The Jam Sheet
12th November, 2017. 7:48 pm. Letting the Summer Wine Breathe
Well I am not too sure how much I will- if at all- be posting this week as I have booked myself a short break in god’s own country, otherwise known as Yorkshire, to do some walking and other odds and sods. A change of plan has meant I arrived later then I expected so am just relaxing in the bar of the pub I am staying at. The room is very good, nice and spacious. Bathroom is a bit tight but I am used to that. What I am not used to is arriving in a room with two, yes two, sets of golf clubs in it! I have a feeling this may be a nod to “the Kink in Foggy’s Niblick” but I am not 100% sure. The wall is adorned by a photo of Wally Batty and Sid alongside a trio shot of Clegg, Foggy and Compo. Anyways, the Summer Wino tour will be documented.
11th November, 2017. 11:28 am. It's Armistice Day
....so naturally. Comedy
Blackadder Goes Fourth
9th November, 2017. 4:26 pm. The Dancing Men (fiction)
The sun beat down on village green where a group of children from the Village School were dancing around the Maypole. Families were dotted around the area enjoying picnics while others were in the pub beer garden enjoying the bank holiday. If the scene didn't look like a picture postcard at the moment, it was to very shortly as a Burgundy vintage car rolled up to the pub car park and an immaculately dressed middle aged man got out the driver's side, walked round to the passenger door and assisted a dark hair young lady out the car. She smiled her gratitude and the two them disappeared into the pub.
"Any idea who they are?" Bill asked his drinking partner James.
"No idea," he answered. "Probably the local gentry taking his daughter out to see how the other half live."
Bill collected the empty tankards from the bench, "same again?" He queried. James nodded and went to have a nose at the new arrivals motor.
"What will it be?" Asked the Landlord with a polite smile. He wasn't use to having such a dapper gentleman in his pub.
"Oh what would you recommend?" Asked the gent.
"Well I would recommend the Inheritance Mild. it is a rare example of a Pennine Light Mild. Brewed by the good people at the Last Drop Brewery."
"Sounds perfect," said the man. "Oh and Zinfandel spritzer with soda.'
"Can I see some ID for the lady?"asked the Landlord.
"Certainly," replied the girl and showed him her driving license. The landlord studied it. MISS JULIA SEVENPENNY, the birth date checked out, twenty at the end of the month and he served the pair their drinks.
"Cheers," she smiled and picked up the pint of Mild, much to the landlord's amusement. The gent escorted her to a table in the corner and they sat down and went into conversation.
Bill approached the bar, "two more Bests please." He said, quickly checking the new arrivals. "Hey Pete, any idea on his lordship over there?"
"No idea, the girl's called Sevenpenny though." Answered the landlord as pulled the two pints.
"Odd name," said Bill.
"Says a man who named his son Reynolds."
"Fair point," conceded Bill. He collected his beers and popped across to the arrivals.
"Hey there," he said. "That's a very impressive motor you have."
"Thank you," replied the man. "It's a very charming village you have here." He reached out his hand. *Arthur Fransure and this is my ward, Julia."
"Bill Evans, local handyman."
"Bill Evans?" Said Arthur, "You'll be popular with Julia, her favourite musician is called Bill Evans."
"Was-" corrected Miss Sevenpenny, "he died long before I was born."
"Never heard of him I'm afraid," said Bill.
"That's ok," smiled the girl with a smile that made her eyes light up. "We can't all be music dorks."
"Would you like to see the car?" Asked Arthur.
"Yes please." Replied Bill.
James was studying the car with great interest when Arthur and Bill emerged from the Pub. Bill made the introductions and James promptly went into a series of classic car related questions.
"I am afraid I can't give you the answers," said Arthur. "The car and restoration were indulges if Miss Sevenpenny."
"Miss Sevenpenny?" Queried James before catching up with himself. "Oh the young lady, your daughter."
Arthur smiled, "not quite. She's my ward."
"I see..." Replied James a little unsure.
"Why don't I take you both for a quick spin?" Suggested Arthur.
