Friday, 30 July 2010

Ode to Joy

Sorry to have been a bit quiet of late and thanks to the one of you who enquired after my welfare, which was sweet. Basically, work has been pretty intense, including a trip down to Essex (which I can only explain to American readers as an English New Jersey) for a court case in the county town of Chelmsford (I lost). I stayed the night before the case in a hotel. When I got off the train it was about 10 at night, dark and sticky hot. I got a cab to the hotel and the county cricket ground was awash with light in the gloom. There was a floodlit T20 game still going on. I'm a sucker for that sort of stuff but it looked good. After I checked in, I went to the hotel bar for a couple of beers feeling hot, tired and thirsty. The first barely hit the sides going down.

After duly losing my case the next day, I got the train back to London. Or at least that was the plan. At a place called Shenfield the train stopped. And stayed stopped. There was a trackside fire further down the line. No trains into London. It didn't look good. In the end I found two other guys who agreed to share a cab. We queued half an hour for a cab - time well-spent. I got into London after a journey through Essex to the very eastern end of London - Upminster. Then into central London and on my way to the midlands. By the time I got back to Birmingham I was ready to murder another beer. I did. So pretty flat out this week. I managed to write a short article on trial without jury for a legal publication but my comic novel and online criminal law textbook move very slowly.

So there it is. I usually don't blog much about me but that's what's going on. I'm off down to London again tomorrow to see my children and drink red wine with blogger Charon QC (link to left!). A quote from Jerry Garcia I just found and like: 'I'm shopping around for something to do that no one will like'. I kind of know what he meant. But maybe it's not a great plan. Below is a floodlit cricket ground. It's not in Essex. It's in Kinara in India in fact. But I like the pic. Oh and above is Beethoven's Ode to Joy because it's great and Fleur reminded me of it. Who could be against the European project with an anthem like that? Okay all sorts of dolts but never mind. Have a good weekend all!

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Be careful before taking safari park pics...

Hat Tip to Sarcastic Bastard. Unrelatedly, I was reminded of a blog I did a goodly while ago about scambaiting - I am now a retired scambaiter but it was good fun at the time. Here is a recently posted and protracted goody from the 419 Baiter website - the Julia Ngume letters - I particularly like the secretary of Our Lady of Perpetual Flatulence Church - Potty LaTrine. Below is (supposedly) the lovely Julia.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

More horrid album covers....

It's been a while since we had some nasty album covers, isn't it? The above - The Citizens' post cro-magnon drift is more weird than horrid, though. All very odd...

As always, US Gospel music covers provide some shockers. Do you think the women are wearing those dresses for a bet? And was the one on the left's hair bolted on to her head by some strange industrial process?

Okay, just one more gospel album cover. The Gospel Four? Ermmm... There's five of them. And the 'woman' second left is plainly Phil Specter in disguise.

This album cover - for the strangely named And The Glass Handed Kites by Danish band Mew is seriously not nice in the rabbit's opinion.

It's always good to see a bit of subtlety, I'm sure you'll all agree. The above flurry of good taste is Types of Wood by Whirlwind Heat, who are apparently from Michigan, Which is nice.

And from the aptly named Revolting, here is the cover for their CD The Terror Threshold. You can get a long way with subtlety.

Okay, just one more. Above is Tankard by Kings of Beer. The band's guitarist quit because he concluded that the other band members were a 'bunch of drunks'. How long it took him to reach this less than surprising conclusion is not clear.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Robert Graves and Stella Duffy - a sort of review.

Robert Graves (That's him above, folks!) is one of my total literary heroes. A classicist by background and a poet by aspiration, he wrote some wonderful prose. His Goodbye to All That, a memoir of the horrors of an early twentieth century public school upbringing and the even greater horrors of the First World War should be read by - well - everyone. He saw himself as a poet and saw his excursions into prose - and in particular the retelling of myth and ancient history as potboilers to pay for the serious - ie poetic - stuff. The difficulty I have with this is that I don't particularly rate his poetry with the single - and wonderful - exception of In Dedication at the beginning of The White Goddess. By contrast, the Claudius books are great and his retelling of The Golden Fleece - now bizarrely out of print - is as good as it gets. One of the things I have to do before I die is to put flowers on his grave in the churchyard of the Majorcan village of Deya where he lived for decades and died and was buried.

