LOOK YOU ~ a rolling scrapbook of life, the universe and nearly everything...
ARCHIVE 2015 - JULY

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POSTCARDS FROM
MY SQUARE MILE
click... Smile
Updated: 11/08/2013

ALSO...
for a taste of life on the wild side of my square mile, click...

400 Smiles A Day
Updated: 08/06/2013



                                                                                        Design: Yosida

 
                                                                 ♫♫♫ TO SELF                            
It seems that the artist Leonardo da Vinci kept a notebook, Notes to Self, a list of “things to do today”: buy paper; charcoal; chalk ... describe tongue of woodpecker and jaw of crocodile...
     These are my Notes to Self, a daily record of the things that make me smile and which brighten up my day no end, whether read in a newspaper, seen on TV, heard on the radio, told in the pub, spotted in the supermarket, a good joke, a great story, a funny cartoon, a film clip, an eye-catching picture, a memorable song, something startling that nevertheless generates a spontaneous smile, curiosities spotted along my walks through the Towy Valley...
     This is a snapshot of life beyond the blue horizon...

    
                                                                               ...and everyday a doolally smile of the day
PS: The shortest distance between two people is a smile ...
                                                                             
Contact Me
 
Friday, July 31st, 2015

  A COUPLE of smiley tweets spotted over recent days...
 

@montie

“So much more dramatic than the ‘Jeremy Clarkson
is away’ we have in British newspapers.”

Actually, I have always thought it should be “Jeremy Clarkson is a way over the top”.

Incidentally, Margaret Wente is an American-born Canadian, and a columnist for Canada’s largest national daily newspaper, The Globe and Mail.

Oh, and I enjoyed this tweeted response...

@CorriganMJ: I preferred it when they used to add ... “in The Spy Who Loved Me”.

My preference?
“MARGARET WENTE will return ... God willing”. That “will  return” appears to be tempting fate just a tad too extravagantly for me.

And then this tweet, a TripAdvisor report on a pub called The Globe, Bow Street, London...
 

@MontyBodkin

“The bar man threw a Guinness in my face and then set his alsatian
 on me. We only stayed because we had food coming.”

And these tweets in response...

@katieglassST: This is amazing. I’d go every night ... dressed as a pirate ... when you’re a shit singer it’s the best you can hope for.

@xylottie: I like how they gave the atmosphere a rating of 5/5.

@soobrickay: Obviously a fan of gritty realism and authentic experiences.

@SchulerCJ: “Was this review helpful?” Yes ― 13.


Me? I just hoped those young pirates kept saying things like “Ahoy there ... avast ... Cap’n ... saucy wench ... splice the mainbrace ... poop deck” ― oh yes, and hopefully addressed the bar man’s alsatian as “ye scurvy dog”.

And kept declaring “Yo-ho-ho!” to all and sundry.
 


Thursday, July 30th

A CHOICE review in Wednesday’s Sunday Times  TV guide caught my eye...
 

 

A Goon show
The Interviews (Gold, 9pm)

“Being a clown is nice, I like that,” says Spike Milligan in one of the interview clips that makes up this profile. Chat-show viewers wouldn’t have needed to be Freud to work out there was more to him than just comedy, however: despite the silliness, these encounters never quite mask Milligan’s mercurial complexity.
     This programme explores his wartime service, his mental illness and his personal life, in a portrait that fits in an introduction from his 1977 BBC2 show Q7: “We have been asked to point out that the programme is unsuitable for younger viewers ... older viewers ... those of a nervous disposition or easily offended...”

Do you know, nearly 40 years on, BBC programmes are now so dumbed-down and sprinkled with such bad language and obscenities, that that particular warning from Spike could just about precede most programmes.

Anyway, being a fan of the mad Irishman, I duly watched.
 

 

 

Said Hamlet to Ophelia,
I’ll draw a sketch of thee.
What kind of pencil shall I use?
2B or not 2B?
Spike Milligan

 

As the programme sped along, I noted those lines that made me chuckle and chortle and champion the man...

“When I was born the midwife took one look at me ― and gave my mother a slap.”

“Some wines are best drunk young. So I started when I was seven.”

“My inside-leg measurement? That’s 34 ― but occasionally longer when I’m with the right woman.”

That reminded me of a line from my younger days: “Excuse my limp ― but one leg is slightly shorter than the other two.”

Meanwhile, back with Spike...

“I shouldn’t have become an adult. That’s where I went wrong.”

“Well, he thought, you can fool some of the people all the time and all the people some of the time, which is just long enough to be President of the United States, and on that useless profundity, Milligan himself pedalled on, himself, himself.”

“My father was my greatest inspiration. He was a lunatic.”

And then Spike quoted this wonderful exchange with his father:

“When I was a boy I remember asking my father: what if you wake up one morning a woman? He thought about it a little while: 'I’d go for a walk and see what happens.'.”

What a memorable response.

“Professor Milligan will now play his tree! The composition is in A Minor, the tree is in A garden.”

Spike was then gently probed about his well-documented depressions:

“You feel the pain much more than anybody else. But you also see the sunrise better than anyone else.”

And those two quotes about Spike playing his tree and then enlightened by the sunrise brings to mind something I have previously written about here on Look You:

“You see, there are those who spend millions buying up van Goghs, Picassos, Turners and Monets in order to hang on their walls ― yet all you need do is stop and look around ... there are Old Masters everywhere: the flowers, the trees, the clouds ― and they don’t cost a penny.”

Spike Milligan (1918-2002), enlightens his three young children while playing Cowboys and Indians with them in the garden.


In an interview back in 1987, Spike was asked what he wished for in the world about him:

“I’d like the street to be cleaner...”

Here we are in 2015, and our highways and byways, not to mention our streets, are now even in a worse state.

Oh, and this marvellous story from one of his books...

Waiting for the operation, there was a gentle tap on the door. In came a strapping nurse. “Good morning”, she shrilled, whipped back the bedclothes, upped with his nightshirt, grabbed his willy, lathered furiously around it till it looked like the Eddystone Lighthouse in a storm, then shaved the whole area till it looked like an oven-ready chicken.
     “Excuse me, nurse”, said Looney, “why did you knock? And shouldn’t we have gone out for a drink and a meal first?”


And finally:

“How would you like to be remembered, Spike?”

A pause: “I just want to be remembered...”

 

Wednesday, July 29th

                                  Read my lips

DURING my Kit Kat break I particularly enjoyed my now annual ringside seat watching the gloriously doolally entertainment that is the Tour de France.

Top draw stuff, with Chris Froome winning his second yellow jersey. It is quite astonishing that, for all of 98 years a Brit never had a sniff of road cycling’s top prize ― yet in the four years since 2012, three of the winners have been British. Well, three winners of British extraction, anyway.

At the conclusion of Le Tour, there was an interview with Chris Froome’s wife, Michelle Cound. She was born in Neath, South Wales, but her family moved to South Africa when she was just five. An IT technician by trade, with a sideline in cycling photography, she spoke rather eloquently and sensibly. We will put that down to her Welsh roots!