Miss Sevenpenny watched from the pub window, Arthur was certainly in his element there. When she was assigned they said he tended to be very dour with people... But she had seldom seen that side of him. She strolled across to the bar and started to chat to the landlord.
"Why is the pub called the Dancing Men?" She queried.
"Ah," chuckled the Landlord. "Apparently in the 17th century, the owner of the tavern fell out with the lord of the manor who was a nasty piece of work and upon learning that he had been barred from the Tavern, raised it to the ground. As an act of revenge, the owner kidnapped the lord's sons put them in iron boots and made them dance on red hot coals."
"Sounds as if he was an equally charming man," said Sevenpenny. She smiled and returned to her seat. Ok Arthur, why are we in a little village on May Day? Why are you befriending the first guy who has spoken to you? She saw the car pull up again.... And more importantly why was he letting a total stranger driver her car? She got out of her chair and marched out the pub.
In response to the Daily Prompt: Dancing
7th November, 2017. 4:24 pm. Sandman's Q and A
What is your favourite thing about November?
Open Fires or Log Burners?
What is your favourite Winter Warmer?
4. What is your favourite Black and White movie?
For me it is the downtime you get before the business that is the festive season, I always book time off this time of year.
While there is something magical about an open fire at first, the reality soon kicks in as eventually you end up with the smell of lingering smoke of your clothes and the constant need to poke the fire. Log Burners pack out more heat for longer once going, plus you can moderate and control the fire.
A nice Plum Porter.
Well I'll give you three and you can work out which is my favourite: Strangers on a Train, Citizen Kane, Carry on Constable
Over to you guys.
7th November, 2017. 3:12 pm. The Glory That Was Rome (fiction)
“It is a very elaborate set up,” said Arthur taking in the set up.
“Well one of the instructions was to bring the area some of the grandeur that was Rome.” Answered Wilson. Arthur examined a vase on the stand and tapped it a pen and then looked at the mosiac on the wall.
“The attention to detail is next to none,” he smiled.
“It may be Shrewsbury but Caeser wouldn’t let that change his Imperial Roman outlook.” Wilson indicated a seat, “we even have installed true Roman eating set ups.”
“Would Caesar take wine here?” Asked Arthur.
“No I think he would have half a Mild and a bag of crisps.”
Arthur laughed and tried the seat out. “I don’t think I could take to the eating style.”
“I imagine you would get use to it,” said a soft female voice from behind him. Arthur turned and saw a short, slightly chubby woman dressed in a Toga standing in the door to what looked like a bedroom.
“Lady Caesar herself,” muttered Arthur under his breath. He smiled and extended a hand out in greeting. “Pleased to meet you, my name is Arthur Fransure and I am a representative of Historical Breaks Incorporated.”
The woman remain silent and rolled her eyes to Wilson.
“Hail Caesar,” he began. “A messenger requests an audience.”
“I permit his request,” the woman said. “Please be seated.”
So she’s going to be in character, he told himself, oh well- they a madman must be humoured. “Caesar, I bare a proposal from senate of the people of Britannia. I have people who in exchange for coin would like temporary visitation upon your palace.”
The lady looked up, “You wish to trade coin for residence.” She clicked her fingers and a young girl in a serving girl’s outfit emerged from behind a curtain carrying a tray with two goblets on it. “You will take wine?”
“I think so,” answered Arthur taking a goblet and watched the girl retreat into the curtain.
“This is private council,” Caesar announced. Wilson nodded and left the room.
“Ok Mr Fransure, you are talking business. What are your proposals.”
“Call me Hannah.’
“-Hannah. You might have noticed an increase in popularity of living in past weekends over the past few years. Mostly Victorian or Tudor style, so I put it to you to host Roman weekends.”
“That certainly sounds interesting Mr Fransure.. perhaps you could divulge more…”
Arthur got into his car and smiled. Was she just eccentric or was she a total barnpot? ‘His nibs’ must have a reason for sending him but what? He started the car and drove off, unaware that Hannah was watching from the doorway.
“Funny how Mr Fransure should turn up right now,” she said out loud to nobody in particular. Perhaps she should send a messenger to follow him.
