Saturday, 25 December 2010

Nothing Rhymes with Nothing: The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl.


Music for your listening pleasure on this fine Christmas morn...

I could have been someone...

                                               Well so could anyone
                                               You took my dreams from me
                                               When I first found you

I kept them with me babe
I put them with my own
Can't make it all alone
I've built my dreams around you


Tuesday, 21 December 2010

What Mood Are You In?


HAPPY       MELANCHOLY       FUN       BORED       TIRED       CRAZY       ANGRY       OPTIMISTIC       ADVENTUROUS       MYSTERIOUS       HELPLESS       THOUGHTFUL    ODD    EVIL    CALM    SMUG     GRUMPY       STRANGE       GOOD       WITTY       UPSET       QUIET       CONFUSED       ENERGETIC       ILL       OBNOXIOUS       DEEP       WEAK      SLOW     TROUBLED       GREAT       REPULSIVE       BAD     STRESSED       HORRIBLE       EXCITED       DIRTY       HURT    OLD   ORDINARY     CHARMING     LUCKY


Blackadder Goes Forth.




Monday, 20 December 2010

Richard Henry 'Peter' Sellers.


Master impressionist Peter Sellers was born Richard Henry Sellers on September 8, 1925 in Southsea, Hampshire, England. His parents, Agnes (Peg) and Bill Sellers, called him Peter in memory of his stillborn older brother. Sellers' parents were vaudeville entertainers, and at two days old, Sellers was carried onto the stage at King's Theatre. He spent his childhood traveling the vaudeville circuit, where he gained a fondness for entertaining and a desire to succeed beyond the realm of vaudeville.

As a youth, Sellers attended 'Miss Whitney's School of Dancing' in Southsea, and 'Madame Vacani's Dancing Classes' in London before enrolling in St Aloysius' Boarding and Day School for Boys. In the early 1940s, Sellers played the drums with touring jazz bands and also learned to play the banjo and ukulele. Just after his 18th birthday, Sellers was drafted into the British Royal Air Force. He became an official RAF concert entertainer, and between 1943 and 1946, Sellers spent his free time performing comedy sketches and playing the drums for the other servicemen.

After returning home from the war, Sellers pursued a position with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). By 1948 he had taken part in a few moderately successful auditions, none of which had resulted in an invitation to join the BBC. Having grown impatient for stardom, Sellers chose to take matters into his own hands. The comic made a telephone call to Roy Speer, producer of the BBC radio program, "Show Time." Sellers posed as a popular radio star and recommended himself to Speer. The producer, impressed with Sellers' "acting", gave him a spot on the air. Following his initial appearances on "Show Time," Sellers became a sought-after radio personality. 

On the long-running BBC radio show, "Crazy People" (later called "The Goon Show"), Sellers established himself as a master impressionist. The show's zany collection of skits and Sellers' outrageous characters, including Major Bloodnok, Bluebottle and Henry Crun, have been recognized as the predecessors to Monty Python's Flying Circus. "The Goon Show" provided Sellers with a showcase for his improvisational skills as well as an outlet for life's frustrations.

By the time "The Goon Show" ended in January 1960, Sellers had earned the exposure necessary to begin a career in film. After appearing in several British pictures, Sellers achieved success in the U.S. with "The Mouse That Roared" (1959). In 1960 he received international attention for his role in the film "The Millionairess," in which he co-starred with Sophia Loren. 

The incredibly versatile Sellers could slip in and out of characters with surprising speed. His genius was displayed through his depiction of multiple characters in "Mouse" as well as in several other films throughout his career. "Dr. Strangelove" (1964), considered Sellers' best film, earned him his first Oscar nomination in 1965. In 1963, Sellers introduced the world to his best-known character, Inspector Clouseau, The Pink Panther's bumbling master of disguise. 