Whatever, I was duly mesmerised by her wonderfully generous and sexy lips. Oh how Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, must sigh at the ruthlessness of Mother Nature’s rotten character signposts.
 

“Her lips were red, her looks were free,
Her locks were yellow as gold...”
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

“And though hard be the task,
‘Keep a stiff upper lip’.”
Phoebe Cary (1814-1871)

Mrs Froome, aka Michelle Cound

Nicola Sturgeon

Dolphin or shark, pussycat or polecat, sparrow or sparrow hawk...?

It is now pretty much acknowledged that within the first 10 seconds of meeting someone our clever brains will flash a sensationally accurate traffic lights warning: green, and it is safe to step forward and embrace without the risk of a knife in your back; amber, proceed with care; and red, hold your ground, even take a quiet step back.

Generous lips, for example, suggest an individual who enjoys an embrace and a kiss ― a good old ‘cwtch’ as we say here in Wales ― while thin or stiff upper lips imply a difficult person who tends to push you away with a spit of disdain.

What makes the theory so gloriously plausible is to juxtapose the facial features of Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Prime Minister David Cameron...
 

“His lips were red, his looks were free,
His locks were yellow as gold...
!!
With apologies to Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“And though hard be the task,
‘Keep a stiff upper lip’.”
Yes, still Phoebe Cary

Boris Johnson

David Cameron

Well, well, so Nicola Sturgeon and David Cameron are perfectly suited, both blessed/cursed with that very British characteristic, a stiff upper lip (literally, that is, as opposed to metaphorically).

Riding side saddle on a bicycle made for one

Returning to Michelle Cound, I enjoyed this tale about her from 2013, when Chris won his first Yellow Jersey.

“As she hunkered down in front of the television coverage of one of his [Chris Froome’s] individual time trials, she hooked herself up to a heart rate monitor. It revealed that at its peak while watching Froome’s effort, her heart was pounding at 171 beats per minute.

“Later she compared her figures with her man’s data. She discovered the ice cool champion’s heart rate that day had never at any point risen above 167 bpm...”

I did hear somewhere that, because these cyclists are so supremely fit, their heart rates never ‘explode’ the way, say, mine does when I’m doing something physically demanding ― but more intriguingly, when they are not racing or training and are just relaxing, their heart rates beat at rest at just about half those of non-athletes.

Oh, and a professional cyclist’s physical heart size is much larger than a normal person’s simply in order to cope with such physical demands.

Every day is indeed a day at school.

Finally, this extravagantly smiley letter in today’s Daily Telegraph:

Froome vs France

SIR – I have just finished reading a very entertaining book by Stephen Clarke entitled 1000 Years of Annoying the French.
     If this work is reprinted, it should surely be updated with a chapter on Chris Froome’s wonderful cycling achievements.
Ian Peacock, Trowbridge, Wiltshire


Spell-cheque corner:  ‘Cound’ ― as in Michelle Cound ― came up as ‘Count’. Phew, that was a close shave.

 

Sunday, July 19th > > > >

ENJOYING a break, enjoying a Kit Kat ― or two, or three, or four, maybe more...
 


Saturday, July 18th


 


Friday, July 17th

                          You should have seen the one that got away

MY favourite tweet of the week ― compliments of the BBC, no less:
 

@BBCGuernsey

“A Guernseyman has caught the Channel Island’s biggest
 anchovie. We’ll hear from angler Jerry Cob at 8:40.”
 

I trawled the responses, and duly netted this little lot:

@MusicClerk: This important story blighted by a typo ― it’s spelt ‘anchovy’ [plural: anchovies].

@Lightoverwater: ‘Man catches fish’ ... Slow news day?

On the contrary, LightoverH²O: ‘Man catches Mr Big.’

But my favourite response to this fishy tale of the unexpected was this spoof tweet...
 

@jonot

 

Meanwhile, my favourite response to a letter spotted in The Daily Telegraph:

Worst-name terms  

SIR – A pushy insurance company used to alienate me further by opening its incessant emails with “Hi there, Herbert” ― a first name my family dropped on the way home from my baptism more than 80 years ago.
John Allen, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire

quasi_verbatim: Herbert ― You should be gratified that your Christian name has been restored in all its glory after eighty years.
     Had you been known as Herbert and not as John throughout your life there might have been many more serendipitous occurrences and felicitous circumstances.
     The road not taken. Too late, too late.


What a delightfully classy response. Worthy of the user-name quasi verbatim.

Finally, remember this Daily Telegraph  letter from the other day?

A big ask

SIR – On the first of many summer outings yesterday, my step-grandson asked me, “Does God talk to Santa?”
     Any suggestions for a suitable response?
Sheila May, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire

And my thoughts were? Definitely yes, God does  talk to Santa, otherwise, how does Santa know precisely who has been naughty or who has been nice.

The day after I had concluded thus, this letter appeared in the Telegraph:

A helping hand  

SIR – Of course Father Christmas communicates with God. Compiling his naughty list requires omniscience, and therefore cannot be solely the work of a man so reliant on transport and the postal service.
Paul Goddard, Wing, Buckinghamshire

Great minds think alike, obviously, although Paul takes a more peripheral view than my tunnel vision ― and he also uses slightly bigger words than are normally used in dispatches down at the Crazy Horsepower Saloon.
 


 
Thursday, July 16th
                             Pluto revisited...

FROM The Daily Telegraph’s MATT:

On Tuesday I smiled at Twitter getting its Pluto in a twist and amusingly confusing it with a Disney dog.

Well, here’s a variation on the theme:

@ShanksLegacy

Pluto ― straight from the heart


How ingenious. And how a wandering imagination can turn a planet’s beauty spot into a smiley spot. “Come by, boy
!

Every day a day at school spot

Pluto, discovered in 1930, was downgraded from ‘planet’ to ‘dwarf planet’ in 2003 because it cannot clear other objects out of its path due to its size. Its moon, Charon, at almost half the size of Pluto, was discovered in 1978.
 

@NASANewHorizons

NASA scale graphic of Pluto and its moon Charon
compared with No. 3 Solar Avenue, Milky Way


As a ‘dwarf planet’, perhaps Pluto should have been renamed Sleepy. Until, that is, we know differently.
 


Wednesday, July 15th

Spotted in The Daily Telegraph:

Very important people  

SIR – Which is more prestigious: to be a national treasure or an icon?
David Tomlinson, Heswall, Wirral

Surprisingly, I spotted neither a witty nor a wise response ― but, this letter appeared a couple of days later:

A big ask  

SIR – On the first of many summer outings yesterday, my step-grandson asked me, “Does God talk to Santa?”
     Any suggestions for a suitable response?
Sheila May, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire

Well, in answer to that God/Santa question, I would say definitely yes, God does talk to Santa. Otherwise, how does Santa know precisely who has been naughty or who has been nice?

Incidentally, and sadly, I don’t think God talks to Lewis Hamilton, otherwise the racing driver would have turned up at Wimbledon wearing a jacket and tie as per invite.

Oh yes, the national treasure or icon conundrum. Well, Santa is not just a national treasure but an international treasure. So, ipso facto, God just has to be an icon.

As to which is the more prestigious, I guess it depends on how old you are. In mind, that is, rather than body.

