17, from Carrickmore, Co Tyrone. Survived by her parents and three brothers.
2. Gareth Conway, 28, from Carrickmore, Co Tyrone. Survived by his parents, three brothers and three sisters.
3. Avril Monaghan, 27, from Augher, Co Tyrone. She was pregnant carrying twins. Survived by her husband and four children.
4. Alan Radford, 16, from Omagh. Survived by his mother, three sisters and a brother.
5. Lorraine Wilson, 15, from Omagh. Survived by her parents, two brothers and her sister.
6. Elizabeth Rush, 57, from Omagh. Survived by her husband, two sons and her daughter.
7. Elizabeth Hawkes, 59, from Omagh. Survived by her husband, son and her daughter.
8. Mary Grimes, 66, from Beragh, Co Tyrone. Survived by her husband and 10 children. Her daughter Avril Monaghan and her granddaughter Maura also lost their lives.
9. Maura Monaghan, 18 months, from Augher, Co Tyrone. Maura was the daughter of Avril and granddaughter of Mary Grimes.
10. Ann McCombe, 48, from Omagh. Survived by her husband and two sons.
11. Rocio Ramos, 23, from Spain. He was leading a group of Spanish students who were on a visit to Ireland.
12. Philomena Skelton, 39, from Drumquin, Co Tyrone. Survived by her husband, three daughters and a son.
13. Fernando Baselga, 12, a visiting Spanish student.
14. Thomas White, 65, from Omagh. Survived by his wife and a daughter. His son Bryan died in the explosion.
15. Oran Doherty, eight, from Buncrana, Co Donegal.
16. Bryan White, 26, from Omagh. Survived by his mother and sister. His father also died in the explosion.
17. Adrian Gallaher, 21, from Omagh. Survived by his parents and two sisters.
18. Jolene Marlow, 17, from Carrickmore, Co Tyrone. Survived by her parents and four brothers and sisters.
19. Esther Gibson, 36, from Beragh, Co Tyrone. Survived by her parents 10 brothers and sisters and her fiancé.
20. Brian McCrory, 54, from Omagh. Survived by his wife, his daughter and two sons.
21. Deborah Cartwright, 20, from Omagh. Survived by her parents and her brother.
22. Julia Hughes, 21, from Omagh. Survived by her parents, sister and two brothers.
23. Shaun McLaughlin, 12, from Buncrana, Co Donegal.
24. James Barker, 12, from Buncrana, Co Donegal. Survived by his mother and father.
25. Samantha McFarland, 17, from Omagh. Survived by her parents and two brothers.
26. Breda Devine, 20 months, from Donemana, Co Tyrone. Survived by her mother and father.
27. Veda Short, 56, from Omagh. Survived by three daughters and her son.
28. Geraldine Breslin, 43, from Omagh. Survived by her husband and son.
29. John McGrath, 61, from Omagh. Survived by his wife, two daughters and two sons.

Beijing secretly fires lasers to disable US satellites

China has secretly fired powerful laser weapons designed to disable American spy satellites by "blinding" their sensitive surveillance devices, it was reported yesterday.
The hitherto unreported attacks have been kept secret by the Bush administration for fear that it would damage attempts to co-opt China in diplomatic offensives against North Korea and Iran.


At the same time, China is engaged in a large-scale espionage effort against American high-tech firms working on projects such as the multibillion-pound DD(X) destroyer programme.
Several spy rings have been cracked and the FBI is increasing the number of counter-intelligence staff tracking the Chinese effort.

Daily Telegraph:

So it's all right for America to spy on China (and the rest of the world) but it's not OK for China to spy on America!!

Radio 4 is like Marks & Spencer's knickers

Kirsty Young, the new host of Desert Island Discs, promises to give her interviewees time to explore their lives in depth and says she will be tougher on politicians who pick modern records to appear cool.
"In the early 1970s, [Michael] Parkinson did wonderful extended interviews," she says in today's Radio Times. "People came on the show because they thought it might be nice to talk to an interesting person.


: "Radio 4 is a bit like Marks & Spencer's knickers. I met the man who runs M&S and he told me he constantly gets people coming up to him saying, 'Remember those knickers you made in 1972? They were marvellous.'
"Radio 4 is a bit like that. It's part of the fabric of British life. It's certainly a big part of my life."

