Rhyme and No Reason!

Blogger, author and rhymester who likes to find the humour in life.

Hugh’s Photo Challenge Week 2: What’s In The Cupboard — October 17, 2015

Hugh’s Photo Challenge Week 2: What’s In The Cupboard

http://hughsviewsandnews.com/2015/10/17/hughs-photo-challenge-week-2-whats-in-the-cupboard/I really wanted to have a go at Hugh’s photo challenge this week, but thought about the state of my cupboards (Hugh’s is so clean) and decided not to show myself up!

However, I forgot about the cupboard staring me in the face in the front room. The one we rarely use, as most of the music has been (painstakingly) transferred to the computer by Mr Grump.

So this is one of the few that we have which houses both mine and Mr Grump’s music collection! Ahem, most of it is actually his as mine doesn’t count for much of it at all. There are quite a few 70s and 80s compilations in there which are both of ours, but Elvis, Madonna, Michael Jackson and Meatloaf are all mine, as is Keane (I used to love them, where have they gone)? Mr Grump has got Natasha Beddingfield, Kylie Minogue (surprise, surprise, what man straight or gay doesn’t like Miss Minogue?) and one of the Now That’s What I Call Music albums amongst others.

I must say, as a rule, he actually does like more modern stuff than me, and I go mad when he puts on some of his ‘rave’ stuff or whatever the hell it is. Very fast, buzzy music which makes my head spin! Still, bizarrely we both like Eminem! If it comes on in the car, we piously flick it off  as Miss Hap rolls her eyes, annoyed at being denied the chance to sing along with some of the obscenities she already knows are there!

Of course, her music is all on her phone, which is a good thing. Or maybe it isn’t as I know she likes some of this ‘bump and grind’ kind of stuff, which has near naked people gyrating around all over each other in the accompanying video! A bit of a far cry from the ABBA albums I have in my cupboard!

Episode 450: Loving it? I’m not so sure. — August 9, 2015

Episode 450: Loving it? I’m not so sure.

Miss Hap has been nagging at me this weekend to go to our recently revamped McDonalds, as it has had quite a makeover.

Needing to go into town and never being one to resist the lure of a double sausage and egg McMuffin, I decided to give it a whirl, and of course Mr Grump came as well.

On entering, I noticed straight away that there had been several major changes. The first one being that there was no queue at the counter which was straight in front of us. Although it was not overly busy when we arrived, this is still unusual.

Dotted around the restaurant were ‘pay stations’ where large screens were placed in order that food could be ordered. It was all the latest touch screen technology and a card reader was placed below it to take the payment.

Pretty impressive so far. We had a receipt spewed out which was to be taken to ‘collection point 1’ (very Argos), which Miss Hap went to collect whilst myself and Mr Grump settled on rather low down stools of different colours.

Attached to the tables were the latest tablets on pedestal type things which could be twirled around according to whether you wanted it portrait or landscape. I was just browsing through the apps on the desktop when our food arrived, a; present and correct and in under 5 minutes.

Of course we at the tablet tables as Miss Hap wanted to play, so I chose the Logo game which we did extremely well at.

What a bizarre experience, though, playing on a tablet with greasy fingers seemed wrong to me (all this brand new and shiny equipment getting all mucked up)! Not only that but isn’t eating together supposed to be a social experience? Granted we were all playing the game together but it was a bit odd, seeing as at home whilst sitting around the table eating, technology is banned! (I am the worst offender with my laptop).

I cannot decide whether it is a good thing or a bad thing!

Episode 438: 16 Albums That Changed My Life. — July 31, 2015

Episode 438: 16 Albums That Changed My Life.

The wonderful and extremely lovely Ritu has challenged me to a new challenge.

The rules: Don’t take too long to think about it. Sixteen albums you’ve heard that changed the way you thought about music…if you are too young to have owned albums you can surely chose songs.  List the first sixteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. Tag two friends, or more if you have the time, and then tag me because I’m interested in seeing what albums my friends choose.

The Osmonds – The Plan

The Chi-Lites – Give More Power to the People

Meatloaf – Bat Out of Hell

Status Quo – 12 Gold Bars

The Beatles – Love Songs

Barclay James Harvest – Gone to Earth

Human League – Dare

Bruce Springsteen – Born In The USA

ELO – Out of the Blue

ELO – Time

Michael Jackson – Thriller

Madonna – True Blue

Jeff Wayne – War of the Worlds

Roxy Music – Flesh & Blood

Tamla Motown – The Last Dance (Compilation)

Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Well I could have gone on a bit more with that list. How lovely to remember some of those albums, I am sure you are not surprised by some of my cheesy choices!

Anyway, my nominees:

Wild Daffodil

Aimer Boyz

Tan Gentle

Please don’t feel obligated but I’d love to know your choices.

Episode 423: Ronovan’s Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge #54 — July 20, 2015

Episode 423: Ronovan’s Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge #54

The words this week for Ronovan’s Weekly Haiku Challenge are ‘think’ and ‘free.’ I thought I would use a pic of myself, older sister and niece dressed up in 70s gear for my sister’s 50th Birthday a few years ago.