On the question of decisions, decisions, this topical letter in The Times:

Make up your mind

Sir, The Greeks are clearly confused by the meanings of “yes” and “no”. I was similarly confused when crossing the border from Greek Macedonia into the FYR Macedonia, to find the pronunciation for “yes” in the former is the same as that for “no” in the latter.
     Not conductive to meaningful discussions with neighbours.
Mark Boylan, London W14

Never mind the Greeks being confused by the meanings of “yes” and “no”, I well remember my days as a trainee young buck-about-town, when I quickly learnt that “no” actually meant “maybe”; that a singy-songy, drawn-out “nooooo” meant “you must try harder” ― no pun intended; and that “I really shouldn’t” meant “you won’t tell anyone, will you?”.

I’m pleased to report that I always kept my side of the bargain, despite my amigos working overtime to read between my lips.

However, I learnt even quicker that “NO! meant precisely that. Mind you, I had learnt even earlier in life, compliments of my parents, that the timbre of a severe “NO! actually spoke a thousand refusals.

And finally, this letter in the Daily Mail:

Always on a Wednesday

IMAGINE my anticipation when driving through South Carolina to see a large sign stating ‘Shag lessons every Wednesday’ ― followed by disappointment on finding out that it’s the state dance to rhythm and blues music.
Mike Walker, Leek, Staffs

So, eager to find out more, I sent faithful old Ivor the Search Engine  out to look for evidence ... and what did he come back with?


And, with a puff of smoke and a hearty Hi-Yo Silver, away...
 

 
Tuesday, July 14th

                        Up close with Pluto

TODAY’S smile summed up in one headline:

 

Most distant planet in our solar system is photographed in
high-resolution by NASA probe New Horizons in closest
 fly-by ever after 3-billion-mile journey lasting 9½ years
 

A journey best summed up compliments of this tweet:

@chronsciguy: Before and after

“Pluto before @NewHorizons2015 ... and Pluto this
 morning. Thank you, science.”

Talk about getting to the heart of the matter.

However, looking at those wonderfully juxtaposed images of Pluto ― left, before New Horizons got there ... and after, with even better resolution promised ― I am reminded that this is what people look like...

Before: when you only know them superficially, at arm’s length, sort of thing.

After: when you have actually lived with them, worked with them, or witnessed them really drunk (while you remain stone-cold sober, obviously).

You see, observing people drunk tells you exactly how they will behave when they are sober but under extreme stress and/or in a foul and filthy mood. You have been warned.

Meanwhile, back with Pluto, the Twitterati has been busy. I particularly liked this tweet:
 

@georgeb3dr

“High res image from Pluto.”
 

How delightfully amusing. Disney clearly got there first.

With New Horizons at its closest to Pluto today, within a day or so information will start trickling back across space.

It is beyond my comprehension how a camera aboard New Horizons takes a picture today ― and then that digital signal begins its 3-billion-mile journey across space and back to base. Amazing.
 

Monday, July 13th

                           Nice piece of kit

Yesterday, I smiled at TV presenter Lorraine Kelly getting her kit off ― in the best possible taste, of course.

Today I read all about racing driver Lewis Hamilton not getting his Royal kit ON ― and all in the worst possible taste, of course.

Actually, there were a couple of letters in the Daily Mail  following the previous weekend’s Formula One Grand Prix at Silverstone:

A chequered flag

Why can’t I rejoice at Lewis Hamilton’s wins at Silverstone and elsewhere? I think it might be those over-large, flashy diamond earstuds.
M. Meredith, Gloucester

It’s not the flashy earrings that put me off racing driver Lewis Hamilton; it’s that he now lives in the tax haven of Monaco.
Shirli Grant, London SW1

Anyway, that’s the warm-up lap done and dusted ― now on to strawberries and cream and Wimbledon...
 


Lewis Hamilton turns up at Wimbledon
in a rather colourful ensemble

Lewis Hamilton refused entry to Wimbledon's Royal Box

to watch Novak Djokovic clinch his third SW19 victory

because he was ‘not smart enough’
 

The Formula One driver fell foul of the Royal Box's strict dress code, which requires men to wear a jacket and tie
 

Despite receiving an invitation (which detailed the strict dress code), to watch the men’s singles final from the Royal Box, and sit alongside the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch and Hugh Grant, the Formula One champion missed the match owing to an “unfortunate misunderstanding regarding the dress code at Wimbledon”, according to his spokesman.

Earlier in the day Hamilton posted a picture on Instagram showing his Royal Box invitation package (see alongside), saying he was “honoured” to have received it.

He wrote: “On my way to Wimbledon to watch the final. Honoured to have been invited to watch the men’s finals from the Royal Box.”

A pit stop was apparently offered for a quick change of ‘a tyre’ ― hope you are paying attention ― but it was declined. You should play by the rules away from the track, Lewis my man.

 

Oh dear, you just have to smile at the glorious doolallyness of it all.

Do you remember, oh many moons ago now on a live children’s television programme called Our Show, the quite delightful young Melissa Wilkes was captured on camera reading Grand Prix as Grand Pricks? So funny. Indeed, it could well have been me making that sort of mistake.

Anyway, you could now genuinely claim that in one fell swoop, Lewis Hamilton has gone from a Grand Prix winner to a Grand Pricks loser.

Seriously though, I know nothing about Lewis Hamilton, excepting the powerful vibes he exudes when I do happen to catch him on television or the radio ― unfortunately, and as that brace of letters above hint at, he does come across as someone impossible to feel affection for, the sort of person that only a mother could truly love.

Something that curious Wimbledon episode underlines.

But he should not feel isolated: 99 per cent of all known celebrities and columnists have suffered the same conceptional misfortune. Talented and entertaining they may all well be in their chosen fields, but it really is impossible to feel genuine fondness for any of them.

And on that happy note ― here’s a YouTube clip of Melissa Wilkes saying her thing ... she comes in at Number 1 in the ‘Top 5 Smutty Slip of the Tongue Gaffes’ ― and Number 2 is gloriously funny as well (and proves beyond doubt that it really is all in the mind):

                                                       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mO3xMvLoQzs
 


Sunday, July 12th

Are you supermarket body ready?

  “It is all about wearing your bikini with pride.”  Breakfast TV queen Lorraine Kelly, 55 (look left ... look straight ahead ... okay, look left again, later), looks incredible in UNRETOUCHED bikini pictures as she launches five-week summer diet plan. Yes, the only thing fake is the tan, but Lorraine admits she was “nervous” before the shoot but she is now “beach body ready”.

She looks great, fair play. But I was dazzled by the word ‘unretouched’. A word meaning ‘not photoshopped’, I guess. But what about a basic ‘untouched’? Perhaps we should settle for ‘virgin pics’.

Meanwhile, just over the fence...

“Being in the spotlight gives you a constant uncomfortable feeling ― like you are naked in Waitrose.” Mica Paris, 46, English soul singer ― no photo available showing Mica not quite ‘supermarket body ready’, sadly.

I love Paris in the Waitrose...

No, Mica Paris naked in Waitrose doesn’t quite work. Which set me thinking ... where would I hate to find myself suddenly naked?