Daily Telegraph

Monday, 25 September 2006

Stop Child Abuse

Stella Artois : Film Poster

It's another of those - see how many films you can name.

Do You Know First Aid

A photo of an injured person lying at the bottom of stairs ...

To raise awareness around World First Aid Day, ad agency Downtown Partners placed life size realistic decals of a person at the bottom of stairwells in Cineplex Odeon Theatres in Toronto. At first, the decal generates the impression that someone is lying down unconscious and needs help, but as you get closer, you'll realize it's just a picture on the floor with a request to visit for a first aid training course.

Isaac Corry - Irish Chancellor

I was speaking to a gentleman from Newry today who, because we were discussing government policy and economic trends, told me the following story.

Isaac Corry, from Newry, was appointed Chancellor of Ireland in 1799 and one of his duties was to send out income tax forms - well, since a large proportion of the population could not read or write, he had the clever idea to introduce a tax on windows (and hence, light in homes) which proved to be highly unpopular (not just with the landed classes with the largest homes, but with the merchant class from which he sprang).

When the landowners received the bill, calculated on the size of windows, they disputed the amount and asked for windows to be re-measured. When the valuer went out the windows had, of course, shrunk. To allow more light into the home doors were cut in half - and that is the origin of the Irish Half-Door. This was also the origin of the saying - that 'he wouldn't give you daylight'.

Graffiti artist recreates Sistine Chapel ceiling


A graffiti artist is recreating the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in a rundown building in Iowa.

Paco Rosic and his family have spent their life savings, and his parents have taken out a second mortgage, to pay for the project.

The family are converting the building into a cafe and jazz club and hope the fresco will pay for itself by helping to attract customers.

I can only wish them the 'best of luck'.

'Dead' woman not so dead!

A Brazilian woman shocked her family by turning up alive and well a week after her own funeral.
Relatives of 18-year-old Maria Fabiana Franco thought she was a ghost and wouldn't let her in the house.

Miss Franco, from Vitoria, had been missing for two weeks when her sister wrongly identified the body of a young woman as being her.
Adriana Lacerda, the sister, said: "The dead woman was identical to my sister. They even had the same scar on the same eyebrow!"

I do like this type of story. But I really do like the ending ....

Miss Franco told police she had run away with her boyfriend but had to return home after he was arrested.

The Belfast Boy

In Belfast we have The Black Taxi Tour, The Open Top Bus Tour, The Wall Mural Tour, The Titanic Tour and now we are to have The Belfast Boy Tour. George Best fans can see where he went to school and where he scored his goals. My wife wonders if they will also be organizing a pub crawl.

Oh, she has a razor sharp wit (c:

Saturday, 23 September 2006

Jean Béraud

Jean Béraud - The wait.

Let's see how imaginative you can be ....
How about a brief scenario of what the image conjures up for you.

The Wait

by Sandy Jones

In anticipation I wait for the end
of our time

When I am no longer plagued
by these feelings
Within me.

When your eyes no longer hold
mine captive

And your face no longer haunts
my dreams.

In anticipation I wait for my life
to be my own

When I stop struggling to catch
a glimpse of you

When my heart can rest from its
At the sight of you.

And your touch no longer thrills me
into ecstasy.

Jean Béraud (January 12, 1849 Saint Petersburg - October 4, 1935 Paris) was a French painter.

His father was a sculptor and was probably working on the site of St Isaac's Cathedral when Jean was born. The young Béraud, a student of Léon Bonnat, exhibited his paintings at the Salon for the first time in 1872, but he only gained some recognition in 1876, with his On the Way Back from the Funeral. He exhibited with the Society of French Watercolorists at the 1889 World's Fair in Paris. He painted many scenes of Parisian daily life during the Belle Époque in a style that stands somewhere between the academic art of the Salon and that of the Impressionists. He received the Légion d'honneur in 1894.

Jean Béraud died in Paris in 1935 and was buried in Montparnasse cemetery.

CyberSpace Galleries

First Post Viral Competition.

'Web 2.0' by Leo Bridle & Leo Powell UK

Excellent animation - readers were invited to create an internet viral based on the theme of The First Post, with a chance to win £5,000. Virals could be in the form of a film or an animation, but they had to be no longer than 60 seconds. The competition was open to amateurs and professionals.

Click on the link above to see the winning entry - it really is very good.

