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All Mess And No Eton   21st June

House-Elf 2 and I were watching Celebrity Masterchef (she is an avid cook), and JB (not that I know who he is) from JLS (not that I know who they are) was on. He was actually pretty good. Anyway, he makes this Eton Mess type thing, and Greg says, “What I’ve got here is all mess and no Eton”. Made me smile.

You can see the whole piece here.

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You can see the whole piece here.

Ugly   June 28th

I hate this word. I never use it, and cringe when others use do. I could perhaps stomach its use to describe a person’s morals, say, but not for so-called facial imperfections. Danny Kaye is one of my favourite actors, but when I hear him sing The Ugly Duckling song, I get vexed. I mean, the other birds chased the duckling right out of town, just because his feathers were stubby and brown! However, I use it here as a tribute to Eli Wallach, who died a few days ago.

Eli Wallach was born in Brooklyn in 1915, the son of Polish immigrants. I saw him being interviewed at the NFT a few years back. After the interview he introduced a showing of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (in my top ten favourite films), hence the word, and he sat in the front row and watched the film with us. He was a lovely, gentle man, not ugly at all. Not Tuco at all. He said that Sergio Leone told him he wanted the whole movie to look like a Vermeer painting. How great is that?

Oddly enough, what with Frank also featuring on this napkin, Wallach was the original choice for the Sinatra role in From Here To Eternity. Also, although I don’t really want to mention Godfather 3, Sinatra was offered Wallach’s part, but turned it down.

 

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You can see the whole piece here.

Camp   June 27th

This morning, Bill Turnbull, we like Bill in our house, was reporting on the closing of Camp Bastion, the main British military base in Afghanistan. The size of it is unimaginable. It houses 28,000 people. It is a small town in the middle of the desert. Every singe item there has been flown in by aeroplane or helicopter.

And so, the word ‘camp’ is for Camp Bastion. Also a little nod to Glastonbury, happening now in full mud mode.

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You can see the whole piece here.

SW19   24th June

Wimbledon postcode, made from my, already demolished, 2013 calendar.

Suzanne   26th June

Suzanne Lenglen was a French tennis player. During the early Twenties, she won the Women’s Championship at Wimbledon six times in seven years.  The letters are taken from a magazine I rescued from the bin at work, except the ‘U’, which comes from a David Bailey NPG exhibition leaflet.

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You can see the whole piece here.

Battle of Orgreave  18th June

Thirty years ago today. Miners’ Strike. Over five thousand pickets (not my dad) and the same of policemen, most of whom had no experience of dealing with an incident like this. Lots of horses and dogs. I was sixteen when I saw the news footage, but can remember it as if it was yesterday. There were no female officers and only a handful of female pickets. To mark the thirtieth anniversary of the Miners’ Strike, there have been lots of programmes on television and radio. I didn’t watch or listen to any of them. It is still too soon.

The Assassins’ Reunion  19th June

The Assassins is my husband’s band from school, the other half of which lives in L.A. The American fraction visited this week and they planned their come-back.

Frank Sinatra   20th June

Today a UK couple were found guilty of murdering their parents fifteen years ago. They had buried the bodies in the garden early on a Sunday morning, after watching The Eurovision Song Contest. They emptied the victims’ bank accounts and claimed pensions and assets, spending over a quarter of a million pounds on Frank Sinatra and Gary Cooper memorabilia. Frank’s picture is taken from ‘501 Must-See Movies’ published by Bounty Books. The film is ‘Pal Joey’, the cinematographer was Harold Lipstein.

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See the whole diary here.

Fully French  14th June

My daughter returned from a school trip, to France, yesterday. She started to tell us a little about it today. Turns out that the hostel boss shares a name with her brother. She said she tried to tell him this interesting fact, but he had trouble understanding what she was saying, what with him being “Fully French”.

Little Bunny Picture  15th June

This is a tribute to Sam Kelly, who died yesterday. A nod to Bunny Warren, the character he played in Porridge. The bunny is taken from ‘The 1995 Monty Python Datebook’ (bought in a charity shop to add more years to my red shirt) published on recycled paper by The Ink Group. It does not credit an illustrator, but possibly Terry Gilliam is the artist.

A Picture Of Health  16th June

My husband always has the kitchen radio tuned to Radio 6 Music. I usually listen to Radio 4 (very disappointed it’s been removed from the iplayer, by the way), but if I am on kitchen-auto-pilot, I listen to 6 Music without realising. I was in this auto-pilot state this morning, when I heard the breakfast show presenter talking about Prince George having taken his first steps. He then went on to tell us about a photo of Kate and William at a polo match, he said they looked ‘a picture of health’.

Ashes   17th June

This is in response to an article I saw today on The News At One. For decades, staff at various crematoria across the UK have been scattering babies’ ashes without the parents’ knowledge. Over a thousand parents were not told of the existence of their babies’ remains.

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Full diary for June 2014 here.

Brunch 8th June

Suggested by Rachel Witte, when I was travelling to work. Thanks to Cheryl, Judith, Sandra, Catherine and Uckfield Art Trail for the other suggestions, I liked them all. In the end though, I liked the punch that comes with brunch. It has impact, and I like the way it looks on the napkin. I also liked the idea of Rachel eating brunch at the time. It was a beautiful sunny morning, and I imagined her in a garden. I looked it up and brunch was first recorded in 1898, much earlier than I had expected.

Felfie 10th June

Apparently this has been added to the Collins English Dictionary. A photo of a farmer taken by himself/herself. The letters are cut from the W.H. Smith voucher below. It was shoved into my newspaper without me noticing.

Rape 11th June

There is a global summit in London at the moment hoping to raise awareness of wartime rape.

1.100 women are raped each month in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

50,000 women have been raped in Bosnia.

500,000 women were raped during the Rwandan Genocide.

Scooby Snack 12th June

Jamie Oliver said this on his ‘Money Saving Meals’. It made me laugh because my husband and I have been having a scooby-snack-argument  for about twenty years. We have been having this disagreement  for so long, that I can’t remember whether I’m in the ‘small biscuit’ corner, or the ‘very tall sandwich’ corner.

Skin 13th June

My daughter has been to France for a week, and was thoroughly exhausted when she got home this afternoon. (So far she has told us nothing of her adventure). We decided to have a cuddle and watch ‘A Bug’s Life’, which we hadn’t seen before. Anyway, the main bug had made a telescope, from a leaf and a droplet of water. “What’s that?” she says, meaning the water. When I answered her she couldn’t quite get her head around the fact that the water didn’t run everywhere. I was reminded of a brilliant clip I saw on QI, showing mosquitoes gracefully flicking raindrops out of their way in the air. I told her about this. She was utterly amazed. “So water has got a kind of skin?” She ran upstairs to impress her brother (as always) with this information. He already knew this and was not impressed (as always). Grandma rang to find out about France, but instead got a science lesson.

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Full diary for June 2014 here.

June 7th: Cataclysmic   4.5 billion years ago, the Moon was formed by a cataclysmic collision. Scientists have just found evidence.

June 8th: I intend to do the word ‘brunch’, but haven’t sewn it yet.

June 9th:  Crap Monday   Rik Mayall died today, he was only 56. A few years back he came off a quad bike, it was a pretty nasty accident. He said it happened the day before Good Friday. Crap Thursday. I was fifteen when The Young Ones came out, and loved it, along with every other teenager. Parents thought it was a load of rubbish, which made us like it even more. I saw Rik doing stand-up at Newcastle City Hall in the early/mid Eighties, Ben Elton (then unknown) did the warm-up. I laughed so much it hurt.