I'm a bit of a sucker for literary antiquity. As well as Graves, I've tried Mary Renault's Alexander thing, which I couldn't quite get into and Valerio Massimo Manfredi's Alexander trilogy, which I could. I've just finished Stella Duffy's Theodora - subtitled Actress Empress Whore. This is sort of a spoiler but the sub title gives away the general idea. It's not really set in the antiquity I speak of so fondly as a literary genre (if such it be) - the story is set Christian Byzantium and we are talking 6th century - the same era as Graves's Count Belisarius - a man who also figures as a very minor figure in Theodora. Theodora is an actress and actresses pretty much inevitably becomes prostitutes - our heroine no exception. She is thus a seriously not respectable person, albeit admired by all for her acting talents and lusted after by many. Theodora becomes the mistress of an Imperial functionary in North Africa but can never marry him because of her history and lack of status. She eventually has a religious conversion experience - initially she sets out on this road cynically and for reasons of self-preservation but becomes genuinely - well - converted. Her spiritual teachers are of an unorthodox strand of Christianity considered by many to be heretical. She is sent back to the capital to make herself influential with the powers taht be in general and Justinian (who is not yet Emperor but is in line) in particular. Theodora's sass, intelligence and practical abilities win Justinian round and he passes a law making her a respectable woman.

Simple as that! Just pass a law. They marry and appear to have a surprisingly successful sex life given Justinian's earnest and bookish nature. Theodora makes herself busy giving vent to her practical side. She becomes Augusta. Stella Duffy succeeds in doing what always needs to be done for successful fiction. She creates a character you can engage with. You root for Theodora. You go girl! She handles the theological subtext cleverly. She has her characters talking dirty wonderfully. All in all - go buy! Oh and Stella - write the sequel. I know this has been said already but it's screaming out for one! Below is a mosaic, The Empress Theodora and her Retinue - from Ravenna.

Okay, let's round things off with Graves's In Dedication...

All saints revile her, and all sober men

Ruled by the God Apollo's golden mean -

In scorn of which I sailed to find her

In distant regions likeliest to hold her

Whom I desired above all things to know,

Sister of the mirage and echo.

It was a virtue not to stay,To go my headstrong and heroic way

Seeking her out at the volcano's head,

Among pack ice, or where the track had faded

Beyond the cavern of the seven sleepers:

Whose broad high brow was white as any leper's,

Whose eyes were blue, with rowan-berry lips,

With hair curled honey-coloured to white hips

.Green sap of Spring in the young wood a-stir

Will celebrate the Mountain Mother,

And every song-bird shout awhile for her;

But I am gifted, even in November

Rawest of seasons, with so huge a sense

Of her nakedly worn magnificence

I forget cruelty and past betrayal,

Careless of where the next bright bolt may fall.

Just how bloody wonderful is that?


Hat Tip to Dr Heckle (link to left)

Thursday, 22 July 2010

The miscegenation laws are back...

The above pic is of the old city walls in Jerusalem. In September 2008 and in that city Sabbar Kashur, a Palestinian man met a Jewish woman. He - and it could hardly be said he is the first man to lie for sex - told her that he was Jewish and looking for a serious relationship. With somewhat startling haste, they hurried off to a nearby building and had what no-one disputes was anything other than consensual sex.

So what happens next? She finds out that he was not Jewish indeed - shock horror - he is an Arab. So what does she do when armed with this knowledge? Only files a criminal complaint, that's what. He is originally charged with rape and indecent assault. On a plea bargain, he pleads guilty to rape by deception. A pre-sentence report spoke of him in glowing terms and recommended a community penalty. The sentence?

Eighteen months imprisonment!

I don't think the sentence can be seperated from the racist poison infecting Israeli society generally. Israeli commentator Gideon Levy asked what would have happened if a Jewish man had sex with an Arab woman under false pretences. 'Would he have been convicted of rape? The answer is: of course not'.

A poll conducted in 2007 by Israel's Geocartography Institute found that more than 50 per cent of Israeli Jews thought marrying an Arab was 'equal to national treason'. There is no civil marriage in Israel, the effect of which is that Jews and non-Jews who wish to marry must go abroad to do so. In 2009 on a squad of 'vigilantes' in the Jewish settlement of Pisgat Zeev. was reported to have patrolled the streets for more than a decade looking for mixed couples.

