Starring Clinton Moore as the Masked Man and Jay Silverheels as his faithful injun companion Tonto… “A fiery horse with the speed of light in a cloud of dust – and a hurried ‘Hi ho Silver’… the Loner Ranger rides again”. You don’t realise how much of this guff off TV sinks into your consciousness when you’re ten or eleven.
The Ranger’s catchphrase inspired the 1967 hit “Hi Ho Silver Lining”, written by American songwriters Scott English and Larry Weiss and first released in March 1967 by The Attack, followed a few days later by Jeff Beck. However the Jeff Beck version charted first, and the song is indelibly associated with him.
Strolling down Garratt Lane the other day, Child A spotted these curious structures outside Garratt Park primary school. My son was born forty years after me, yet we still have similar basic expectations of what you might find in a children’s playground: swings, slides, roundabouts, climbing frames – that sort of thing….
Leaving the lab late at night, I always find the light blue glow that the UV lamp sheds on the inside of the biosafety hood especially beautiful. Although, if I were some tiny bacteria that happened to land inside that hood, I doubt I’d feel very nostalgic about my mutating genome.
“Life expectancy is currently increasing by two, two and a half years every decade. What that actually means is that in the course of today your life expectancy is going to increase by 5-6 hours. So the reality is that when the alarm clock goes off each morning we’re waking up to a 29 hour day – of which we’re going to use 24 hours now – and put a further 5 hours onto our stockpile for the future.”
“Since people aged 85 and over are the fastest-growing part of the population, we studied about a thousand of them to see whether they had any of 18 different diseases of ageing. We found there was not a single person who had nothing wrong with them – and most people had four, five or six things wrong with them. In the future medical services will need to take account of the fact that older people have lots of things going wrong together at the same time – and that the way you treat one of these conditions may have to take account of others that are present.” (Professor Tom Kirkwood, Newcastle University)
Gradations of toast done-ness. My preference is for about 45 secs; Child K ranges between 45 secs and 1,45 min; Wife goes for a hardcore 3,15 mins every time. Plenty of scope for family dissent, depending on who’s making breakfast.
Found this on standingintheheartofdarkness via a reblog on the delightful letsjustwastetime whose author Vivien lives in Melbourne and is aged… well only click through and find out if you really, really don’t mind feeling your age:
In view of his huge national popularity following the battle of Waterloo, the Duke Of Wellington was pressed to accept the post of Prime Minister. After his first cabinet meeting, somebody asked him how it had gone. “It was the most extraordinary thing” said Wellesley. in genuine puzzlement. “I gave them their orders. then all of them wanted to talk about it.”
When a friend told me this anecdote today it reminded of the Spitting Image sketch where The Iron Lady takes her cabinet out to a restaurant:
Laramie ws an American Western television series by NBC that was shown on BBC TV from 1959 to 1963. It originally starred John Smith as Slim Sherman, Robert Fuller as Jess Harper, Hoagy Carmichael as Jonesy and Robert Crawford, Jr. as Andy Sherman. YouTube shows the credits here in colour, though of course we only ever saw them in blurry black and white…
Although Hoagy Carmichael was dropped after the first series, I never forgot having first seen him on telly as the raddled-looking Jonesy. It was astonishing to later learn that he’d been a glamorous composer earlier in the century, responsible for hits like “Stardust”, “Two Sleepy People” and in particular the superb “Georgia On My Mind”.
Snapped at Victoria Station earlier today: a map of the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway in its pre-nationalisation glory days. Also (below) the grand war memorial entrance to Waterloo station – taken earlier this year.
And talking of wartime… This is London Can Take It – an American take on the Blitz Spirit – set to beats and music by the aptly named Public Service Broadcasting. The film of this name was filed by American correspondent Quentin Reynolds and shown to audiences in the USA in order to shore up support for Britain and its allies.
Spring 1982: I was living in Hamburg on my dwindling savings, as the house guest of a German couple – and their cat – in a large gloomy apartment just north of the city centre. My whole life at the time was in German: TV, radio, newpapers, magazines, books, records and every human interaction – from breakfast conversation with my hosts – to chatting up strangers in the local sauna by night.
Being immersed in a language and culture I only half understood acted as a kind of filter that gave hard reality something of a fuzzy edge. Somehow the news that “Die beiden Flugzeugträger HMS Hermes und HMS Invincible der Britischer Flottenverband haben sich nach die Falklandinseln auf den Weg gemacht” was scarier yet somehow removed because I wasn’t quite sure what it meant. But nobody was in any doubt that war was in the air.
Germany was still an occupied country with the Iron Curtain driven right through its heart. The news that Premierministerin Thatcher had seen fit to despatch “drei große atomgetriebene U-Boote” to the South Atlantic struck my German friends with horror. The Soviet army stationed only 60 miles away was paranoid and twitchy enough, without any posturing from the British and their nuclear submarines.
Thirty years ago today as the task force was setting out, I was sipping a coffee on the terrace of the Europaischer Hof – opposite Hamburg’s central station – and fell into conversation with an elderly lady at the next table.
“And where are you from, young man?” she asked in querulous German – and when I replied “Aus England” she shook her head. “Please God let there not be another war” she croaked. “I’ve already lived through two wars. War is terrible… terrible. Please God let there not be another war…”
That’s the thing about the past – it’s fixed: looking back on history events seems somehow inevitable. But just because we got lucky and a particular outcome didn’t in fact happen doesn’t mean the danger was any less great at the time.
One major advantage of being over 60 is the wonderful Freedom Pass that offers older people – and those with disabilities – free travel the length and breadth of London. Those who reached 60 before April 2010 got them automatically – but the threshold is being incrementally increased so that eventually you’ll need to be 65 to qualify. This upper age was originally going to be reached in 2020, but last year’s government spending review plans to bring it forward to 2018.
Before getting my Freedom Pass I had a standard Oystercard with auto topup – itself a brilliantly hassle-free way of getting around the capital. Since I’m still in gainful fulltime employment, it was morally a tad dubious to take up this chance of free subsidised travel. So by way of a sop to my conscience, my old Oystercard has passed to an old friend in straitened circumstances whose travel around London I now pay for instead of my own.
After all, as that fine songwriter TV Smith (formerly of The Adverts) once put it – and as I well remember from signing on in the 70s – it’s expensive being poor.
From our recent Ikea visit… Instagram photos of track, tram and platform on South London’s Tramlink service that connects Wimbledon with Croydon and eastwards on to Beckenham Junction. The network is part of Transport For London, whose invaluable Oystercards are valid for its whole length.
It’s converted from an old railway line and a huge asset to the local transport infrastructure: a kind of South Circular rail link, if you will.
Some of its films were highly memorable – though not always for the right reasons – Dark And Lonely Water offered priceless comedy value, even at the time.
“Sensible children… I have no power over them” mutters The Spirit Of Dark And Lonely Water from beneath his dark and lonely hood.
“Oi luk, vair’s samwam en va wor-ahh!” comments Hordriss The Confuser on YouTube. ” I remember when nearly every child in documentaries or public service announcements had an estuary accent which could strip paint from steel.”
But some of the COI’s intentionally funny films were genuinely hilarious, and put their point across all the more effectively. 1945’s “Coughs & Sneezes” was an alltime favourite…