Showing posts with label me myself and i. Show all posts
Showing posts with label me myself and i. Show all posts

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Five Favourite ... Literary Characters

Today I should like to ramble at length about my favourite literary characters and so without further ado ...

At number five ... Persuasion's Captain Wentworth.

Captain Wentworth is the one Jane Austen character that makes my heart flutter. I prefer him to Colonel Brandon and certainly to Mr Darcy. I am not unconvinced this is because of who portrayed him in the BBC adaptation - Rupert Penry-Jones, who I absolutely only like in period dramas. Put him in modern clothing and I am utterly and completely disinterested.

Captain Frederick Wentworth is a fictional character in the novel Persuasion written by Jane Austen. He is the prototype of the new gentleman in the 19th century: a self-made man who makes his fortune by hard work rather than inheritance.


At number four ... Christine.
Yes, the car Christine.

Little is known about beautiful, misunderstood Christine's past, except that she was the property of retired war-veteran Roland D. LeBay. I fell in love with her on sight and despite red being my favourite colour, I would never entertain a red car other than a 1958 Plymouth Fury.

Nobody knows exactly where Christine came from; in the movie, it is suggested that Christine was bad from the start, because she crushes a man's hand with her hood and kills another after he drops a cigar ash on her seat, all while she was being built.

In the book, it is suggested that she may be possessed by the ghosts of Roland LeBay's family; his daughter choked in the backseat- later information reveals that LeBay deliberately left his daughter in the back seat of the car, speculated by Dennis to be him attempting to sacrifice his daughter to Christine-, and his wife committed suicide inside her front seat.

Either one suggests that she could have been bad to the bone even before those, and that she killed LeBay's daughter, rather than LeBay's family possessing the car.

In the book, it is heavily implied that LeBay himself has possessed the car, though this is rather unclear. It's also hinted that she absorbs the souls of her victims, such as LeBay's family or Repperton's gang.

What is known, however, is that she becomes extremely attached to her owners, and kills those who she sees as a threat to her relationship. She also makes her owners become obsessed with her, and kills anybody who may be hurting them. She also possesses the power of regeneration, allowing her to repair any damage sustained in her independent rampages. However, it is unclear if this ability was limited at first; Arnie did some repair work on Christine when he originally purchased her, but she was shown repairing some damage on her own, making it unclear if she genuinely needed Arnie to work on her at first or if she was merely trying to 'blend in'.


At number three ... Jane Eyre's Mr Rochester.

Edward Fairfax Rochester: The master of Thornfield Hall. A Byronic hero, he is tricked into making an unfortunate first marriage to Bertha Mason many years before he meets Jane, with whom he falls madly in love.

In the world of period dramas, Mr Darcy seems to set most womens hearts racing but I have always far preferred Mr Rochester to Mr Darcy. For a start, I couldn't put up with a moody, brooding individual such as Darcy in real life. I can appreciate him on paper and on screen, yes, but in real life, no. He would drive me spare. I need humour and that comes with Rochester, he amuses me.


At number two ... Harry Flashman.

I know many, especially women, will loathe and detest Sir Harry Paget Flashman VC, KCB, KCIE. I take him as he is, warts and all. He is tremendous fun.

Created by George MacDonald Fraser, Flashman  is based on the character "Flashman" in Tom Brown's School Days, a semi-autobiographical work by Thomas Hughes. In Hughes' 1857 book, Flashman, a relatively minor character, is portrayed as a notorious bully at Rugby School who persecutes Tom Brown, and who is finally expelled for drunkenness.

Harry Flashman appears in a series of 12 of Fraser's books, collectively known as The Flashman Papers. Fraser decided to write Flashman's memoirs, in which the school bully would be identified with an "illustrious Victorian soldier" experiencing many 19th-century wars and adventures and rising to high rank in the British Army, acclaimed as a great soldier, while remaining "a scoundrel, a liar, a cheat, a thief, a coward—and, oh yes, a toady."