And in 2009, the town of Petah Tikva established a team of counsellors and psychologists to 'rescue' Jewish women from relationships with Arab men. I use the term racist poison advisedly. I (just) resist a comparison with the 1935 Nuremburg Law prohibiting marriage or sexual relations between Germans and Jews.

On a happier topic, Tony mentioned Norman Hunter of blessed memory in a comment on my last posting. Here is St Norman sorting out some opponent (Channon?).Grab his arm. Kick his arse. that's the way to do it...

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

completely bloody (as it were) bonkers...

For the benefit of the uninitiated, the above is Sachin Tendulkar. For the benefit of the terminally not getting it, he is a cricketer. Well in fact he is a phoenomenally talented cricketer, former captain of India and one of the all time greats. But bear with me. This posting is NOT about cricket and even Tendulkar's prodigious abilities cannot begin to justify the gross out the rabbit is about to advise you of.

Our man has published his autobiography. So far so standard issue, I hear you say. Sportsman publishes autobiography. NO great surprise there. They all do that.


Yup. In blood. The 'blood edition' of our man's auytobiography, which also includes unpublished family pictures and Tendulkar's thoughts about his career, weighs 37kg, measures half a metre square and stretches to 852 pages edged in gold leaf and costs a mere $75,000 (£49,000). Out next February, only 10 copies are being printed and they have all already been pre-ordered so if you were thinking of ordering a copy, I'm afraid they've already gone. There's no lunatic like a rich lunatic.

Let publisher Kraken Media's chief executive Karl Fowler take up the story. 'The signature page will be mixed with Sachin's blood – mixed into the paper pulp so it's a red resin. It is what it is – you will have Sachin's blood on the page'. Warming to his theme, our hero elaborates 'it's not everyone's cup of tea, it's not to everyone's taste and some may think it's a bit weird'. Erm, quite so. 'But the key thing here is that Sachin Tendulkar to millions of people is a religious icon. And we thought how, in a publishing form, can you get as close to your god as possible?'

Bloody hell (so to speak)......

As well as taking blood from Tendulkar, Fowler (who really, really should seek help) - erm - asked for a sample of his saliva and used this to create his DNA profile, which will be printed on a two-metre gatefold in the book. 'What you'll be looking at is his genetic makeup', said Fowler as the men in white coats came to take him away. All is not lost should you be desperate to throw money away: Kraken will also publish around 1,000 copies of a cheaper edition of the autobiography at $2,000-$3,000 (£1,300-£1,900), signed by Tendulkar, and with the DNA but no blood. There's also to be a 'cheaper' edition at $200-$300 (£130-£190). All to be published in time for the cricket World Cup next Fenbruary so get your orders in!

While on the subject of bonkers, John Dixon, a Cardiff councillor is somewhat in the poo and facing a disciplinary hearing after calling the Church of Scientology 'stupid' on Twitter. The exact quote was 'I didn't know the Scientologists had a church on Tottenham Court Road. Just hurried past in case the stupid rubs off'. Someone (could the 'someone' just possibly be the 'Church' of Scientology?) has complained and Dixon faces a disciplinary hearing. The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales has has referred the case to Cardiff council's standards and ethics committee, which will consider it in the autumn. It will have to decide if there has been a breach and, if it finds there has been, consider any sanctions.

At the risk of labouring the obvious, whatever happened to free speech? What he said was so mild - stupid. He didn't call the Church of Scientology a 'fraud' or a 'money making scam'. Not that I'm suggesting it is. Okay, I am.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Some World War I posters...

The horror and the stupidity of World War I makes it a difficult subject for the usual flip rabbit comments but the above is so idiotic I can't think what to do but laugh - it originated from the British National War Savings Committee and 1915. the general idea is to spend your money on war bonds rather than clothes.

Another British poster from 1915. 'There's room for you' indeed! I bet there was.

This poster is German and from 1918. It translates as 'collect stinging nettles if you want clothing and thread. Information available from the Bayerische Nesselstelle, Munich'. No, I haven't a clue why either.

I have to say, I just hate the dishonesty and manipulative nature of these posters. 'Be a man and do it' Not so subtle, methinks. USA 1917.

And as for those food hoarders. The man on the left looks like he could use going on a diet...

Beat the rush. What this actually means is that they were about to bring in conscription. Britain 1915

The most famous - or infamous of the lot. Begs the answer 'gave it a miss thus surviving to have you, dear'. Parodied to this day. One striking thing about so many of these posters is that there was plainly widespread resistance to being sent out to be pointlessly slaughtered, thus necessitating this crudely manipulative stuff. Britain c1915. Hat Tip to vintagraph.