There were four sequels to this successful comedic film: A Shot in the Dark (1964), The Return of the Pink Panther (1974), The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976), and Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978). 1982's Trail of the Pink Panther is a posthumous collection of outtakes from the previous Panther films combined with new footage of other cast members.

Sellers garnered his second Oscar nomination for the critically acclaimed film, Being There (1979), in which he played the child-like Chance, a gardener mistaken for an economic guru. Sellers' controlled performance was key to the success of this subtle comedy. The comedian's film career ended just before his death in 1980, with The Fiendish Plot of Fu Manchu.

Though Sellers was a great success professionally, he did not fare as well in the personal realm. The son of an overprotective, controlling mother, Sellers often behaved like a child, throwing tantrums and demanding his wives' undivided attention. Sellers married four times, to Anne Howe, Britt Ekland, Miranda Quarry and Lynne Frederick. He also sired three children: Michael, Sarah and Victoria. Sellers' wives and children were forced to suffer the effects of living with an obsessive perfectionist whose attentions focused mainly on himself and his career.

After appearing in over 60 films as well as on numerous radio and television shows throughout his career, Sellers died of a heart attack on July 24, 1980. Displaying his unending sense of humor, the comic said goodbye with one last joke. At Sellers' request, the song "In The Mood" was played at his funeral, a tune that he hated. According to biographer Roger Lewis, Sellers had told his son Michael that the song was "wonderfully inappropriate - hence, wonderfully appropriate - for solemn occasions." 

1974 Interview (Part 1)                (Part 2)                (Part 3)                (Part 4)

Peter Sellers (1925 - 1980)


Sunday, 19 December 2010

Vegans, Roses, Status Quo.


88 out of 100 vegans think that Charlie Chaplin once came third in a 'Charlie Chaplin look-a-like' contest.

86 of those 88 also think that, while roses are red, violets are definitely 'violet'.

1 of those 86 believes that St Francis of Assisi is the lead singer of 3-chord rock goliaths 'Status Quo'.


Hit The Road, Jack...


Brave? Foolish? Yes, both.


Quote, Unquote (Part 16th).


"Cresswell continues to amaze and surprise.
- I'm amazed he's continuing with this nonsense, and surprised no one's had the good grace to stop him."

"Never Punch A Gifthorse... is the only blog I've read that has actually made me want to punch a gifthorse in the mouth."

"It would appear that Cresswell's only purpose in life is to act as a warning to others."

"People (Cresswell) describe(s) this blog as '...the Gifthorse that keeps giving'. But I say 'Cresswell got into the gene pool when the lifeguard wasn't watching.'"

"I haven't been so annoyed by such abject stupidity since I ate that burrito just before going to the dentists."
M.Night Shyamalan


The Battle for Michael Caine.

Nothing Rhymes with Nothing: Loudon Wainwright III.


Music for your listening pleasure...

I know that fan is moving air
I can see it in your hair
But I can't bear to breathe it in somehow
I'll rise and fall with you
'Cause you can't fail me now,
I'll rise and fall with you
'Cause you can't fail me now

Salt is sweet upon my mouth
And dark throws sparks against my house
The stain of love's a smudge upon my brow.
But you see through me
And you can't fail me now,
You see right through me
And you can't fail me now

I bit off more than I can chew
It's something that I tend to do
When fewer words are what we need and how
You bite my tongue
And you can't fail me now
I rant and rail
But you can't fail me now

I lost the thread among the vines
And hung myself in story lines
That tell the tales I never would allow
God knows the name of every bird
That fills my mind like angry words
But you know all my secret heart avows...

We're taught to love the worst of us
And mercy more than life, but trust me:
Mercy's just a warning shot across the bow
I live for yours
And you can't fail me now,
I live for your mercy
And you can't fail me now

You can't fail me now.


Friday, 17 December 2010

The Case Of The Missing Clemency.


Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you very much for your email regarding Penalty Charge Notice: *************.

You'll be pleased to know that I have now paid my £50 parking ticket.

