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Sweets! - 09.05.2021

   food

Had a lovely time reminiscing about chocolate bars and sweets today with Tina, Carol and Ken. I'm no longer going to eat any confectionery younger than me! A Bounty Bar will be ok, but not, unfortunately, a Picnic. A surprising number of these have origins in the USA, but we'll ignore that and list them anyway.

Here's a list of all that I can find:

1612 Pontefract Cakes
1864 Jelly Babies (originally Unclaimed Babies)
1866 Fry’s Chocolate Cream Bar
1869 Kendal Mint Cake
1881 Rowntree's Fruit Pastilles
1899 Liquorice Allsorts
1902 Fry’s Milk Chocolate (5 Boys)
1905 Cadbury’s Dairy Milk
1908 Toblerone
1909 Wine Gums
1910 Walnut Whip

Continue Reading...


Danny - a YouTube Sensation - 29.04.2021

   video

YouTube constantly throws up interesting, niche and quirky content. Danny seems to be the current flavour of the month. Dive into his channel, settle down with him and his portable table and chair, and savour the northern charm and culinary excellence which runs though all his videos. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm...

If you watched this, now imagine Danny taking his table and chair abroad. India, USA, Japan, France - the possibilities are endless. Please do, Danny, once we are able to travel again.


Twanguero: Cannonball Rag - 29.04.2021

   music  video

SWEET!!


Beatles in Basingstoke - Brilliant! - 29.04.2021

   music  photo

The Beatles in Basingstoke

The fab four look really pleased to be on the Magical Mystery Tour bus in Basingstoke with the Stag and Hounds pub in the background. If there's one place I can't imagine them visiting it's Basingstoke!

Thanks to Ken for unearthing more information.


Elizabeth Cotten: Freight Train - 29.04.2021

   music  video

Elizabeth Cotten has a fascinating backstory. Just one detail: the youngest of five children, her parents never named her, just calling her "Li'l Sis". She chose her own name when the teacher asked her name on her first day at school.


Nightscape - 02.04.2021

   processing

I enjoyed making this. Reminds me of watching the buildings of Canary Wharf roll by from the DLR. I was particularly pleased with my twinkling stars :)

Click the image to animate... nightscape) Code here


Plainsong - 23.03.2021

   books

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Plainsong

Kent Haruf wrote six novels, all set in the fictional Colorado town of Holt. Plainsong is his third book and the first of a trilogy featuring interlocking stories of some of Holt's inhabitants.

Did I like Plainsong? Well, I devoured it in a day, then didn't take much longer over the other two parts of the trilogy. There followed his first and second novels and I'm just starting his final book. He writes about a small town surrounded by large farms and their farmers, and the local bars and diners full of characters - all wonderfully drawn. One such is Victoria, a pregnant teen thrown out of her home by her alcoholic mother. One of Victoria's teachers hatches a plan to get two bachelor farmers to take her in. These crusty brothers and Victoria will bring a tear to your eye.


Frank Zappa's Perfect Playlist - 22.03.2021

   music

Frank Zappa by Rober Crumb

Did you know Frank Zappa was a Radio One DJ? I can hear gasps of astonishment and disbelief. Well, I gasped. I think I'm the only one reading this.

Back in 1980, Radio One invited Frank to host an episode of Star Special, a show where (err) stars played their favourite tracks for a couple of hours. Among other guests spinning the discs were David Bowie, Abba, Brian Ferry and Dennis Waterman. An eclectic mix of huge names and ... Dennis Waterman.

You can listen to the show and read a really good review here. There are some surprising choices, some songs I'd never heard, and Frank's segues are fascinating.

Someone has gone to the trouble of making a YouTube playlist of all the tracks.

I really enjoy listening to musicians playlist choices. Another favourite was Brian Eno's appearance on Desert Island Discs. Well worth a listen, there are some musical gems which sent me off on an audio voyage of discovery.


The Narrow Road to the Deep North - 21.03.2021

   books

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ☆

The Narrow Road to the Deep North

A successful and latterly famous Australian doctor looks back on a passionate love affair and his experiences as a WW2 prisoner forced to work on the Burma railway. Reading this made me realise (not for the first time) how easy my generation has had it and how resilient people can be when there is no alternative.


Staying On - 20.03.2021

   books

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ☆

staying on

An elderly couple are the last British people left in Pankot after Indian independence. I really enjoyed the bittersweet story of Lucy and Tusker's daily battle to keep some sort of control over their lives, and Lucy's reminiscences of their long marriage. Vibrant and sometimes randy locals add to the fun and kept me turning pages.