Horror upon horror, the Asterisk Bar down at the Crazy Horsepower Saloon. My goodness, my Guinness, I feel faint just thinking about it.


Talking about being naked ... a really curious clickbait beckoned...

Slap and tickle

Armed police swoop on suburban sex dungeon after a row boils over between a dominatrix and her neighbours over the sound of whipping

“All you can hear all day is ‘slap, slap, scream’.” A neighbour of the aforementioned dominatrix in leafy Orpington, southeast London, complains about the noise.


And while on the subject of
‘slap, slap, scream’...

The Sound of Maria

   “Sorry, can’t watch this tennis match ― Maria Sharapova sounds like she is in pain. Must be hideous to play against that level of noise.” Lorraine Kelly, again, on the famous tennis player’s “constant screeching”.

Imagine, Lorraine, you could have a dominatrix on one side as a neighbour ― and Maria Sharapova the other. Do you suppose Maria is that noisy in bed? Hm, every game a grand wham, slam, thank you ma’am.
 


Saturday, July 11th
 

                   Nothing new under the sun


A letter in the Daily Mail  tickled my imagination:

Chairladies

THE famous photo of Christine Keeler naked astride a chair isn’t the original. It was a copy of a 1932 publicity photo of American actress Joan Blondell, famously banned under the Hays Code [the Motion Picture Production Code which was the set of industry moral guidelines that was applied to most United States motion pictures released by major studios from 1930 to 1968].
JEM Bowkett, Bracknell, Berks

Well, they do say curiosity killed the tomcat …

       

Joan Blondell in 1932

Christine Keeler in 1963

Dame Edna in 1996


Now that is why Look You was conceived and delivered of a smile: CinemaScopic nudity without a blush in sight. Even at the sight of Dame Edna doing her thing.

Truth to tell, I had never heard of Joan Blondell, so I sent Ivor the Search Engine  in search of this marvellous looking gal … a fascinating character, for sure, summed up here by film historian Eva Golden in her book Bride of Golden Images:

Joan Blondell [1906-1979] had it all: looks, talent, energy, humour. If she never became a top-flight superstar, the fault lies mostly with Warner Brothers...

Some of the fault lies, too, with Blondell herself, who later admitted, “The instant they said ‘Cut!’ I was whammo, out of that studio and into the car...
     “In order to be a top star, and remain a top star and to get all the fantastic roles that you yearned for, you’ve got to fight for it and you’ve got to devote your twenty-four hours to just that; you’ve got to think of yourself as a star, operate as a star; do all the press that is necessary...
     “What meant most to me was getting home, and that’s the truth.”

But if Joan Blondell got slightly lost in the shuffle at Warners, she still managed to turn in some delightfully snappy performances and typify the warm-hearted, wisecracking Depression dame.

And when she aged, she did so with grace and humour.

That last line reminded me of Val Doonican and his batteries just running out...

 


Friday, July 10th

                   Colonel Sanders will get you in the end

YES, why did  the chicken cross the road? Well...

Sign Language:  Some chicken! Some neck!

Some fowl play spotted in Grand Cayman by P W Page
 

And Twitter, too, is in on the chicken run:

@wigmore_hall

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the
shadow of death, I will fear no evil.”

A brace of delightful chicken nuggets there. And I really smiled at the above caption. Very clever.

Rewind ----

Yesterday, I brought you a brace of **** headlines from the day’s news:

When I’m 6

Man, 23, admits washing six-year-old boy’s mouth out with soap

The youngster had told Rian Birtwell, 23, to “f*** off” after being told to stop kicking a pensioner’s stick.

When I’m 64

Foul-mouthed English tourist guide Irene Laird, 64, fined and handed suspended jail sentence for calling a woman a “Welsh c***” during an outburst in a public car park in North Wales.

And today, this gem:

When I’m 94

Impatient Prince Philip’s F-word outburst

“Just take the f****** picture!

Prince Philip was today heard swearing during a photoshoot at the RAF Club.

The prince briefly lost his temper while waiting for a photographer after a long day of commemorations for the Battle of Britain, at an event with other members of the Royal Family.

I must admit, I smiled at that one.

Remember this from June 23 just gone?

“David Mellor swears at a taxi driver and we are all appalled. Boris Johnson does it and everyone says: ‘Is there anyone who hasn’t wanted to do that?’ Amazing the difference it makes if people like you.” Danny Finkelstein in The Times.

Mind you, having reflected on that Mellor vs. Johnson battle of the asterisks, there is one other important difference: Mellor did the old “Do you know who I am?” routine, and repeatedly reminded the cabbie that he was transporting a superior human being across London ― while Johnson was just a very cross Londoner.

Which is why we tend to like Boris.

Similarly with Prince Philip: Is there anyone who hasn’t wanted to say “Just take the f****** picture” to a snail-paced photographer? At a wedding, say.

Yes of course, the snapper must take extreme care to get it right ― we’ve all heard of, and perhaps seen, disastrous wedding snaps ― but a fairly straightforward for-the-record shoot, as with the above Philip scenario, is a bit wearing. Especially when you’re 94.

Be all that as it may, and perusing the news over recent days ― indeed as highlighted in the above clickbaits ― Britain does appear to be morphing into a nation that, if we’re not all effin’ and blindin’ at everyone in sight, or bursting into tears at the slightest provocation, we are missing health appointments with doctors and nurses at a phenomenal rate (as reported in the news today).

As always, it is the little things that say so much. And use of obscenity is ― excepting banging your thumb, losing your patience with an exceedingly idiotic person, or indeed using it as a tool to register stress but avoiding violence ― a sure sign of a mentally challenged individual.

The nation is clearly losing its marbles in its old age.

“Curiouser and curiouser!”, cried Alice, taking care not to swear.
 


Thursday, July 9th

Hat’s off to Cerys

“The internet is a frontier. Our children are roaming around the Wild West and nobody is policing it.” Cerys Mathews, 46, pictured, a Welsh singer/songwriter, author and broadcaster, a founding member of Welsh rock band Catatonia.

Cerys again:  “I don’t wish anything for my children but contentment. I’m low maintenance; I can’t resist CDs and books but I don’t need jewellery or clothes because life isn’t about material possessions, it’s about experience.”

I’d say life is all about the journey. But I guess you could reasonably argue that the journey is actually an experience.

Incidentally, Cerys says that she can’t resist CDs and books ... she could possibly add hats to the list. Whenever I see her on telly these days she always has a hat on, even when in a studio.

Personally, I think she looks a little strange in them, especially when wearing them indoors. I hope she’s not developing a bald spot.

Oh yes, I really enjoyed this quote of a quote of hers: “I love the Bill Withers quotation that, ‘It’s healthier to look out at the world through a window rather than a mirror. Otherwise all you see is yourself and whatever lies behind you’.”

And whatever lies on your head, obviously. Which perhaps explains the curious hats.

Incidentally, Cerys mentions the internet being a Wild West frontier, awash with baddies wearing black hats, and the effect this has on young children exposed to it.

