29 June 2014

Aro St mural

On the side of 93 Aro Street, occupied by Dirt Merchants mountain bike shop, which is next to Arovideo.

See also:
Photos: Sar St, 30 April 2014
Photos: Rimutaka sunrise, 15 April 2014
PhotosTarakena Bay, 6 April 2014

28 June 2014

Mr Pooter puts his foot in it

There was also a large picture in a very handsome frame, done in coloured crayons. It looked like a religious subject. I was very much struck with the lace collar, it looked so real, but I unfortunately made the remark that there was something about the expression of the face that was not quite pleasing. It looked pinched. Mr. Finsworth sorrowfully replied: "Yes, the face was done after death--my wife's sister."

I felt terribly awkward and bowed apologetically, and in a whisper said I hoped I had not hurt his feelings. We both stood looking at the picture for a few minutes in silence, when Mr. Finsworth took out a handkerchief and said: "She was sitting in our garden last summer," and blew his nose violently. He seemed quite affected, so I turned to look at something else and stood in front of a portrait of a jolly-looking middle-aged gentleman, with a red face and straw hat. I said to Mr. Finsworth: "Who is this jovial-looking gentleman? Life doesn't seem to trouble him much." Mr. Finsworth said: "No, it doesn't. HE IS DEAD TOO--my brother."

- George & Weedon Grossmith, The Diary of a Nobody, London, 1892 (complete book download here)

27 June 2014

Rhythm and rhyme and harmony

In a prime case of "you'll know it when you hear it", soul merchant Dobie Gray (1940-2011) performs his timeless classic, Drift Away, on the Whistle Test, 1974.  (See also: his 1965 mid-tempo Northern Soul floor-filler, The 'In' Crowd, as featured in Quadrophenia).

25 June 2014

Rosy-fingered dawn

Dawn in Thorndon, 7.40am, 25 June 2014 #nofilter
(click to enlarge)

24 June 2014

The Grand Designs Theme Song

David O'Doherty's Grand Designs Theme Song:

Punters: 'Kevin, we want a huge sitting room so we can have all of our friends over for parties'

Kevin McCloud: 'Yeah, good luck with anyone ever visiting you there - there's a reason the land was so cheap: "only 60 miles from Plymouth". I hate your stupid house, it looks like a Tesco Extra'.

[Apols for recording's low audio volume]

See also:
ComedyDOD on NTN, 10 January 2013
Comedy: David O'Doherty Is Looking Up, 5 May 2012
Comedy: David O'Doherty - Shakira (2012, NSFW-L)

23 June 2014

Marilyn demonstrates the Theory of Relativity

Nic Roeg's 1985 film Insignificance is an engaging if highly implausible concoction that asks, 'What if Albert Einstein, Marilyn Monroe, Joe McCarthy and Joe DiMaggio all met up one night in 1954 in a New York hotel room, and what might they talk about?' For screenwriter Terry Johnson, who had just co-written the amusing 20-minute short Jazzin' For Blue Jean for David Bowie, part of the answer to that question can be seen in the film's most famous scene, in which The Actress (Monroe, played by Theresa Russell, who was at the time married to Roeg) demonstrates the Theory of Relativity to The Professor (Einstein, played by Michael Emil). It's a delightfully impish conceit, but surprisingly effective; I first saw the film in the late 1980s on TV and even today I still remember Russell's complex and breathy explanation to the initially baffled and then delighted Emil. The occasional intercut scenes might be a bit confusing if you haven't seen the whole film, but address events in the earlier lives of the characters, and the nuclear attacks on Japan in 1945.  

16 June 2014

Otherwise known as 'sodcasting'

Spotted yesterday at Honor Oak Park station in southeast London, this poster encourages passengers to refrain from annoying their fellow commuters with tinny headphone noise, a.k.a. sodcasting. Which is officially a pain in the bum. I suppose that's one advantage of the curious popularity of Dr Dre's overpriced Beats headphones - at least they keep the noise in relatively well on the bus or train.

12 June 2014

Sister Rosetta

The electrifying Sister Rosetta Tharpe performs Didn't It Rain to a youthful audience in a Manchester railway station in 1964. What a pro!

06 June 2014

What manner o' thing is your crocodile?

This afternoon's entertainment involved taking in the RSC production of Antony & Cleopatra at the Globe, featuring the excellent Eve Best as the legendary Egyptian queen. I saw Best in the film of the Globe's Much Ado About Nothing a year or two ago and was taken with her performance then; it's great to know she's consistently that impressive. The whole performance was splendid, and I'm glad I've finally seen the play performed by the very best actors around.

It was my first visit to the Globe as a groundling in the yard, and while my feet did start to ache I had positioned myself at the fence so could at least lean against it. Many of the groundlings seemed to be young German visitors, and I wonder how much they understood of the story, given those of us with a lifetime of English sometimes struggle with the Bard.

Here's one of my favourite comic passages from the play, as Antony 'explains' the nature of a Nile crocodile to Lepidus:

LEPIDUS What manner o' thing is your crocodile?

MARK ANTONY It is shaped, sir, like itself; and it is as broad as it hath breadth: it is just so high as it is, and moves with its own organs: it lives by that which nourisheth it; and the elements once out of it, it transmigrates.

LEPIDUS What colour is it of?

MARK ANTONY Of its own colour too.

LEPIDUS 'Tis a strange serpent.

MARK ANTONY 'Tis so. And the tears of it are wet.

05 June 2014

Helpful advice for train passengers

'To the adult in charge of the school party that just boarded this train, that is NOT the way to board a train. The children were leaping on and off the train and holding open the closing doors, which led to the late departure of this service. We are now running one minute late. I'm sorry, I'm not usually this stressed'.

- Announcement on the 1758 from London Victoria, 4 June

01 June 2014

Alles klar, Dick?

How often do you get the opportunity to watch the Famous Five in German? Julian, George, Dick, Anne & Timmy all just happen to speak German in this well-put together kid-film with a surprisingly comprehensive budget, filmed in Thailand. Where everyone else also happens to speak German. Funny, that. Also, I always suspected that George was actually quite hot.