Thursday, 15 July 2010


The high moral and intellectual tone of White Rabbit is known throughout - erm - somewhere or the other so it seems a pity to lower it. So I shall blame Daniel Hoffman-Gill (link to left) for bringing this item to the rabbit's attention thus necessitating further comment as regards it. The device portrayed above is called a She Pee and is for - well it's obvious from the name is it not? It was actually invented by a Dutch person named Moon Zijp. She invented this device while travelling in Indonesia, came back to Holland and demonstrated it on national TV (typical Dutch, that). P Mate - as the device is also known is described as the female public urinating device. As a mere male, perhaps I should refrain from commenting further but simply direct anyone female in need of such a device to this informative site where orders can be placed. Five for three quid a pop. A bargain I'm sure all and sundry will agree.

Plus it was absolutely necessary to steal the image below from Sarcastic Bastard.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Today's heartwarming tale

The fine looking creature to the left is Timmy the Tortoise. Timmy, who is aged 60, is a resident of Tortoise Garden Sanctuary in St Austell, Cornwall (no, there really is such a place and I am not making this up - it currently has 450 resident abandoned, unwanted, injured and illegally imported tortoises). Let the sanctuary's owner Joy Bloor take up the story - 'I tried introducing him to other tortoises but they don't seem to like him and bully and fight with him'.

Oh dear!

A solution has been devised in the - erm - unusual form of Tanya, a plastic toy tortoise (right in pic - okay that was obvious but there you go). Timmy is in love! He brings Tanya lettuce. The fact that she doesn't eat it doesn't seem to concern him, nor does her general lack of responsiveness. He also nuzzles and kisses her and will only go in his hut to settle down for the night if she is put there first. What goes on in the hut at night does not bear thinking about.

On aesthetic grounds, I am not putting up Behind Closed Doors for the happy couple but instead let's have a quick blast of Roxy Music's In Every Dream Home a Heartache- a song about a guy who is in love with a blow up doll. As opposed to a plastic tortoise ...

Monday, 12 July 2010

It's going back up!

The rabbit has had a commendably quick reply from the manager of Missing and - yes - the statute of Marilyn Monroe is going back up. IN GOLD!!!

(Sorry Tony!)

While we're about it, here are a couple of ads from plan.59 from 1948 and 1949 for something called Petri Wine featuring drunken rodents in boots...

I also quite like this one which is from 1955 and the US Brewers Foundation and poses the (presumably rhetorical) question 'when everyone feels like relaxing, what makes a glass of beer taste so good?' Ummmmmmmm.....

Below is from 1960 and is for some odd reason by Champion Paper and Fibre. The young woman looks, as seems to have been the custom those days, very well turned out to do her shopping (standards slipping with no gloves, though!). The checkout woman looks like Nurse Ratched in One Flow Over the Cuckoo's Nest but I suppose most people did in those days.

Finally, here is an early example of the mobile phone from 1945 and the Pennsylvania Railway company who proudly announce 'linked together . . . by Induction Telephone'. Pleased to see the driver is wearing gloves! He's probably on one of those premium lines where he's having a discussion with a 'Bored Lithuanian Housewife' or somesuch at an alarming rate per minute.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Johnny Cash and Marilyn Monroe

It occurred to me that I haven't put up any Johnny Cash for ages. So here's Ring of Fire for starters. For afters, below is Hurt. Now there's a strange guy thing going on here. Everyone male I have ever discussed this song (which was recorded when he was dying) agrees that it rips their guts out. Women don't seem to react in the same way. Very odd. I'm male. It rips my guts out. What a guy.

I've blogged before on the part of central Birmingham where I have come to rest - for the moment - as well as having the back to backs (follow link) this area, generally known as Southside is the Chinese Quarter and - evidently this is a common pattern - also the gay quarter. Just round the corner from Rabbit Towers is a gay bar called Missing. The rabbit has not visited this emporium and - erm - Shagtag night (next Saturday as you ask) constitutes no incentive so to do. Missing is in an interesting looking older (late Victorian, I'd guess) building. It's an exception to the general rule that town planners seem to pull down interesting older buildings (which look as if they could at least be gutted and their attractive and I suspect structurally sound external walls used as a shell) and replace them with bland and soulless modern buildings.

