Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Architecture Tart Tuesday: London and Canterbury:

Today I shall take you to Canterbury and London.

All photos taken by me.

First, Canterbury.





Debenhams.



Next, London.
One of my favourites! Battersea Power Station.


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Imperial War Museum, formally Bethlem Hospital.


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Millbank


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I'm guessing MI5.


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And this is MI6.


Friday, 24 March 2017

B-Movie Madness: Tarantula 1955



"I knew Leo G. Carroll
Was over a barrel
When Tarantula took to the hills ..."





A spider escapes from an isolated desert laboratory experimenting in gigantism and grows to tremendous size as it wreaks havoc on the local inhabitants.


A severely deformed man stumbles through the Arizona desert, falls and dies. Dr. Matt Hastings, a doctor in a nearby small town is called in by the Sheriff to examine the body at the local mortuary.

Asked to define the cause of death, he finds himself perplexed as the deceased was someone he knew and had just seen recently whose deformity appears to be acromegaly, a distortion which takes years to reach its apparent present state.

Dr. Hastings asks to be allowed to perform an autopsy to clarify the diagnosis but the sheriff refuses, judging an autopsy unnecessary because there is no indication of foul play.

Hastings then approaches Jacobs' colleague, Dr. Gerald Deemer (Carroll), who more bluntly refuses permission, then signs Jacobs' death certificate in lieu of Hastings, with heart disease listed as the cause of death.


Bothered still by the anomaly, and also by Deemer's abruptness, Hastings later drives to Deemer's combined home and research lab in the desert far from town.

Deemer apologizes for his hostility, blaming it on his grief, then insists that Jacobs had developed acromegaly incredibly rapidly, over just four days. He cannot offer an explanation but attempts to convince Hastings this was only an anomaly, not a result of anything sinister. Hastings appears to accept this apology.


After Hasting leaves, Deemer goes to his closed lab, where huge cages contain white rabbits and mice, some of enormous size. Deemer examines each of the oversized specimens, noting when each last received an "injection", and how many each has had altogether.

Then he turns to observe a glass-fronted inset in the back wall, as a different sort of specimen slides into view inside - a tarantula bodily the size of a large dog, plus legs.


As Deemer finishes his observations of this creature, a second deformed man appears, attacks Deemer and begins destroying the lab.

During this rampage the lab catches fire and the glass covering the tarantula's cage is shattered. The man grabs a hypodermic that Deemer was preparing, knocks him out and injects him with the contents.

As flames and electrical sparking rage over the lab, the arachnid escapes outdoors ...


Interestingly, Prof Deemer predicts that by the year 2000 the human population will be 3.6 billion. In fact it was almost double that at that time.


Clint Eastwood appears as the (uncredited) leader of the jet squadron that attacks the tarantula in the film's climax.



The starring spider also 'acted' in a previous film featured here on The Folly Bird: The Incredible Shrinking Man.


🎞📽🎞


Did I enjoy this?
I did actually, animals in laboratories aside, obviously.
It even made me jump in one place which I have never done before when watching one of these b-movies.


Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Architecture Tart Tuesday: Hampshire and London

Back with more architecture!

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Portsmouth has many of these little 1930's style buildings.
They are usually to be found on industrial estates.



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London's Royal Opera House.
The building is often referred to as simply "Covent Garden", after a previous use of the site of the opera house's original construction in 1732.



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A pretty little village by the name of East Meon.
It is such a quintessentially English place.




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The birthplace of cricket, at Hambledon in Hampshire.


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St Huberts at Idsworth in Hampshire.
984 years old this year!



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Steep Hangers in Hampshire



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The pretty little town of Emsworth in Hampshire, bordering West Sussex,  is littered with lovely architecture.
Another of those industrial type buildings.








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Which is your favourite?


Sunday, 19 March 2017

Chuck Berry

 Charles Edward Anderson
'Chuck' Berry
October 18th 1926 – March 18th 2017

Rest In Peace


"It was a teenage wedding, and the old folks wished them well
You could see that Pierre did truly love the mademoiselle
And now the young monsieur and madame have rung the chapel bell,
"C'est la vie", say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell

They furnished off an apartment with a two room Roebuck sale
The coolerator was crammed with TV dinners and ginger ale,
But when Pierre found work, the little money comin' worked out well
"C'est la vie", say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell

They had a hi-fi phono, boy, did they let it blast
Seven hundred little records, all rock, rhythm and jazz
But when the sun went down, the rapid tempo of the music fell
"C'est la vie", say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell

They bought a souped-up jitney, 'twas a cherry red '53,
They drove it down to Orleans to celebrate the anniversary
It was there that Pierre was married to the lovely mademoiselle
"C'est la vie", say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell."

Friday, 17 March 2017

B-movie Madness: The Blob 1958

Today's b-movie is 1958's The Blob, maybe one of the most famous of the 1950's b features.


An alien lifeform consumes everything in its path as it grows and grows.



Over one night in a small Pennsylvania town in July '57, teenager Steve (Steve McQueen) and his girlfriend, Jane (Aneta Corsaut), are kissing on lovers' lane when they see a meteor crash beyond the next hill.

Steve decides to look for it but a local man finds it first. Poking it with a stick, it breaks open and a jelly like blob attaches itself to his hand. In pain and unable to remove it, he heads for the road where he is almost hit by Steve's car. Steve and Jane then take him to Doctor Hallen.


Doctor Hallen who is about to leave the surgery, anesthetises the man and sends Steve and Jane back to the where they found the man to see if anyone knows what happened. Meanwhile he decides he must amputate the man's arm since it is being consumed by the ever increasing Blob.

Before he has a chance, the Blob consumes the man, then Hallen's nurse, and finally the doctor himself, all the while increasing in size.


As Steve and Jane return to the office, they are in time to witness the doctor's death. Heading to the police station, they return to the house with Lieutenant Dave and Sergeant Bert who dismiss the story as a prank when there is no evidence to back up their story.

At the Colonial cinema, which is showing a midnight screening, Steve ropes in some of his friends to warn people about the Blob.



When Steve notices that his father's grocery store is unlocked, he and Jane go inside. They are cornered in a walk in freezer by the Blob which oozes in but then retreats. The townspeople and police still refuse to believe Steve's story.

Meanwhile, the Blob enters the Colonial and consumes the projectionist before oozing into the auditorium and doing the same to a number of the audience ... ... ...

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I really like this film and think Steve, or should I say Steven McQueen is really great in this, despite being twenty seven and playing a teen!

I saw this for the first time years ago and the bit that always stuck in my head was Jane, aka Janie Girl and her never-ending talk about The Little Dog. Though to be fair, I would have worried about it too. And I, unlike Jane, who had some wonderful outfits by the way, would have had no problem with Steve calling me Janie Girl. Except Jane's not my name, so maybe I would 😉



Did you know ... The actual Blob, a mixture of red dye and silicone, has never dried out and is still kept in the original five-gallon pail in which it was shipped to the production company in 1958 from Union Carbide.

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Have you seen The Blob?

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?