Fraser's Flashman is an antihero who often runs from danger in the novels. Nevertheless, through a combination of luck and cunning, he usually ends each volume acclaimed as a hero.


At number one ... Dorian Gray.

I first read The Picture of Dorian Gray (my favourite book) in the nineties and developed a huge crush on Dorian.
Honestly, I thought he was the absolute bees knees.
The cats pyjamas.
The cats meow.
I simply adored him. Adore him.
We even had a reading at our wedding from the book.

However, no film version of Dorian ever hit the mark for me. For a start they were all dark and Dorian is always portrayed as having fair hair and oh, this annoyed me!
But a Dorian with the wrong hair colour who looks the part in a good version is far superior to a correct hair coloured Dorian in a bad portrayal and adaptation.

Along came Penny Dreadful and oh my, Dorian may have dark hair but be still my heart, he is Dorian. He is perfection.

Dorian Gray is the subject of a full-length portrait in oil by Basil Hallward, an artist who is impressed and infatuated by Dorian's beauty; he believes that Dorian's beauty is responsible for the new mode in his art as a painter. Through Basil, Dorian meets Lord Henry Wotton, and he soon is enthralled by the aristocrat's hedonistic worldview: that beauty and sensual fulfilment are the only things worth pursuing in life.

Newly understanding that his beauty will fade, Dorian expresses the desire to sell his soul, to ensure that the picture, rather than he, will age and fade. The wish is granted, and Dorian pursues a libertine life of varied and amoral experiences, while staying young and beautiful; all the while his portrait ages and records every sin.


Before I go, I do apologise for not commenting on your blogs, I have been rather poorly these past weeks and am only just getting back on my feet now.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Pink Velvet

Hanging on the wardrobe in a garment bag is my prized pink velvet 1950's coat.
It cost me £10.
I don't often wear it as bright cherry brandy pink is quite the statement and you need perfect weather to wear it:
Cold, as it's a coat
But not cold enough that you need to button it
A perfect day with no threat of rain to ruin the velvet.

Tuesday of last week dawned bright and sunny, it was the perfect day for my coat. I wore my butterfly skirt, a twinset and pearls, both nan me downs, aurora borealis vintage earrings, a vintage chiffon hair scarf and my new to me black patent heels which I got recently from a charity shop in town for £7.25.

Andy wanted to go and see a man about fixing his guitar, or some such musician nonsense. I went along for the ride but consequently ended up sat in the car for half an hour. It was a beautiful day and how much nicer I thought it would be to be sat waiting in Meirionwen than our every day car. We had already seen a classic Saab sat outside a pub, so it was evidently the perfect day for taking a classic car for a spin. But I wasn't sat in Meirionwen, so I had to make do with watching a family of buzzards high in the sky, calling to each other as they caught the thermals.

So, when Andy finally emerged from seeing the man, the actual man, not the man that upset so many people in the past, It's the fault of The Man, man! The Man! Nor was it The Man who Lou Reed was waiting for in that famous Velvet Underground song.

Anyway. Once he was out, we set off at my request and collected Meirionwen. Her first proper run since September. We headed into Surrey as I wanted to go to a bespoke jewellers. Last year at out first classic car show I won a £50 gift voucher for said jewellers but couldn't actually afford any premade pieces he offered, so I returned with a labradorite cabochon and asked if he could do something with it so I could wear it as a pendant. He's going to sketch some ideas for me, so that's exciting.

It was fun walking back to Meirionwen in the sunshine as my coat looked vivid!
Oh the stares!

This done and dusted, we went for a little drive and ended up back near here at a pub we like. It's perfect for taking a classic car to, you often see them there in the summer. We had a drink there and then emerged into a cloudy overcast carpark and I hadn't even got a picture of my beautiful coat! And crikey O'Reilley, it was COLD! I was actually shivering.

Can you tell I was absolutely freezing?
Thankfully, as Meirionwen's engine is so far back under the bonnet,
she's actually toasty warm inside.