Such as Rabbit Towers (above). Bland enough for you? Anyway, Missing has a flat side roof. On the flat roof was a statue of Marilyn Monroe with billowing dress as per Some Like It Hot (sorry - The Seven Year Itch - as Earl points out). To the rabbit's considerable chagrin. The statue has been taken down. The rabbit has written an e-mail to the owner protesting at this piece of aesthetic vandalism. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

New England shirt and more 50s ads...

Without further comment. Pinched from Charon QC who pinched it from somewhere else. So the blogworld goes round. Here's a 50s advert for tomato catsup (sic) from the old trusty

Below is the same child (I think) appearing slightly less red and attacking a plate of baked beans. Note the sauce running down his chin.

What is it about these 50s food ads that they seem to be populated by gluttonous looking, seemingly demonically possessed children? The one below looks downright evil. Must be the little pork sausages that are unhinging him. Stupid hat too.

Good God boy! Put your tongue back in your mouth. People have been arrested for less!

The caption to this advert is 'buy self service meats in cellophane' - obviously introducing the punters to this new and difficult concept. Nice touch, the white gloves.

Many of the adverts are from the meat industry, seemingly in defensive mode. Why so sensitive, I wonder. This one dates from 1948 if that helps anyone...

A number of the ads show deeply unappetising looking meals. For example, how horrid is this?

As for this one, I've no idea what it is. Maybe those Argentines got poor Paul!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Introducing Paul the Octopus!

The tendril festooned fellow in the clip above is named Paul the Octopus, a fine looking creature as I'm sure you'll agree. Paul is aged four and has oracular powers. He predicts the results of Germany's football matches by choosing a particular box labelled with one of the competing countries' flags, tempted by a tasty mussel therein. He is presently resident in Sea Life Oberhausen, Germany but was - he wrote adopting a confidential tone - born in England. To get straight to the point as regards Paul's predictions - he started in 2008 and has so far only got one result wrong.

Opponent Tournament Stage Paul's prediction Result

Poland Euro 2008 group Germany 2-0 Correct
Croatia Euro 2008 group Croatia 1-2 Correct
Austria Euro 2008 group Germany 1-0 Correct
Portugal Euro 2008 quarter-finals Germany 3-2 Correct
Turkey Euro 2008 semi-finals Germany 3-2 Correct

Spain Euro 2008 final Germany 1-0 Wrong! (uniquely)

Australia World Cup 2010 group Germany 4-0 Correct
Serbia World Cup 2010 group Serbia 0-1 Correct
Ghana World Cup 2010 group Germany 1-0 Correct
England World Cup 2010 round of 16 Germany 4-1 Correct
Argentina World Cup 2010 quarter-finals Germany 4-0 Correct
Spain World Cup 2010 semi-finals Spain 0-1 Correct

I repeat - he's only got one wrong so far! Now the poor fellow is getting death threats! In particular Argentine fans, having the hump at losing 4-0 as forseen by Paul, have threatened to eat him. But security is tight and they have no chance. Germany were plainly doomed last night when Paul failed to pick them against Spain. Hat Tip to Mimi for this nonsense. And for those of you who should get out more - and not on cycles - here is an aerial map of the route of shame for the Schonrock children from home to school.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

The cycling Schonrocks....

Above we have Oliver and Gillian Schonrock who have caused quite a stir, initially in Dulwich, South London and near the rabbit's former stamping ground and then nationally. Probably by now their story is discussed heatedly in the remoter parts of Papua New Guinea. They allow their five year old son and eight year old daughter to cycle to school alone. This has caused a heated debate. The headmaster of Alleyn's a local (and very expensive) school has pronounced darkly that social services may need to get involved. The Schonrocks riposte that they are trying to teach their children self-confidence and responsibility, which is nice.

Boris (Bozzer) Johnson - Mayor of London - attacked 'overly cautious health and safety guidelines' and pronounced that we shouldn’t be attacking the Schonrocks 'but try to make their dream come true'. I don't quite follow this bit. 'Dave', a prime minister, has also weighed in to cheer the Schonrocks on.

Now here is the rabbit's complaint - admitting that I have form for being rude about cyclists - one of the arguments deployed in support of the Schonrock children cycling to school unsupervised is that they cycle on the pavement. I'm sorry. Am I missing something here? Speaking purely personally, pavements are for pedestrians and I have no wish to share them with cyclists, adult or child - accompanied or otherwise. It's odd that no-one else seems to have mentioned this elementary point. While searching for anti-cyclist rant, I came across a photo posted in a very early White Rabbit - January 2008. The caption is - erm - do not swallow your chewing gum. Sound advice as you see...