I had been rather annoyed by it initially. Firstly because I had sent my objection on 3/11/10 expecting a 'response within 10 days', only to receive a response on 13/12/10 - a remarkable 27 days (not including weekends) after my correspondence. 

That is, in my view, only acceptable if an apology is offered (it wasn't).

Secondly, you seem to have no explanation for the car parked behind me, for which I supplied pictorial evidence - it was spared a parking ticket despite being there when I arrived and when I left. The warden on duty seems to have been bizarrely selective in his/her ticket-issuing. 

Anyway, as a good member of the community, I have succumbed to your superior wisdom & power and paid my ticket (despite my grievances).

I thought I might mention, if you'd be so kind to read on, that your late response had put me in an awkward situation. 

It had been so long since I argued against it, that I had forgotten about it.

I only had £50 left in my bank account to last me over the Christmas period, and as this was now being demanded by the London Borough of ********, for a seemingly trivial (not to mention hotly disputed) parking offence, I felt very low. I could not afford to simply hand over the cash, as it would have left me penniless over the Yuletide season. 

Fortunately, I believe in karma, and somewhat foolishly decided to gamble my remaining £50 on the result of the football match between Manchester United and Arsenal on the evening of 13th December. I had a strong gut feeling that the home team would be victorious, and probably by a slender margin, so therefore bet all £50 on a 1-0 victory to Manchester United at odds of 8/1. 

Imagine my glee when they duly went on and won 1-0!

I won £400, and in doing so have actually benefitted from your refusal of clemency.

I therefore gladly handed over the £50 owed to yourselves - please consider it a gift - having pocketed a cool £350 which I will now spend wildly whilst having extra fun over the next 2 weeks.

Thank you very much for your role in my financial windfall, I am most grateful.

Very Best,



Anthony "Fleety" Fleet.


Car crash darts, anyone?

In honour of the World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace that kicked off last night, here we have Tony Fleet's interesting debut at the oche...

(Please ignore Martin 'Wolfie' Adams and his intro, as spectacular and brilliant as it is... just focus on that all important first game - what could possibly go wrong?)

"Nerves. Obviously."  - Commentator.

"Pissed. Obviously."  - NCresswell.



Charlie Chaplin (Part 6 of 7).

Zzzzz's 2.


Music for sleepin'...

                                  Z    Z
                                   Z    Z



Nothing Rhymes with Nothing: Frank Sinatra.


Music for your listening pleasure...

The very thought of you makes
My heart sing
Like an April breeze
On the wings of spring
And you appear in all your splendor
My one and only love

The shadows fall
And spread their mystic charms
In the hush of night
While you’re in my arms
I feel your lips so warm and tender
My one and only love

The touch of your hand is like heaven
A heaven that I’ve never known
The blush on your cheek
Whenever I speak
Tells me that you are my own

You fill my eager heart with
Such desire
Every kiss you give
Sets my soul on fire
I give myself in sweet surrender
My one and only love

My one and only love


Thursday, 16 December 2010

Dad Will Love His Christmas Gifts...

Tony Cowards.


There are lots of Tweetmasters of Fun and Pun out there...

This guy is really good...

Follow him here...

  • Started watching a documentary about Fort Knox but found it really hard to get into.
  • At the moment I'm struggling to draw breath, but then again I'm not much of an artist anyway.
  • Saw a play last night, about a classic car restoration - it was a complete Triumph.
  • I've been asked to run the London marathon next year, but I've had to say no as I've no experience of organising anything that large.
  • My nemesis is the German Sausage - it's my own W├╝rst enemy.
  • Wiltshire council can't clear the roads of snow because they are using the grit for medical purposes - that's just rubbing salt in the wound.
  • What was Charles Darwin's favourite computer game?             'Pro-Evolution Soccer'.
  • Just watched a biopic about the man who invented 'Wotsits' - was ok, but a bit cheesy.
  • If your car breaks down when you're giving Salt n Pepa a lift, don't worry - they push it real good.
  • Just heard voices coming from the wine cellar - I think it's just the drink talking.
  • Advent calendars - your days are numbered.
  • They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but not when you're on a first date with a stutterer.
  • Jokes about time travel are so next year.
  • When I won a free makeover at the cosmetics counter I was made up.