Shame it was such a gloomy point in the day as the pink just isn't popping here.

Andy, who is desperately in need of a haircut, claims date night this week is him taking me along to the barber so he can have his hair cut the way I like it ... aren't I spoiled?

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Family Fashion Parade!

I thought I would share some family snaps!

This is my maternal grandmother Sarah.

Aged sixteen.
I believe I have the necklace she's wearing.

Holding my mother

 No idea who that girl is.



She's second from the right here.

Second from the left here and apparently my family knew Grandpa Munster! Who knew 😉

On the right here 

On the left holding my mother with three on her sister in laws. Guess this explains my curls!

My granddad is in the middle and that's his sister, June I think, on the left and that's my nan again on the right.
Seriously, how cool is my granddad? I rarely use that word but he looks like a rockabilly here! I'd love for Andy to have a sleeveless cardigan like he's wearing here but alas, I don't knit.

My granddad again, in Germany.

My granddad's brother Ray marrying wife June

My mother

and her again, aged fourteen

and again, marrying my step dad aged twenty three I think.
Fabulous wedding photo isn't it.

My biological father at the Isle of White festival.

My Scandinavian, paternal great grandparents

Great uncle Bert, my nan's brother.

And I saved the best for last.
The In Crowd.
My nan's brothers and sisters plus girlfriend.
That's Bert again second from the right.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Time Slips

I like the days when things shift and it feels as though you have somehow slipped through a rip in time. Sunday dinner finished, washing up done, I found myself yesterday doing something my nan did every Sunday: the weeks ironing.

Pressing a nan me down jumper and cardigan from, I believe, the 1960's, I noted the missing button, which was lost long before it became mine. I retrieved my button jar and sorted through to find a match. There was one solitary contender, it was a fraction too big to match but I decided to use it anyway.

Reaching for my sewing box, I sat and attached the button. Billy Fury was playing in the background, it was quiet outside and all felt wonderfully old fashioned, like I could have fallen through that rip in time.

I have had these perfectly serene moments before, but two stand out.
The first was cooking Christmas dinner one year. I was alone, there wasn't a soul on the street and I was listening to the famous Orson Welles War Of The Worlds radio broadcast. That moment was pretty much near perfect.

The second was one summer as I sat on the sofa darning a sock. Again, so quiet. The window was open and I suddenly heard a push lawnmower making its distinct sound. Peering behind me, I saw the man across the road mowing his front lawn. Soon the smell of cut grass filled the room.

For an old fashioned girl such as myself, I believe it all comes down to those wonderful quiet times when I am doing things women have done for decades before me without thinking. It's so perfectly domestic that I believe time does rip, just for a moment and I am rewarded with that wonderfully perfect little treat of stepping back in time.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

More Flamingos, Gingham, Bunnies and a Bit of Normality

I am a little bit rubbish at getting round to actually taking photos off of my camera and when I have managed such, I usually recall I was meant to take a picture of something else to show too and forgot (red peignoir, scarf from Mim, for instance). I did just this today. So as not to break the habit of a lifetime, here are some random snaps with some I meant to show, missing.

This is the locket Andy got me for Christmas (amongst other things) and as Kezzie expressed an interest in seeing it, here it is! Inside are teeny tiny little charms.

And here are the charms he chose for me.
A black scotty dog. I generally like big dogs, like Irish Wolfhounds, salukis, borzois, that sort of thing, but I really like basset hounds and black scotty dogs. My scotty would be named Mr McCready as I have mentioned before.
A bunny.
A flamingo and a bee.
All things he knows I love.

There on the left is Larry, my Christmas flamingo, next to Pantoni my meetiversary flamingo from last year from Andy and Alexander, my Longleat flamingo. 

The key box we got as a joint gift for Christmas.
It was cream and shabby chic, but Andy painted it for me.
It has since taking this photo, fallen off the wall, hit me and broken the dustpan.

And at last, at last, at last!
Two years ago I started making this 1950's nightwear set.
Two years ago!