This extraordinary clickbait spotted today, online:

Don’t Rian on my parade

     Man admits washing six-year-old boy’s mouth out with soap

Rian Birtwell, 23, given conditional discharge but ordered to pay £100

The youngster had kicked a pensioner’s walking stick and was told by Birtwell to stop, only to be called a “gay boy” and to “f*** off”.

The youngster’s mother admitted her son had been wrong but said “Kids do that sort of thing”.

Yes of course they do. Not. But such things happen at the other end of the age scale too.

When I’m 64

Foul-mouthed English tourist guide fined and handed suspended jail sentence

Irene Laird, 64, who called a woman a “Welsh c***” during an outburst in a public car park in North Wales, is handed a suspended jail sentence and £500 fine

Crazy world, crazy people.

Finally, a letter from The Daily Telegraph:

The bottom line

SIR – Austerity has hit the bottom. Nine months ago, each roll of my favourite lavatory paper had 240 sheets. After Christmas, this was reduced to 210. Today I see that the package says 190.
     Keeping prices identical while cutting content fools no one. How long before I have to visit the shop every day?
Eleanor Patrick, Elsdon, Northumberland

Unsure what to make of having a favourite lavatory paper.

However, I was left wondering whether Eleanor was going to have to buy a toilet roll every day ― or perhaps, visit the shop daily to use their loo. I guess if it’s a supermarket she would get away with the latter.
 


Wednesday, July 8th
 “I have thrown out every pair of normal knickers, so all I have is reversible ones ― I have one for every day of the month.” Model Olivia Inge, great-great-great granddaughter of William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898).

I bet that the man who served as British Prime Minister four separate times, more than any other politician, and a man who oversaw the development of the world’s first steam train and railway system ― not to mention the world’s first underground railway out of Paddington in 1863 ― would never have guessed that 150 years later, a descendant of his would become a famous celebrity because, halfway through the day, she stops to reverse her knickers.

Yes, how exactly as a society did we suffer such a derailment? We have gone from being a glorious Bulldog nation ― to an Andrex Puppy backwater, and all in the blink of an eye.

  “We are of that generation where Sunday, truthfully, was the most miserable day of the week. The only thing to look forward to was Sing Something Simple on the radio. Goodness me, if that didn’t sum up a miserable Sunday.” Small Business Minister Anna Soubry defends plans to relax Sunday trading laws during an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

I don’t know about you, but I rather liked old-fashioned Sundays, where you went to the pub lunchtime, enjoyed a couple of drinks too many, and then slept the afternoon away in front of the telly.

These days, everybody must be stressed-out 24/7/52 or life is a meaningless existence.

Funnily enough, talking of railways and today’s Budget news that the Chancellor is  to relax Sunday opening hours for stores, one of the more fascinating bits of throwaway information I learned watching Michael Portillo’s Great British Railway Journeys ― a BBC history travelogue celebrating George Bradshaw’s Victorian Railway Guidebook ― was this:

When the railways spread their tentacles throughout the country during the 1800s, no trains ran between the hours of ten and four on a Sunday because these were the hours people normally attended church.

How fascinating then that today, these are the very hours when shops open and invite folk in to worship at the altar of consumerism.

Finally, this brief item by columnist India Knight in The Sunday Times  rang a bell...

It’s a wrap

I am undone by the grim tidings about unpoppable bubble wrap. In case you missed it, the people who make it have invented a more cost-effective version that doesn’t pop ― the air just squeezes itself into the next bubble along ― and takes up less space when being shipped.

There’s been an outcry, and such a backlash that the company in question, Sealed Air Corp, has had to put out a statement reassuring people that traditional bubble wrap will still be available. Thank goodness.

We should never underestimate the deep joy that tiny pleasures bring ― popping bubble wrap, descaling household appliances, leaving a pan to soak and the burnt bits coming off in one piece, soft-boiling an egg to perfection (not a given ― depends on the egg).

I am grateful for technological advances, but I would be furious at a self-descaling kettle or an egg that cooked itself. Or unpoppable bubble wrap. Tread carefully, Sealed Air, for you tread on our dreams.

What went through my mind as I read that was something that definitely isn’t the same these days.

I remember the deep joy of puncturing with my finger the seal on a fresh jar of coffee. It made that wonderful explosive sound accompanied by a rush of coffee aroma. But these days ― I dunno, the big bang is just not the same.

Perhaps it’s my hearing that’s fading as my batteries start to lose their power.
 


Tuesday, July 7th

                              Oh, Sir Tom, do

 “I don’t know what goes through women’s minds. I have been trying to figure it out
                         for many years.”
Singer Sir Tom Jones, 75 (yes, really ― the age, I mean).

You see, Sir Tom, that’s what happens when women form an inordinately disorderly queue for your services. You have absolutely no need to work out what women really think and want.

Take me, for example, forever footloose and fancy free, but no celebrity: God, it’s been hard work, but I now know precisely what goes through women’s minds. (Ho, ho, ho, that’s my story ― and I’m sticking to it.)

For some reason, I’m reminded of a wonderful old rugby song:
 


Oh, Sir Jasper
!

She wears her silk pajamas in the summer when it’s hot,
She wears her woollen nightie in the winter when it’s not,
But later in the springtime, and early in the fall,
She jumps between the lily-white sheets with nothing on at all.

Chorus
She’s a most immoral lady,
She’s a most immoral lady,
She’s a most immoral lady,
And she lay between the lily-white sheets with nothing on at all.

Oh, Sir Jasper do not touch me,
Oh, Sir Jasper do not touch me,
Oh, Sir Jasper do not touch me,
And she lay between the lily-white sheets with nothing on at all.

Oh, Sir Jasper do not touch!
Oh, Sir Jasper do not touch
!
Oh, Sir Jasper do not touch
!
And she lay between the lily-white sheets with nothing on at all.

And so on, each verse reducing by one word:

Oh, Sir Jasper do not
Oh, Sir Jasper do
Oh, Sir Jasper
Oh, Sir
Oh
!

And then absolute silence during the final verse ― before everyone joins in with a rousing chorus of:

And she lay between the lily-white sheets with nothing on at all...


Wonderful memories from those were the days, my friend.
 

  “I’d guess I would have to say that Kevin Costner is still very sexy. He’s old,
                         but sexy.”
Novelist Jackie Collins, who at 77 is 17 years older than Costner.

I wonder if Jackie is talking from personal experience. Or is she dazzled by his celebrity image? Perhaps shades of Sir Tom and all that jazz?

Sticking to sex: the other day, in my Junk inbox, I spotted this:

                           
Yvonne Jones ... Do you use a Handheld Machine?

That must be Yvonne from round the corner, I thought. Surely not. But why is she asking if I’m a wanker? Then I hovered over the sender’s email address to avoid a potential ambush: info@repetitive.info.

Oh dear, never give a sucker an even break. Delete.

And then today, in my Junk box:

                                     viagra@cialis.com ... (No subject)

They just don’t give up. And what do they mean (No subject)? Delete. And goodnight, sleep tight.
 