When TV stunts go wrong

While wishing nothing but a speedy recovery to Richard Hammond, co-presenter of the BBC's amazingly popular car-bore programme Top Gear, we might pause to wonder what a married man of 36, with two young daughters, was doing driving a glorified firework at 300mph around a Yorkshire airfield.

Trying to excite the viewers, is what. Just like Steve Irwin, the 'up close and at 'em' Australian 'naturalist', before he was fatally stabbed in the heart by a passing stingray. Like Jonathan Goodwin, the Channel Four escapologist saved by paramedics earlier this year after attempting to hang himself for a show entitled Death Wish Live!


For a glimpse of just how far broadcasters will push things, Uruguayan television managed to polish off seven participants in a single episode of a game show when the train they were trying to push rolled back and ran them over. And this before a live audience of 3,000 schoolchildren.

Pic Of The Day

U.S. Shuttle Atlantis

Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

A strange thing happened tonight - between 8.29 and 8.39 p.m. I had 16 people from the UK visit my site all directed here by Google, all wanting to know which boxer was famous for striking the J. Arthur Rank gong.
Presumably this was in response to Chris Tarrant asking viewers to text the correct answer to the show for the possibility of winning £1,000.
Well if they had read my blog on 14th September they could have saved themselves the trouble.
SOooo! since this was not a live show will any of them be in with a chance to win the £1,000?

Maybe I should ask for a percentage of the winnings (c:

4,000 Barbies - going, going gone ...

4,000 Barbie dolls collected by Marina Kochen, over 43 years, are to be auctioned next week.
Marina has decided to collect Tom Jones memorabilia instead.

How Sad!

Ietje Raebel bought her first Barbie doll in the early 1960s as a toy for her small daughter, Marina but kept it for herself after realising the child would rather play with baby-like dolls..
When Ietje's daughter Marina became a teenager she joined her mother as a keen collector. It was only when Ietje became ill with Alzheimer's that Marina decided to sell the dolls.

Twiggy Barbie (1967) is expected to attract fierce bidding, especially as the model has recently made a comeback with her poster and television campaign for Marks and Spencer.

  • 'Barbie 1959-2002 - The Ietje Raebel and Marina Collection' will be auctioned at Christie's, London SW7 (020 7930 6074), on 26 September. The collection is on view on 23 September

  • Friday, 22 September 2006

    Eat Me.

    Artist Sharon Baker created an edible form of herself - an exact replica,
    made of dough and baked. She then cut it up and invited people to eat her.
    It was eerily realistic.
    I really don't like the look of those feet - wonder did she get treatment for them.

    Writer's trial a key moment for Turkey

    Sarah Rainsford BBC News, Istanbul

    Turkish police were on duty outside Beyoglu court from early morning.
    Riot police lined up at the main gates complete with plastic shields and gas masks.
    The courtroom itself was sectioned off behind a row of tall temporary fencing.
    High security, for the trial of a novelist.
    Elif Shafak stood accused of "insulting Turkishness". The charge related to her latest novel The Bastard of Istanbul.
    The novel centres on two families - one Turkish, one Armenian - and includes discussion of the mass killing of Armenians in the dying days of the Ottoman Empire.

    Armenia insists Turkey recognise that as genocide.

    The author says her novel examines issues of memory and amnesia.
    She had hoped it might promote empathy between nations.

    Instead she was charged under Article 301 of the penal code - which holds a possible prison sentence of three years.
    "In our culture no-one can brand their ancestors murderers or accuse them of genocide," Kemal Kerincsiz insisted ahead of the trial.
    He is one of the nationalist lawyers who filed the initial complaint against the novel.
    "Maybe in the West they're more tolerant, but here we can't accept those comments as criticism."

    That says it all really.

    Farmers fed cows cannabis

    Five Romanian farmers are being investigated after police discovered they were feeding their cows cannabis.
    The farmers from Romanesti in Botosani county, told officers the drug helped the cows produce more milk.
    The farmer aged between 57 and 82, claim they didn't know they were doing something illegal by growing the drug in their field
    Farmer Ion Astarastoaie said: "We grew it because the cows seemed to like it, and happy cows give more milk."

    Far Out, MOO!

    p.s. how do you pronounce that surname?