You may recall I could not make head nor tail of the pattern for the bloomettes. I wrote and asked my aunt for help and she, well she ignored me.
They sat waiting in my unfinished projects drawer until late last year when I gave them another go and bingo! I finally figured it out!
But then I put them away as it was nearing Christmas.
Recently I got a new sewing box in the sales, which I also forgot to photograph, and as I was gathering up my scattered sewing bits, popped the elastic for the bloomettes inside in the pocket and evidently forgot as I then turned the place upside down looking for the aforementioned elastic.

If any more proof is needed that I have the attention span of a lemur, well I don't know what to say.

I am now struck by just how much they look like something a baby would wear, hence the baby doll nightie label I suppose! Funny how you know it's called that but don't see it till it's right there in front of you!

It's been a noisy old day here so far, yesterday too actually. Workmen have set up camp outside, something to do with water pipes I believe. Consequently I haven't been able to hear myself think. Once the pneumatic drill has stopped I am able to put on some music though, as it quietens considerably to a dull roar.
Speaking of music, I made up a modern music playlist for myself and was playing it at the weekend. "This is modern to you is it?" asked Andy, as The Byrds were playing.
Yes. Yes it is, now hush.
I'm back to my usual music today, all those new sounds were starting to rattle me.

Belle had to go to the vet Sunday morning with suspected GI Stasis and we appear to have been lucky and nipped it in the bud as she was not only eating by the evening, but also getting in everywhere. She's also back to doing a double lap of honour when given a treat, as usual without the treat, as she's far too excited about the whole thing and doesn't realise she hasn't actually got it with her.

Some furniture was moved around Sunday, leaving quite the mess for me yesterday. I got the hall looking pretty good then realised all the moving about of furniture had blocked the convenient plug sockets so, I had to drape the vacuum lead across the bunny tent we made up and into the kitchen. Luckily the schmoos were napping, otherwise it would have been fun and games keeping them away from the Danger Worm aka vacuum lead. Then once finished, I realised I had nowhere neat to put the vacuum cleaner when I had finished (1950's Housewife Problems). This was also when flamingo key box took a tumble.

I've had a hankering to sew, to finish off another item at least from my unfinished projects drawer, this time, the patchwork quilt cover I am making, but in the upheaval, Yarn Crate, which is also where my sewing machine pedal lives, had vanished. So, as I was feeling creative, I decided to sit down and edit some of my novel. Such a novelty doing some writing, it seems an absolute age since I even attempted to do such a thing. There was crochet too, two squares were finished before Bob got his needy knickers on and decided he wanted endless stokes because evidently he was feeling insecure.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Wailing On The Corner Like An Old Tom Cat

I have a some questions for you!

Who was the first band or singer you really liked?
What sort of music did you listen to in your teens?
Who did you like once your teens were behind you?
And did you ever see any of them live?

What sort of music do you listen to nowadays?

My answers:

Who was the first band or singer you really liked?

The first band I really liked, was Culture Club. My adoration for Boy George is probably the reason I grew up to be more accepting of people. My uncle mocked my music tastes, stating Boy George was gay. It was very important to me to defend my idol and I declared very loudly, "I DON'T CARE!" I'm not even sure what I knew what gay was then, but my uncle said the word like it was a bad thing and Boy George was not a bad person. As I grew up, I heard the word more and I decided that people being gay didn't bother me, as there was every chance that person was as nice as Boy George.
Oh bless the younger me!
Seen them live? No, far too young.

* * *

 What sort of music did you listen to in your teens?
I somehow discovered The Quireboys ...
There was eyeliner here also.
Seen them live? I did indeed.

and The Dogs D'amour.
More eyeliner.
Seen them live? Yes, a handful of times.

I then added to the mix Hanoi Rocks...
Oh look. Eyeliner!
Seen them live? No. Shame.

and The New York Dolls.
Are you sensing a theme here?
Seen them live? No.