Monday, July 6th

A COMMENT in the You Say section of The Sunday Times  Culture TV & Radio Seven-Day Listings, regarding a sci-fi television drama series I’ve never actually seen, caught my eye:

Why-Fronts

In Humans (Channel 4), why do the robots in the warehouse need underwear?
Joe Cowley


I was going to submit a response, but decided they probably wouldn’t print it anyway ― so here it is...

What’s that smell?

Joe Cowley wonders aloud why robots need to wear underwear ― well, I guess, when they get stressed they may very well shit short-circuit themselves.
HB


Talking of which, do you suppose this is a notice in the robots’ toilet?

Believe it or don’t, but the above is a notice on Swiss railways, aimed at Asian tourists, apparently, who find the whole business of visiting western toilets exceedingly confusing.

Meanwhile, a letter in the Telegraph:

Caught snacking  

SIR – I booked seats in the quiet carriage of a Great Western train last week, and after about an hour my son went to the buffet car to buy a snack.
     Upon his opening a packet of crisps and eating two of them, a man in the seat behind bawled: “For goodness’ sake, you can’t eat crisps in a quiet carriage.”
     I should perhaps add that the man himself opened three cans of beer, not silently, and coughed quite a lot in the course of the journey.
     Is there, or should there be, a list of activities prohibited in quiet carriages?
Hilary Spon , Canterbury, Kent


The first thing you quietly wish for is that the thirsty man with the cough on the Great Western train reads The Daily Telegraph.

Meanwhile, I enjoyed this in the comment section:

Castles/Stigenace: Loud ties and jumpers (especially of the Christmas variety) should be banned in quiet carriages.
 


Sunday, July 5th

                           ♫   I say potato, Lionel says potahto

LAST Sunday, Lionel Richie topped the bill at Glastonbury. I enjoy listening to Lionel, I mean, he’s delivered some great and memorable songs.

I caught a little of his Glasto performance on the telly ― and it took me back to my childhood on the farm.

We had a regular visitor who often stayed weekends. He was my Uncle Trevor, although he wasn’t actually a relative, just a good friend of the family.

He was an amusing old cove and I remember one Sunday lunchtime, the old valve wireless in the corner was tuned into Family Favourites ― and Harry Secombe (1921-2001), Welsh singer and comedian (famously Neddie Seagoon, a central character in the famous BBC radio comedy series The Goon Show), started to sing. A proper song.

I have no recollection what the song was, but Uncle Trevor turned to my mother who was preparing lunch, or dinner as we called it back then: “Have you got a potato to spare?” Everybody looked at him rather quizzically. “I need it to stick in his mouth!” he said, pointing to Secombe on the wireless. “He’s singing out of tune.”

We all laughed. In fact, if I remember correctly, Uncle Trevor was a member of a male voice choir, so he had a good ear.

But do you know, I never forgot that observation. Indeed, down the years Harry Secombe, much as I liked him as a character, often did seem to sing out of tune. Really.

Anyway, I mention that story because when I started listening to Lionel Richie last Sunday, I felt like looking for a potato because he was definitely, positively, singing out of tune. At least the snatch I heard.

Something borne out by the fact that he regularly fiddled with his earpiece, which suggested something was not right.

Anyway, my favourite tweet of the week is Lionel Richtea masquerading as a digestive biscuit...


@TheLadBible

“Hello ... is it tea you’re looking for?”
 

Lol, as they say. How very clever. And funny.

Meanwhile, sticking with tweets of the week ― front page of yesterday’s Daily Star  ... yes, forget Lionel Richtea, it’s old Rusty Rockets himself:

                          RUSSELL BRAND: I’M OFF TO SYRIA

Which in turn generated these two tweets..

@1jamiefoster: “So Ed Balls lost his seat and Russell Brand has said he is going to Syria. Somewhere there is a Tory with a lamp and only one wish left.”

@toadmeister: Hasn’t @rustyrockets already slept with 72 virgins?

Hm, 72 virgins on the ridiculous, I’d say.

Finally

Yesterday, I appreciated the ‘Doug died’ obituary notice in an American newspaper. And then I read this:
 

 

Val Doonican dead at 88: Knitwear-clad Irish crooner who won the heart of a nation from his rocking chair

Val Doonican came from a different time, a less abrasive and more dignified era. When his daughter Sarah announced his death yesterday [July 1], she put it with appropriate gentleness.

Her father hadn’t been ill, she said. “It was just old age, I’m afraid — the batteries ran out.”

And so, it seems, Val slipped quietly away at the age of 88. You would have expected nothing less of a man who made understatement into a career.
 

 
What a wonderful line for a brief but to-the-point death notice: “The batteries ran out.”
 

Saturday, July 4th


                                                        
Dead and buried


WHAT has been all over the news is a brief and glorious snatch from the ‘Hatched, Matched, Detached and Dispatched’ Family Announcements column of a local American newspaper...



Man, 85, has last laugh with his VERY short and to-the-point obituary
 

A North Dakota man’s two-word obituary has turned him into a local celebrity after he passed away with what relatives say is a typical touch of humour.

While obituaries are normally used to describe the deceased’s achievements, surviving family members and funeral details, Douglas Legler, from Fargo, took a different approach.

Douglas requested the attention-grabbing two-word obituary prior to his death. The 85-year-old asked that it only said ‘Doug died’ to accompany his photo.

His family confirmed that he was much liked by everyone for his off-beat sense of humour. Indeed, his face suggests a man blessed with a sense of fun.

I guess if he’d been British, and with a name like Legler, it would have said: ‘Doug has finally legged it’.

Actually, there’s a tale from a few years ago doing the rounds in this part of the world, of the farmer with a sort of double-barrelled name, Thomas Thomas, Thomas also being quite a common Christian name once upon a time here in the wild west of Wales.

That name would normally morph into Tom Thomas, but being Welsh he was known as Twm Thomas, Twm being the Welsh for Tom.

Given the Welsh love for nicknames he was quickly christened Twm Twice ― a brilliant combination of Welsh and English, which perfectly sums up the way we speak in these parts, what with continually switching between Welsh and English.

And Twm Twice was how everybody knew him. Anyway, Twm Twice and his wife had no children so they duly sold the farm and bought a bungalow.

Whilst they had a little family car, Twm also kept his Land Rover Discovery from his farming days, and which he used to go everywhere when travelling on his own, even to local funerals.

Like Doug from Dakota, Twm had a marvellous sense of fun and he too had instructed his wife to put as brief a notice as possible in the local paper.

Following his death, Widow Thomas arranges with the funeral director to place the announcement in the paper, and when asked for the wording, she said, “Twm Twice has passed away”, explaining that those were his instructions.

She was then told she could have up to ten words for the same cost, so she had a little think about it and amended it so: “Twm Twice has passed away. Used Discovery for sale.”

I guess Doug Legler would have liked that one. RIP, Doug.

So what to balance that tale with? Well, reading a television programme review in The Sunday Times  for last night, it said this:

 PICK OF THE DAY

Rock‘n’Roll America

(BBC4, 9pm)

Forming part of a season devoted to the genre, this entertaining three-part series explores the musical and social development of rock‘n’roll, kicking off in the late 1940s.