6th November, 2017. 3:42 am. Mr Silicorn Dances...
As I begin this entry I note that the time is Chinese Dentist Time in the morning (2:30), which may seem like an odd time to be writing, but my gracious attempt at an early night caused be to wake up and be unable to return to slumber. Add to that a number of weird dreams which no doubt young Katherine would put down to demons.. I think the only demons to give you bad dreams are your own Demons of the Mind.
Fireworks were abound this weekend what with Guy-Fawkes-It-Up night meaning that all weekend I have had two very barky dogs, man I hate this weekend. Friday I did contemplate going to see evening screenings of either The Death of Stalin or Murder in the Orient Express but decided to stay in to keep an eye on the dogs and watched the Blu-Ray of Mindhorn. Mindhorn is a comedy film set on the Isle of Man and is about a washed up actor called Richard Thorncroft who is recruited by the Isle of Man police to assist in tracking down a deranged criminal who believes that the character he played on a TV show was real. Luckily, that part of the plot is wrapped up quite quickly as it doesn't really have the steam to drive an entire movie on its own. There are a number of the usual washed up actor plot clichés throughout the film, but a few done in such a way they are quite amusing. Despite being a mere 88 minutes long I do feel there is about 15 minutes of padding in the film, mostly in the middle before the second tier of the plot comes into effect and changes the initial plotline and the film, while following a well worn road, becomes an entertaining wrong man movie with a hint of the Three Amigos about it. Overall it was moderately enjoyable with a number of laugh out loud moments but let down by number of predictable jokes and some direction worthy of Peter Moffat.
Last Sunday I went to Jazz Club 90 for what will probably be the last time this year, the band was Mark Challoner's Wabash Jazz Quartet and they were very good. However it would seem that at the club I am, to crib Cole Porter, "the forgotten man' as while I was departing I overheard someone dismissively saying "why's he here? Not seen him before." Well did you ever?
One week to go until my short break to Holmfirth, it'll be nice get away for a few days.
I bought two new albums this week, both of them by male Jazz Singers. The first was Seth MacFarlane In Full Swing which continues to prove his albums are way more consistent in quality then his films and comedy shows; the second was Gregory Porter's latest album which is called Nat King Cole & Me, and as the name suggests is a tribute to the Cole and unsurprisingly focuses on his crooner material rather than his underrated work as a pianist. Not doubt this because Porter a singer not a piano player, but even then there are a few surprising omissions of King Cole songs including Straighten Up & Fly Right, Frim-Fram Sauce, Gee Baby Ain't I Good to You and Hit That Jive Jack. Not to say that the album is bad, but very much an album with a niche focus.
Doctor Who Magazine has got itself mentioned in the national press (and Private Eye) thanks to Nicholas Pegg hiding an abusive message in his monthly Watcher column and as a consequence he has been sacked from DWM and as a Dalek operator. The reason I suspect is because of the recent removal of Tom Spilsbury as editor which I believe came about due to him allowing contributers to magazine to let in references to current politics.
Right, I'm off to try and get some more shut eye. Be seeing you.
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1st November, 2017. 12:09 pm. Halloween Prompt 26: Movie Time
I shall take this to mean what is your favourite horror movie, as opposed to what is your favourite film in Halloween movie series which (mostly) featured masked slasher Michael Myers.
I shall give a few examples of my favourites rather then go into detail about one in particular, there is a time and place for that IMHO.
The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1920)
The film is very atmospheric with a distinctly surreal visual design and revolves around a mad hypnotist (Dr Caligari) who uses a somnambulist (Cesare) to commit a series of murders. The film is very much representing the distrust of authority in the post-great war period and Cesare supposedly is a representation of soldiers conditioned to kill. The unusual camera angles and twisted set design make this film a very memorable affair.
Nosferartu: A Symphony of Horror (1922)
One of the most iconic vampire films of all times and somewhat unique in that unlike most vampire movies, the Count isn’t portrayed as in a romantic sense but more as twisted bat or rat like figure with hands almost like talons and his teeth rodent-like incisors. Again much of the success of this film comes down to the creative use of lighting and shadows and memorable visuals, another influence of the film is that it creates the part of vampire lore which is now considered the norm, Vampires being killed by Sunlight.