A change was in the air as I then fell for the charms of Suede ...
Androgyny and make up was evidently my thing.
Seen them live? Yes, and before their first album was released, I was in awe.

It was inevitable that when The Manic Street Preachers came along in their white jeans, copious amounts of eyeliner and fake fur that I would pounce and they would be my idols. 
Seen them live? Yes, a few times, all while Richey was still with them.

* * *

Who did you like once your teens were behind you?
By this point I was completely submerged in the whole Britpop scene, seeing bands on a weekly basis.
Seen them live? I have seen a very long string of bands who flew the Britpop flag, not Oasis, or Blur or any of those big names, my list reads something like: 60ft Dolls, These Animal Men, Menswear, Supergrass, The Bluetones, Marion.
This is Jarvis Cocker, lead singer with Pulp. My sister once declared that Andy and myself danced like we were in a Pulp video. I call that a resounding triumph on our part!

After I had had my fill of Britpop, my tastes started slipping backward and I was obsessively listening to music from the sixties. A standout then was Manfred Mann ... Pretty Flamingo was my absolute favourite song and it was also the song Andy was singing the night we met. I knew I wanted it played at my wedding were we to ever marry.
We did have it played too, along with Procul Harum's Whiter Shade of Pale!
So you see, my love of flamingos goes right back. Long before they became The Hipster Bird as my sister described them this past Christmas, I was a fan.

Seen them live? Obviously I didn't, but I have seen singer Paul Jones, vocalist on Pretty Flamingo and pictured bottom left. I also saw him while window shopping in Guildford.

But my biggest 1960's love were The Zombies.
Seen them live? No, but I have seen lead singer Colin Blunstone and then there was the day I was part of An Audience With The Zombies for BBC Radio 4! I wrote about that here.

Obsessed? Yes I was.
For a little while I listened to four acts almost exclusively. The Zombies,

Richard Hawley
Seen him live? Sadly not and don't believe I ever will.

Billy Fury
You'll now start seeing a pattern which has endured ...

and Eddie Cochran.

* *

What sort of music do you listen to nowadays?

I still listen to The Zombies but my tastes did slip back a bit and I now listen to almost exclusively music from pre 1962 as it all sounds a bit modern to me from then on! I made reference to The Beatles being modern recently, much to Andy's amusement! I like Otis Redding though, a lot. I also like Highway 61 era Bob Dylan.

I still listen to Eddie Cochran and Billy Fury as well as rockabilly, rock and roll, proper R&B, doo wop, some blues, fifties pop. Don't mind a bit of old bluegrass and western swing either.

I quite like a bit of country like Hank Williams, though were you to have said that to me a few years back, I would have laughed at you. For me, it all falls backward as who doesn't want to hear who influenced their favourite bands and singers? I listen to a lot of rock and roll, which leads me on to rockabilly. Listen to enough rockabilly, the proper stuff, not the commercialised releases and I can hear the hillbilly and country influences and then before I know it I'm happily listening to Hank Williams.

I am not over fond of Bill Haley or Little Richard and don't often listen to Elvis Presley, but Elvis is the person most people mention to me when they want to talk to me about music. Nor am I much of a fan of female vocalists, as very few catch my attention.

Some of my favourites:

Billy Lee Riley
*fans self*

Carl Perkins

Ricky Nelson

Fats Domino

Buddy Holly

Bo Diddley

Gene Vincent

Jerry Lee Lewis
He used to scare me as a child, hehe!

Lloyd Price

Warren Smith

The Everley Brothers

Modern acts who have caught my attention, for there are a few, and when I say modern, recall I think The Beatles are modern ...

The Secret Sisters
A rare example of me liking female vocalists.
Close harmonies and a country feel.
Also, really pretty and with a vintage style.

The Civil Wars 
Another female singer here, the harmonies here are just wonderful.
Seriously, these two are far too good looking for their own good.

Leon Bridges
Very authentic old style soul music. I even managed to fool Andy with this album!

and then there's Alex Turner
Oh those hips 💙