It is suggested that perhaps Fats Domino [a joy to watch, incidentally] started this whole lot of shakin’ goin’ on after he recorded The Fat Man, in New Orleans, on December 10, 1949; in reality, of course, the roots go deeper and longer, into the cotton fields of the Deep South and beyond into the African-American heritage.

Rock‘n’roll only became a thing when the white folks got on board.

Quite how that crossover came about is concisely and intelligently explained, while interviews (Jerry Lee lives!), location filming, archive clips and performance footage add to the vivid picture...

One, two, three o’clock, four o’clock rock...

I duly watched it ― and it really was most informative and enjoyable, the sort of thing the BBC does really well.

But what caught my eye in the above preview was ‘Jerry Lee lives!. Yes, there he was, Jerry Lee Lewis at 79. He is viewed as “rock‘n’roll’s first great wild man”, so to be still there, approaching 80, defies all the known laws of sex and drugs and rock‘n’roll. I guess now it’s sex and cappuccino and rock‘n’roll.

Actually, the first episode took us up to Bill Haley and Elvis ― but the one artist that struck me as quite extraordinary was Chuck Berry. Astonishing artist, especially when they had Tom Jones explain that Berry’s ability to come up with a different word for every beat ― excepting the choruses, obviously ― put him in a league of his own when it came to lyric writing.

I also liked this from The Guardian’s  Andrew Collins:

Meanwhile, the lyrics of Little Richard’s Tutti Frutti had to be toned down for radio, with lines such as “if it’s tight, it’s all right” and “if it’s greasy, it makes it easy” snipped. In a nod to Little Richard’s open homosexuality (he was already wearing Pan Cake makeup), Everly Brother Don says: “Things were going on, man. We were all kids.”

Frankly, I’ll watch any music documentary BBC4 cares to commission until we’re all dead. As long as it features at least one talking head captioned as a “Doo-wop Historian.” Cool, daddy.

Independence Day

Paul Donavon, in his Sunday Times  Radio Waves column, bemoaned the lack of American radio programmes on British airwaves ― and he finished with this great line:

“At the moment, looking for American programmes on British radio is like shopping for pomegranates in Lidl ― sometimes it has them, sometimes it doesn’t.”

The thought of Paul doing his nut while looking for pomegranates in Lidl tickled my old funny bone no end. Cool, daddy.
 


Friday, July 3rd

                          Not so cool for cats

A LETTER in The Daily Telegraph  dips a toe in the exceedingly sultry and steamy weather of the past week ― well, the exceedingly sultry and steamy weather which lasted 24 hours or so:

Hot and bothered

SIR – Was there not an embarrassing over-reaction this week to record temperatures by a nation which, in its hundreds of thousands, spends a fortune on seeking the sun for overseas holidays each year?
Elizabeth Dee, Gosport, Hampshire


Talking of which, the interweb has been awash with images from past UK heatwaves, my favourite was attached to this tweet...

@timothy_stanley

“A forest fire patrol rushes to control fires caused
by a 1934 heatwave in The Forest of Dean.”
 

How totally and absolutely wonderful is that? And I bet they put the fire out without fuss or bother.

Now you can see why Dad’s Army is much loved. It really does touch on the way we were. Oh, and if that registration number had been on a Top Gear bike, Clarkson would be accused of poking fun at the Germans.

Butterflies revisited

Yesterday, I brought you the tale of the battalions of meadow brown butterflies taking advantage of the glorious weather and really going over the top as they overran Dinefwr Park & Castle estate.

I have slightly amended yesterday’s headline from ‘The butterfly ball’ to ‘Love is all at the butterfly ball’.

Why? Well, nothing to do with Wimbledon, but after posting Thursday’s smile it brought to mind the first sort-of music video I ever remember seeing.

Back in 1974 I was waiting to watch something on the local ITV station ― was it HTV, or Harlech Television? ― anyway, there was a programme filler ... and I vividly remember really enjoying an animated cartoon to accompany Roger Glover’s The Butterfly Ball.

Yes, love is all at the butterfly ball.

I know it was 1974 because I checked it out. And anyway, the year is given at the very end of the film. Of course, a year later we were to enjoy definitely the first ever proper music video, Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, filmed in late 1975 and seen for the first time on Top of the Pops  in November 1975.

The rest, as they say, is history. Indeed, Queen’s video has been hailed as launching the MTV age because everybody jumped on the musical video bandwagon straight after.

But first, love really was all at the butterfly ball ... goodness, how the memories come flooding back:

                                                                            The Butterfly Ball – Roger Glover

Spell-cheque corner: ‘Harlech’, as in Harlech Television (HTV), actually a seaside town on the northwest coast of Wales and boasting a famous castle, came up as ‘Harlot’, followed by ‘Hamlet’.

Well, both alternatives tickled my funny bone no end, given that Harlech castle was built by Edward 1 of England, then captured by famous Welsh warrior Owain Glyndŵr ― and later the stronghold of Henry Tudor, King of England, Prince of Wales. Oh yes, the Welsh Christian name ‘Owain’ came up as ‘Swain’, followed by ‘Twain’.

Hm, never the Twain, etc., Mark my words.
 


Thursday, July 2nd
                        Love is all at the butterfly ball

LAST Tuesday morning, I was crossing the hay meadow that leads me towards Newton House and the field where the White Park cattle graze ― pictured here...



 

The field where this photo was taken is now owned by the National Trust as part of the Dinefwr Park & Castle estate, and it is being returned to a traditional flower meadow.

I say ‘returned’ because until a few years ago it was part of a commercial dairy farm, quite intensively farmed, so returning it to a flower meadow takes many a moon.

All the fertilisers, pesticides and sprays used down the years have to be leached out of the soil, otherwise the traditional meadow flowers of yesteryear will not re-establish themselves.

The process is quite advanced, and as the above photo shows, flowers are returning, with both white and red clover in profusion.

But as I walked through the field ― on a gloriously sunny morning ― I couldn’t help but notice how many butterflies were floating and flitting about. It was quite astonishing. I can’t remember seeing so many butterflies together since my days on the family farm when I was but a young pup, when all sorts of wildlife were abundant.

Now I am no expert on butterflies ― apart from the colourful and obvious suspects ― and I must admit that I didn’t recognise these particular ones, which were all similar and brownish in colour.

So I decided to try and photograph one or two for later reference ― they were also abundant in a field nearby ― but it was really difficult because they were flitting all over the place.

Anyway, I captured a couple of reasonable images...


   
 

A little later I met someone along my walk and I mentioned the butterflies ― I was going to say that there were hundreds of them, but I thought it best not to exaggerate and simply said there were a lot of them.

In fact, the lady I spoke to confirmed that she too had noticed them. And she also observed that there really were an awful lot of them.

Anyway, a couple of hours later, I pick up The Times  newspaper and when I get home I flick through ― as always I particularly look for a column called Nature notes penned by the marvellously informative Derwent May.

So I begin to read ... and I don’t believe it. I quote:

As June gives way to July, and the hot weather strikes, the countryside takes on a new appearance. The trees are a very dark green [I personally refer to this as Sherwood green because the trees take on a surprisingly uniform and darker shade of green], the long grass is yellow and dry and many more butterflies are coming out.