X the Unknown (1956)
An underrated gem in Hammer canon with a strong cast (including a young Frazer Hines), which despite the obvious exploitation of X certificate for the title, is a pretty good sci-fi horror playing on the 1950s fears of nuclear war. There are some impressive visual effects for the time such as the melting face even if the visualisation of the threat is something to be desired. Dean Jagger plays the grumpy professor with mighty aplomb, while Leo McKern gives a reliable performance.
The Shining (1980)
Yes, we all know this one is good.
A bit of a grisly affair this time, but an intriguing film with a good central concept even though there are a few glaring plot holes.
Halloween Prompt 26
31st October, 2017. 11:17 am. Halloween Prompt: Fancy Dress
Much I as like fancy dress I can't say Halloween has really provided me with the opportunity to indulge the hobby, in all of my 34 years upon the planet the opportunity has arisen three times, and all three occasions were at work. Twice at the Horseshoe Inn and once at the Kynnersley Arms. The Horseshoes occasions were tied up with a disco and termed "Spooks Night" and the entire staff took part and a few of the regulars.
I went as Jack the Ripper the first time and my boss and drinking buddy Simon went as some kind of ghoul.
That's what you get for not leaving a tip!!!!
Rachy-Roo and Debbie Doo-Dah.
The second year I dressed as Sweeney Todd and I do so again at the Kynnersley Arms. The Kynn event coincided with the Kynn's first, and to date only, beer festival and very few people dressed up. Young Mitchell dressed up as a Banana, not as a jokey reference to Bottom, but as one of our ales was called The Faust Banana.
You cannot at all tell that my wig got unstuck can you?
The lovely Amy Cherry however was always a past-master at Halloween fancy dress, her best to date has to be her Carrie outfit, hell of a lot of fake blood was involved. I guess if you are doing it, you should good the whole hog.
Halloween Prompt 29
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30th October, 2017. 11:02 am. Monday Jazz: Pairs
Joe Venuti & Eddie Lang
Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie
Charlie Byrd and Stan Getz
Dexter Gordon & Wardell Grey
26th October, 2017. 6:02 pm. The Surreal World of a Teenage Sandman
Back A Page
When I was spotty little ‘erbert of a Sandman, one of my favourite subjects at school was English and the opportunity to indulge in creative writing was the main reason for my enjoyment of the subject. In year 9 or possibly 10 (it’s 20 years ago so allow me some wiggle room) one of our course work assignments was a piece of creative writing in which we had to start from a choice of four given titles, two of which were The Metal Hand and The Game Keeper, the other two I cannot recall for the life of me- though I am sure one had something to do with clouds. I chose the title of the Game Keeper as I felt I could fathom a good story from that.
The result produced was perhaps my second experience of what in the professional writing world would be seen as a clash with the editor. What I wrote was heavily influenced by TV’s The Avengers as I had the villian of the piece being the game keeper of some nob’s estate, but rather than have a story about hunting and/or bloodsports I took the Game part and gave it a different meaning.. what this Game Keeper did was kidnap resourceful and intelligent people and force them to play a series of games in order for them to obtain their release. Failure at the games would mean death… … … A sort of nightmare version of The Crystal Maze and not at all a rip off of the Dr Who story the Celestial Toymaker. My tutor (not the pretty enormously bosomed one I sometimes refer to), took me aside as she wasn’t sure if I had misinterpreted the term “game keeper” or had deliberately inverted it… Or if I had just written it while off my tits on magic mushrooms or some other mind altering drug. She called it the Krypton Factor directed by David Lynch. Of course back then I had no idea who David Lynch was and as such I was not sure if that was an insult or compliment.
She highlighted what she called a particularly surreal sequence where my characters had to escape a life sized version of Mouse Trap and an deadly game of musical chairs where each time the music stopped you had to sit down… But a number of chairs where electrified and each round fewer and fewer were safe.
I suspect nowadays it would be enough to put in front of the school shrink.
Daily Prompt: Surreal.
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