    Man jumps from 50ft bridge after banknote

    A homeless Florida man jumped from a 50ft bridge into a river after a $20 banknote blew out of his hand.
    Mark Giorgio, 47, of Palmetto, leapt into the mile-wide Manatee River and swam 100 yards to reclaim his money, reports the Herald Tribune.
    He was fished from the river and taken to shore by a passing Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission boat.

    "I got my money back, hell yeah," a soaking wet Giorgio said as paramedics checked his pulse. "Twenty bucks is a lot of money when you're broke."
    Giorgio said he lost the bill - worth about £10.50 - while counting his money as he walked across the bridge.

    He suffered a couple of cuts and refused medical treatment after his jump.

    He obviously had a few notes to count - so not that broke! But you still have to feel for him.

    World's most expensive marmalade

    A jam maker has marked its 125th anniversary by producing the world's most expensive marmalade.
    F Duerr & Son's Fine Cut Seville Orange Marmalade with Whisky, Champagne and Gold costs £5,000 a jar.
    That means it would cost an estimated £76 to spread on just one slice of toast, reports the Telegraph.
    It contains finest Seville fruit with vintage Dalmore 62 whisky from Whyte & Mackay, valued at £32,000 per bottle, Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 1996 vintage champagne and flakes of 24-carat gold leaf.

    The Manchester-based firm's special marmalade is encased in a custom-made crystal jar valued at £1,100.
    Mmanaging director Mark Duerr said: "It's unbelievably good - we tasted it at a board meeting last week for the first time, and were amazed. The whisky comes through immediately. The champagne's more subtle."

    The initial plan was to make the exclusive preserve a one-off production, with the one-kilo jar being auctioned on eBay to raise money for the Manchester Kids charity.
    However, Duerr's has been so impressed by the taste that it is considering making a more affordable version as a normal product.

    OH Goody Goody.

    The Captain

    Now the Captain called me to his bed
    He fumbled for my hand
    Take these silver bars, he said
    I'm giving you command.

    Command of what, there's no one here
    There's only you and me --
    All the rest are dead or in retreat
    Or with the enemy.

    Complain, complain, that's all you've done
    Ever since we lost
    If it's not the Crucifixion
    Then it's the Holocaust.

    May Christ have mercy on your soul
    For making such a joke
    Amid these hearts that burn like coal
    And the flesh that rose like smoke.

    I know that you have suffered, lad,
    But suffer this awhile:
    Whatever makes a soldier sad
    Will make a killer smile.

    I'm leaving, Captain, I must go
    There's blood upon your hand
    But tell me, Captain, if you know
    Of a decent place to stand.

    There is no decent place to stand
    In a massacre;
    But if a woman take your hand
    Go and stand with her.

    I left a wife in Tennessee
    And a baby in Saigon --
    I risked my life, but not to hear
    Some country-western song.

    Ah but if you cannot raise your love
    To a very high degree,
    Then you're just the man I've been thinking of --
    So come and stand with me.

    Your standing days are done, I cried,
    You'll rally me no more.
    I don't even know what side
    We fought on, or what for.

    I'm on the side that's always lost
    Against the side of Heaven
    I'm on the side of Snake-eyes tossed
    Against the side of Seven.
    And I've read the Bill of Human Rights
    And some of it was true
    But there wasn't any burden left
    So I'm laying it on you.

    Now the Captain he was dying
    But the Captain wasn't hurt
    The silver bars were in my hand
    I pinned them to my shirt.

    Leonard Cohen

    September 22

    September 22 known to be the last day of the summer season in the Northern Hemisphere, and the last day of the winter season in the Southern Hemisphere.

    Today's birthdays...

    1880 - Dame Christabel Pankhurst, English suffragist (d. 1958)
    1931 - Fay Weldon, British feminist
    1940 - Anna Karina, Danish born actress
    1943 - Toni Basil, American singer
    1951 - David Coverdale, English singer
    1957 - Nick Cave, Australian musician
    1958 - Andrea Bocelli, Italian tenor
    1958 - Joan Jett, American musician
    1971 - Chesney Hawkes, British singer .... you can not be serious -- singer!!!