Tuesday, 14 December 2010

"Amazing" Grace History.

Grace & Richard History
Grace History, also known as "The First Lady of A-Z of Good" & "The First Lady", has kindly volunteered her services to Diego and myself - adding a much needed feminine touch to the A-Z's musical direction (more information on which can be found at the bottom of this page). Pictured here with her husband, the current UK base jumping coach Richard History, Grace's record collection is understandably vast, and features artists as diverse as Benny De Weille, Beck, Buddy Holly, Billie Holiday, Belle and Sebastian, Blind Willie Johnson, Blur, Bon Iver, Brian Eno, Broken Social Scene and The Byrds.

Grace has experienced nearly an entire century's worth of musical evolution.

She lists '1959' as her favourite year because of the remarkable jazz albums released, and lists 'The National' as the "best band in the world on current form".

As for her musical 'dislikes', she's careful not to needlessly offend anyone, but says of M People: "I don't like that guy with the silly hair and comedy voice".

I challenged Grace to a game of boules as we discussed her involvement with the project, without realising that she was a 3-time Intercontinental champion in the 1980's.

I won comfortably, 21-5 and 21-10, respectively.

Having battled alcoholism in the 1960's Grace has 'not had a drink in 40 years', although I'm sure she was tiddly when we last met, at a wine tasting evening she had organised.

"You used to drink to excess?", I asked.

"I'd drink to anything", she replied, "At least I think I did - three things happen when you get to my age. First your memory starts to go, and I've forgotten about the other one".

Charlie Chaplin (Part 5 of 7).

Monday, 13 December 2010

Organised Chaos.


"I'm just off to Homebase, darling..."




Stuff you overhear...

A Christmas conversation:

Person A: 'Are you going to come with me to pick out a Christmas tree?'

Person B: 'No. If you can't carry it back by yourself, then it's too big.'

(I'm going to let you speculate on the genders of 'Persons A & B'...)


Sunday, 12 December 2010

The Trip.

Top 20...TV Competition Questions (Part 1).


As featured on 'This Morning', 'Richard & Judy' etc., and ITV in general...

Go on, test yourselves...

20. 'Hall and Oates are associated with which type of music?':
a) Big-Eared Soul
b) Blue-Eyed Soul
c) Red-Haired Soul

19. 'How many movies are there in the Lord of the Rings trilogy?':
a) 20
b) 1
c) 3

18. 'Champagne is sparkling wine from which part of France?':
a) Champagne
b) Baby Cham
c) Chimpanzee

17. 'Who did Bill Clinton say he "did not have sexual relations with..." in 1998?':
a) Hillary Clinton
b) Nancy Reagan
c) Monica Lewinsky

16. 'What is the correct title of the 2007 movie?':
a) No Country for The Omen
b) Incontinence for Old Men
c) No Country for Old Men

How did you get on?


Nothing Rhymes with Nothing: Talking Heads.


Music for your listening pleasure...

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself, "Well, how did I get here?"

(Chorus 1:)
Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by, water flowing underground
Into the blue again, after the money's gone
Once in a lifetime, water flowing underground

And you may ask yourself, "How do I work this?"
And you may ask yourself, "Where is that large automobile?"
And you may tell yourself, "This is not my beautiful house"
And you may tell yourself, "This is not my beautiful wife"

(Chorus 1)

Same as it ever was...

(Chorus 1)

You may ask yourself, "What is that beautiful house?"
You may ask yourself, "Where does that highway go to?"
You may ask yourself, "Am I right, am I wrong?"
You may say to yourself, "My God! What have I done?"

Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by, water flowing underground
Into the blue again, into the silent water
Under the rocks and stones, there is water underground

(Chorus 1)

Same as it ever was...
Look where my hand was

Time isn't holding up, time isn't after us
Same as it ever was...

                    Click here for 'heaven'...)


How To Strike In The Neck.



---------------------The Good.------------------------

             "Things that Appeal in this World..."

  • Arriving at a destination in perfect timing, just as the song you are listening to ends.
  • New socks.
  • The dull hum of a lonely milk float, whirring down the street in the early hours of the morning.
  • Autumn.
  • Sleep. "I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake" - Ernest Hemmingway.
  • Snow. So powerful, it can make Hounslow look like Prague.
  • Boules (freestyle, not regulation).
  • Hats (not all hats).
  • The smell of bread.
  • The smell of petrol.
  • Chilean Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Scrambled eggs with cracked black pepper.
  • 'Holocene' by Bon Iver.



----------------The Bad & The Ugly.-----------------

"Things That Do Not Appeal In This World Or The Next..."

      • Summertime.  Controversial? Of course. Having hay fever, effectively therefore being allergic to summer, isn't the half of it. I don't like the summertime because it brings out the idiots from everywhere. People always start behaving poorly and become aggressive, just because it's hot. People sweat more and therefore smell worse. Hot, sticky, sweaty 'orribleness. It's hard to get to sleep because of the heat, and my beard becomes itchy. Summertime is no friend of the bearded.
      • Holes in socks.
      • Sneezing whilst driving.
      • Sneezing whilst carrying a hot beverage.
      • The moment, during an argument, when you realise you're wrong.
      • Deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.
      • Polyfilla-ing, sanding down, and then painting, a ceiling.
      • Wind Chimes.


      More things on the way...


      Airplane {1980}.

      Friday, 10 December 2010

      The Case Of The Missing Chew.


      Dear *****,

      I must say it's been a delight having Olive over to stay with us for the last week. I will miss her loyalty and companionship.

      For a young 'un, she is (generally) very well behaved. When I came home this evening to an empty house and was not greeted with wags and licks, I felt sad. I hope she had a good time.

      Apart from when she shat in the study, pissed on the couch, tried to eat my chicken kiev when I went to get a glass of water, and chewed the staircase, we got on famously well. I found out a lot about her and how she's adjusting to life as a pug in the 21st Century; how her diminutive stature can be a help as well as a hindrance, and how, as a sounding board for some comedic ideas that I was cultivating, she was surprisingly receptive.

      She communicates slowly, and cautiously, but eloquently, and growls especially highly of you and ****. I found out that between meals she can act a little crazy, going particularly mental between the hours of 3-5pm even after we've been out to the park meeting new friends. She yaps at the TV with unerring efficiency and regularity (showing a particular dislike of Noel Edmonds) and charges around eating random debris (mostly fluff/leaves) and chasing her tiny tail. I gave her a dog chew to calm her nerves, but it has disappeared. Despite its industrial size in comparison with her tiny frame, I think she might have sneakily buried it somewhere - possibly under the floorboards or in one of my shoes.

      I also noticed that she is suspicious of cyclists and squirrels, does not respect pigeons, and shows admirable bravery (naivety) and calmness (confusion) when faced with over-excitable fellow canines - some that I myself would be wary of. Just to let you know, I diligently checked her water source and supplied her with fresh regular top-ups to maintain hydration, which she clearly appreciated. She ate well too, though her dog food does smell like death, mixed with dried meat - which might well explain her appalling guffs.

      We took her round to **** & ****'s, and despite her initial (understandable) disorientation and hyper-inquisitivity, she settled very well and became a real hit with everyone in attendance - before falling asleep on her bed and embarking on a classic snore:guff spree.

      Send her my fond regards, and give her a chew treat from me - although it might be best to check your shoes if she/it 'goes missing'.

      Very best,