Monday, 5 July 2010

The upcoming referendum on the alternative vote helpfully explained...

Pinched from Jailhouselawyer who pinched it from Guido Fawkes - I know many of the good guys hate Guido Fawkes with a vengeance but he does provide a helpful outlet for Tourettes sufferers to give vent to their - erm - condition in his comments. Otherwise I suspect that they would be so maddened by everything - and in particular how anyone to the left of Genghis Khan is a CUNT!!!! - that they would be out on the streets gunning down random innocent people if denied this - erm - form of relief. Maybe think of it as some sort of outreach facility in these straitened times.

For the record, the rabbit is in favour of proportional representation.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Happy 4th July...

It is a tradition going back to - erm - 2008 for the rabbit to mark the 4th July - celebrated as the last date where Americans put the day before the month ;) - by sending greetings to American readers. Above is the unfinished portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart known as The Athenaeum. I'm not quite sure why he didn't finish it, but the head made its way on to the dollar bill. I'm also not sure what you are supposed to do if you plan on finishing it. Probably best not to try.

Fact about George Washington little-known to Americans: he was a cricket nut. As was John Adams. I mention this as I have seen rants emanating from various backwoods to the effect that cricket is unpatriotic and just played by annoying immigrants. So just how American were Washington and Adams?

In 2008 I marked the 4th July with Brad Neely's Washington - which still cracks me up and Bruce and pals with Darlington County and in 2009 I blogged on how the snake and don't tread on me on had been appropriated by some dubious characters and how this was a pity. It was also a good excuse to put up Uncle John's Band, however. Below is a photo from about 1900 of Bart King - the one truly great cricketer the United States has ever produced. Washington would have approved.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Time to fess up people... Naff Music Edition

I was thinking about the stuff I post musicwise. Most comments are positive but there is the occasional comment with a note of criticism as to a particular choice. Which is fine. Except I was thinking that we all have some embarrassing secret musical pleasure. C'mon - what's yours? I say at the outset that Abba is disqualified. We all like Abba on the sly despite pretending that their stuff is well below our dignity - which is of course immense. It seems to be some sort of rule.

Okay - I'll lead by example. My nomination for embarrassing stuff I like is The Strawbs. Twee, sort of folksy not quite rock stuff. Not to mention their execrable murdering of the old IWW Part of the Union. So why you dumb rabbit, I hear you ask, do you like them?

Well it was about a girl. She was hugely into them. I was hugely into her. She was with someone else - a friend - at the time but I didn't care. Yes - I know this is not a good thing to admit to but I can only excuse my behaviour by some sort of plea of diminished responsibility. I was maddened by desire. I pursued her for two years. Then suddenly and unexpectedly she gave in. We spent three wonderful nights together - not one after the other but in pretty rapid succession. I'll leave the rest to your imagination. Then that was it. I think this was probably a good thing. I don't think we would have made each other happy and at least there was no slow dismal decline into relationship breakdown. I haven't seen her in years and years but as she has achieved some note in her profession I occasionally read of her. And that's my excuse for liking the Strawbs. Here they are with Lay Down. And yes, that's the young Rick Wakeman.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Something utterly trivial....

Paper receipts for routine grocery etc transactions in the supermarket or wherever. What's the bloody point? Nobody takes them back home and settles down to read them as literature. As for proof of purchase, it's all on cctv and the goods are branded by the vendor. They just waste a load of trees and clutter up pockets. At least make them optional. Off to London for the weekend....

Here's something for the weekend. I actually remember watching this live on TV. Hendrix has been summoned to appear on The Lulu Show (younger readers - don't ask). His task is to perform Hey Joe as the stereotypical song that he did. It's about at the time of the Cream farewell concert. Just before 1.50 he obviously decides 'I'm not doing this any more'. There's a huge grin on his face as he retunes and rips into Sunshine of Your Love because he feels like it. Quote: 'lets stop playing this rubbish and play a tribute to Cream'. TV didn't do spontaneous then. I remember sitting there cheering him on. Unfortunately the clip doesn't show Lulu's face and the end of the song. She just looks amazed and confused - she hasn't a clue what's going on.