    ......... oh and yesterday was Leonard Cohen's 72nd birthday

    Also yesterday ...
    1866 - H. G. Wells, English writer (d. 1946)
    1944 - Fannie Flagg, American actress and novelist


    Thursday, 21 September 2006

    Bungee Jumper

    Life - in its true perspective

    Project Jason-Voice for the Missing

    Sylvie Guillem

    Sylvie Guillem (born February 25,1965 in Paris)is a French ballet dancer who has performed with the Paris Opera Ballet and is currently a guest principal dancer with the Royal Ballet.

    As a child, Guillem trained in gymnastics under the instruction of her mother, and at age 11, she began training at the Paris Opera Ballet School. Eventually she joined their company in the corps de ballet at 16 years old. In 1983 Guillem won the gold medal at the Varna International Ballet Competition. On December 29, 1984, at the young age of 19, Guillem became an etoile of the company after her first performance of Swan Lake. She created the leading role in William Forsythe's contemporary ballet, In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated in 1987. In 1989, Guillem shocked Rudolf Nureyev when she left the Paris Opera Ballet to become the principal guest artist at the Royal Ballet.

    Extremely flexible, Guillem became controversial for her high extensions, which some detractors said ruined the line of classical ballet. They called it "ear whacking." However, many dancers have since become if anything even more flexible than Guillem. And Guillem's style allowed her to dance both the classical roles and more contemporary works with equal success.

    Sylvie and the Boyz

    Hurled through the air, her body a mass of bruises, superstar ballerina Sylvie Guillem is risking everything for an extraordinary new Royal Ballet commission. Ismene Brown reports

    "Trust me," says Michael Nunn, grinning untrustworthily. Sylvie Guillem, superstar ballerina, grimaces as she sits on the floor. Suddenly, electrifyingly, she launches herself into the air, to be caught by her bird-like hip-bones by Nunn,way over his head. "Don't worry, you're insured!" he quips. "I'm not!" she protests,looking like Concorde being plucked out of the sky.

    My jaw drops. I have never seen any dance look so fantastically risky as what is going on in rehearsals for Broken Fall.

    Sylvie's wake-up call
    30 March 2002:

    Sylvie Guillem is 37 now, with a host of young dancers rising to challenge her. But the queen of the Royal Ballet is as passionately committed to excellence as ever. She talks to Ismene Brown

    'SHE'S fighting the world most of the time - and she's fighting against herself too. An extreme character,like a wild animal - someone who is not understood, someone who is loved and hated at the same time, who has her own rules of life. A revoltee."

    The French ballerina Sylvie Guillem is describing her next role at the Royal Ballet, that of the cigar-smoking Carmen in Mats Ek's modern dance version of the Bizet opera.

    Adventures on the dance floor

    Two of the world's most exciting movers are collaborating for the first time. Sarah Crompton reports

    'I really think I am someone masochistic, mentally and physically," says Sylvie Guillem. And her laughter fills the drab, grey conference room in which we are sitting, transforming it into somewhere more exotic than a breeze-blocked space in north London.

    She is talking about the challenge of her first collaboration with Akram Khan, a dancer as skilled in the Indian classical style of Kathak as she is in classical ballet – describing just how far she has been prepared to push her remarkable body and her restless, questing mind in a search for new terrain.
    In Sacred Monsters, which premières at Sadler's Wells on September 19, they not only dance, but also speak. Alone on stage together, they describe themselves as embarking on a journey which examines where they have come from – and where they are heading. Hence Guillem's amused discovery of her masochistic tendencies. "When I saw Akram on stage I already knew that his energy was completely different to mine, so I knew that I was already going somewhere that I didn't know and it was going to be physically painful.

    Trompe l'oeil

    Another really nice trompe l'oeil in Lyons

    Juliette Récamier

    Juliette Récamier (1777-1849), nèe Jeanne François Julie Adélaïde Bernard, was born in Lyon on December 4, 1777. Her father was a lawyer and her mother was just a beauty. In 1793, at the age of 16 Juliette married a 43-year-old banker, a business acquaintance of her father.

    She became one of the foremost society beauties of the day. Her salon attracted all gallant men of the capital, although no one could boast to be her lover. Among her admirers were Jean Baptiste, Jules Bernadotte and Lucien Bonaparte, whom she was able to keep remote without discouraging. Napoleon, though, was so much irritated with her rejection to become lady-in-waiting at his court and his intimate friend that he remained hostile towards her all his life. Thus, when in 1806, the bank of M. Récamier got into a difficult situation and Napoleon could have saved it from bankruptcy, he refused, and moreover, in 1811 found a pretext to send Juliette out of Paris.