Meadow brown butterflies are flitting now, rarely pausing over the long grass. These first individuals are mostly males, which are dark brown with one small eye-spot on the forewings.

The females appear a week later. They have a broad orange patch on their forewings, and are very conspicuous. Although meadow browns are not so well known as the large colourful butterflies, such as peacocks, they are the commonest of the British butterflies, and hundreds of them can sometimes be seen dancing over hayfields...

Well, well, well, talk about coincidence. On the very morning when I really do see “hundreds of them dancing over the hayfield”, Derwent May writes about them in his column.

My morning walk generated yet another generous smile of the day.

Parting thought

  “A feeding frenzy of mob-rule self-righteousness.” Professor Richard Dawkins on the resignation from a university post of scientist Sir Tim Hunt, for his light-hearted observation that women in the laboratory were a distraction.

That strange incident and its extraordinary conclusion drew this letter to The Times:

Passing the baton

Sir, Many years ago, when orchestral membership was an issue, Sir Thomas Beecham was asked whether he approved of lady instrumentalists. “No,” he replied. “If they are attractive it will upset my players, and if they are unattractive it will upset me.”
     In the wake of the Sir Tim Hunt controversy, I wonder how today’s Twitterati would rate that answer.
Frank McManus, Todmorden, W Yorks
 


Wednesday, July 1st

                            Accentuate the negative

FORGET that dress from a little while back ― you know the one, where people argued about what colour it actually was ― it’s the white and blue negative face that’s currently setting the internet alight. In a positive way, that is.

A quite astonishing optical illusion has surfaced online ... you are invited to stare at the white dot at the centre of a negative of a woman’s face ... after 15 seconds, look at the empty, slightly shaded space to the right.

The almost demonic white and blue figure should transform into the beautiful full-colour face of a young brunette woman ― and it seems that most people will see it before the image quickly fades...



 

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious ― yep, the only adequate word that comes to mind.

I had never experienced ― or even heard of ― such a phenomenon before.

This strange optical illusion is known as a ‘negative afterimage’ and is caused by cells located in the eyes, called ganglion cells, which send messages to the brain by coding ― or identifying ― colours in pairs of primary colours.

When the cells identifying one colour become fatigued ― the opposite hue becomes stronger.

Thus, in the image pictured above, the cells in our eyes that identify blue become fatigued and weaken, stimulating its opposite hue ― yellow ― to become stronger, showing us a more natural skin tone

Whatever all that means, it’s quite marvellous. And I never fail to be amazed at how ruthlessly my brain controls every aspect of my life.

Curiously, as I looked up at the light-coloured wall across the room, the image also appeared there.

Oh yes, someone online suggested that the girl we actually see looks like a young Catherine Zeta-Jones. Yep, can’t argue with that.

Finally, from The Sunday Times, just a snatch of a review of a television programme tonight:

Good nights from them

The Interviews (Gold, 9pm)

This collection of sketches and talk-show clips provides substantial insight into the comedy partnership between Ronnies Barker and Corbett ... it is also a chance to see the duo in their comic pomp: age and the alternative-comedy years cannot wither the one about the man terrorising nudist camps with a bacon slicer.

“Inspector Lemuel Jones had a tip off this morning, but hopes to be back on duty tomorrow.”

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                                                                   Previously on Look You...
                                                                  
Smile of the day 2015: Jun
                                                                  
Smile of the day 2015: May
                                                                  
Smile of the day 2015: Apr
                                                                  
Smile of the day 2015: Mar
                                                                  
Smile of the day 2015: Feb
                                                                  
Smile of the day 2015: Jan
                                                                  
Smile of the day 2014: Dec
                                                                  
Smile of the day 2014: Nov
                                                                  
Smile of the day 2014: Oct
                                                                  
Smile of the day 2014: Sep
                                                                  
Smile of the day 2014: Aug
                                                                   Smile of the day 2014: Jul
                                                                  
Smile of the day 2014: Jun
                                                                   Smile of the day 2014: May
                                                                  
Smile of the day 2014: Apr              Smile of the day 2013: Dec
                                                                  
Smile of the day 2014: Mar              Smile of the day 2013: Nov
                                                                   Smile of the day 2014: Feb              Smile of the day 2013: Oct
                                                                 
 Smile of the day 2014: Jan           Smile of the day 2013: Sep
                                                                                                                                       Smile of the day 2013: Aug
                                                                                                                                      
Smile of the day 2013: Jul
                                                                                                                                      
Smile of the day 2013: Jun
                                                                                                                                      
Smile of the day 2013: May
                                                                                                                                      
Smile of the day 2013: Apr
                                                                                                                                      
Smile of the day 2013: Mar
                                                                                                                                      
Smile of the day 2013: Feb

                                                                                                                                       Smile of the day 2013: Jan
                                                                                                                                       Smile of the day 2012d (Oct-Dec)

Previous 2012 smiles: Smile of the day 2012 (Jan-Mar) .. Smile of the day 2012 (Apr-Jun) .. Smile of the day 2012c (Jul-Sep) .. Smile of the day 2012d (Oct-Dec)
Previous 2011 smiles:  Smile of the Day 2011 (Jan-Jun) .. Smile of the Day 2011 (Jul-Sep) .. Smile of the day 2011 (Oct-Dec)
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 Previously: Smile of the Day 2010
Home   2010 (Jan to Jun)   2009   2008   March to May '07   June to Aug '07   Sep to Dec '07


Reception

You are here, way out west,
at Llandeilo

aka Llandampness
aka Dodgy City

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Previously on LOOK YOU......


Smile of the day 2015: Jun
Smile of the day 2015: May
Smile of the day 2015: Apr
Smile of the day 2015: Mar
Smile of the day 2015: Feb
Smile of the day 2015: Jan
Smile of the day 2014: Dec
Smile of the day 2014: Nov
Smile of the day 2014: Oct
Smile of the day 2014: Sep
Smile of the day 2014: Aug
Smile of the day 2014: Jul
Smile of the day 2014: Jun
Smile of the day 2014: May
Smile of the day 2014: Apr
Smile of the day 2014: Mar
Smile of the day 2014: Feb
Smile of the day 2014: Jan
Smile of the day 2013: Dec
Smile of the day 2013: Nov
Smile of the day 2013: Oct
Smile of the day 2013: Sep
Smile of the day 2013: Aug
Smile of the day 2013: Jul
Smile of the day 2013: Jun
Smile of the day 2013: May

Smile of the day 2013: Apr
Smile of the day 2013: Mar
Smile of the day 2013: Feb

Smile of the day 2013: Jan
Smile of the day 2012d (Oct-Dec)
Smile of the day 2012c (Jul-Sep)
Smile of the day 2012 (Apr-Jun)
Smile of the day 2012 (Jan-Mar)

Smile of the day 2011 (Oct-Dec)
Smile of the Day 2011 (Jul-Sep)
Smile of the Day 2011 (Jan-Jun)

Smile of the Day 2010
2010 (Jan to Jun)
2009

2008
Sep to Dec '07

June to Aug '07
March to May '07

As it was in the beginning:
ST DAVID'S DAY, 2007

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Updated: 08/06/2013


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