    Just a beauty! JUST a beauty!! ......

    Juliette ou Julie Récamier (de son nom complet : Jeanne Françoise Julie Adélaïde Récamier), dite Madame Récamier (4 décembre 1777 à Lyon - 11 mai 1849 à Paris), femme d'esprit et Merveilleuse du Directoire.
    La beauté et le charme de Madame Récamier, épouse d'un riche banquier, lui suscitèrent une foule d'admirateurs, parmi lesquels Chateaubriand, dont elle fut l'égérie durant plusieurs décennies et jusqu'à sa mort.
    Elle fut l'une des premières à se meubler en style « étrusque » et à s'habiller « à la grecque », sous le Directoire, et joua de ce fait un rôle non négligeable dans la diffusion du goût pour l'Antique qui allait prévaloir sous l'Empire.
    Amie de Madame de Staël et de Chateaubriand, elle fut une figure clé de l'opposition au régime de Napoléon. Son salon avait un rôle non négligeable dans la vie politique et intellectuelle de l'époque.

    A painting by YIN XIN who paints portraits in the style of Old Masters.

    Snakeskin Books:

    They say you cannot judge a book by its cover, but what if your summer read is bound in snakeskin? Most people would slither away from a book wrapped in cobra or python skin, especially with the summer’s big movie Snakes On A Plane expected to have patrons rattling with fear.

    But did you know that snakeskin books have been around since the 1800's?

    Read about or order books here: Abebooks.

    'Lesbians have more orgasms'

    Daily Mail:
    Women having lesbian sex are more likely to reach orgasm than those embarking on straight sex, according to a survey published today.
    Researchers found that 76 per cent of women who slept with another woman reached orgasm, compared to only 69 per cent who slept with men.

    Surely the thinking is flawed here - because there are twice as many women in the lesbian survey? (c:

    Lorraine Kelly editor resigns over abusive text

    Daily Mail:
    The editor of Lorraine Kelly's breakfast show has resigned after a furious row with the television presenter.
    Benedetta Pinelli, editor of LK Today stepped down after realising she had accidentally sent Kelly a text message saying she was a nightmare to deal with and that she hated her.

    Kelly, who hosts the show on GMTV, was shooting on location in Namibia on Sunday when she apparently fell out with Miss Pinelli over the work of Kelly's husband Steve Smith, a long-serving cameraman on the show.

    Feeling aggrieved and apparently humiliated, Miss Pinelli, decided to text her husband back in the UK to let off steam.
    But it appears that Kelly was playing on her mind so much as she was writing the four-line text message that she mistakenly sent it to her instead.
    The text is understood to have read: "My god, I have really got the hump. I have just had this massive bust up with LK. It happened today. She's a nightmare to work with. I hate her."

    Silly Cow!

    Wednesday, 20 September 2006

    Tucson Bus Shelter

    I took this photo of a very arty bus shelter when I was visiting Tucson during 2001. The seat is the rear of a Chevrolet (or something similar) and cherubs are holding a sheet from four palm trees to form a canopy. There are a number of other similarly artistic bus shelters in Tucson - one of which was made of bicycle parts.
    This one is close to the Road Runner Hostel (hi everybody, I had a great time there) which, prior to conversion, was once the home of the deputy sheriff of Tucson, famed for his capture of bank-robber John Dillinger.

    I have not been able to find any information or other photos on the web about these shelters and I have had to take a digital photo of my 35mm print, which is why the quality is not so good. So if anybody has any information or knows of a website with more information please let me know, Thank You.

    Man, 95, held for kerb-crawling

    Daily Mail:

    A 95-year-old man has been arrested during a crackdown on kerb-crawlers at a popular seaside resort.

    The pensioner was detained by officers after he was seen to pick up a prostitute in Bournemouth, Dorset, but he was let off with a reprimand because of his age.

    Kerb-crawling - Well what do you expect at that age? He's not going to move too fast is he?

    Flora Bush - the 'third' Bush twin!

    On November 25th, 1981, George W. Bush became the loving father of twins.
    Unfortunately, Mom gave birth to triplets.

    Deux Madeleines (c:

    Lamborghini Gallardo on 4 tea cups.

    Some Late Photos