Silliness is free:

Dressing up for a party

thinking we look great!

70s Night! (1)

Episode 321: RIP ‘You Sexy Thing!’ — May 9, 2015

Episode 321: RIP ‘You Sexy Thing!’

I might have mentioned on more than on occasion that I am a huge fan of the music of yesteryear, namely the 70s and 80s. I was therefore really saddened to hear of the death of Errol Brown, the lead singer of ‘Hot Chocolate’ a few days ago.

Who hasn’t pranced around to the stains of ‘You Sexy Thing.’ thinking it was written about them? Considering it was their best-selling hit and even featured in the film ‘The Full Monty’ (brilliant film), it was amazing to think that it originally started off as a ‘B’ side to another of their records, in the 1970s.

I remember being transfixed watching Errol, as he always seemed to wear rather. ahem, tight trousers which I am sure helped him along when he needed to hit the high notes. He also never seemed to age, looking and sounding the same 30 years after he first started out.

What I also liked about ‘Hot Chocolate’ was the fact that their music got us up dancing (I use that term loosely when it comes to me, but I always had a go) to hits such as ‘Every 1s A Winner’, ‘You Sexy Thing’ and ‘So You Win Again’ to name but a few.

On the flip side, I have been known to have shed a tear to ‘Emma’ and ‘I’ll Put You Together Again.’ They were an extremely versatile group, and Errol was responsible for writing many of their songs.

Although I am sad that Errol is no longer with us, I am grateful that he has left a legacy of such fantastic music behind that will continue to be enjoyed.

Episode 149: Love On The Dancefloor….. — February 7, 2015

Episode 149: Love On The Dancefloor…..

Ahhh young love; most of us can remember our first crush, the butterflies when seeing them, the giggling with our friends  and the scraps of paper passed back and forth with little love messages on them…..and then the first kiss.

When I was about a young teen, I remember going to the local youth club with my older brother and younger sister. There used to be a disco with a DJ (who became a bit of a celebrity in the county before later before falling from grace) once a week which we used to love.

I remember on one occasion, some of my brothers’ friends using their catapults with creme eggs as missiles to shoot out the lights in the ceiling (God knows why, but you don’t question this kind of behaviour as a kid as you think it is funny)! Once the lights were down (literally) the dancing could begin!

The era was the late 1970s. The music was extremely varied and many of the sings had their own dances associated with them. Now I have always had 2 left feet, but everyone used to get up on the dance floor so of course I joined in….

Who could resist the clomping about to Status Quo? There were two rows of people on opposite sides facing each other, and as far as I can remember, you would lean forward lifting the back leg then lean back lifting the front leg then somehow, with a clomp and a twirl, you had swapped places with the person opposite you (assuming you had got the moves right and had not bashed into each other)!

Does anyone remember the dance that was done to Mud’s Tiger feet, and a few other songs as well? You know the one, hands on hips elbows out, then lean in twice with the left elbow, lean back twice, then forward with the right elbow, and so on. This was taken so seriously. My God, if you dared walk past someone at the wrong moment you were in danger of getting your eye blacked with a bony elbow!

My favourite was Boney M’s  ‘Brown Girl In The Ring’. This involved a bit of fancy footwork, a twirl and a clap! Now my coordination is pretty rubbish but I loved having a go at this one, especially if I managed to get through the record without messing up my moves!

Anyway,  back to the first crush. At the end of the evening the lights the DJ would always put a couple of slow numbers on so that gave boys the opportunity to ask a girl to dance with them (NEVER the other way around, we were ladies after all)! The girls would all be standing about nonchalantly chatting whilst desperately hoping they would get approached. I had my eye on a boy with the nickname of ‘ Bruiser’! (God knows why, he was pretty short and skinny, maybe he was the one that bruised easily rather than bruised others)!

Well one night, my luck was finally in and I got asked to dance by the boy of my dreams, I was so thrilled as we clumsily shuffled about to ‘Emotion’ by Samantha Sang. it was the best disco ever!

Just before the slow dances finished he asked me if I would like to go outside as there was a park right next to the hall. I grabbed his hand and off we went, Off course it was pretty dark by now. and I had not seen a piece of black fencing on the ground, you guessed it, I went flat on my face (well knee actually)! He helped me up, and I ignored the pain as I hobbled over to the swings with him, blood trickling down my leg.

That was the night I had my first kiss…. my knee was throbbing, bloody and muddy, and the kiss was rather wet and slobbery!

I was in heaven!

Episode 94: An Ode To Music. — January 9, 2015

Episode 94: An Ode To Music.

I do love to listen to music

It really brightens my day

When I am feeling all down and depressive

I dig out some good records to play!

Although my taste is now dated

It doesn’t really matter to me

I can still strut my stuff in my front room

To Spandau Ballet or perhaps ABC!

What about good old Madonna?

She is still going strong

Or perhaps a tune by The Communards

Will have me singing along!

My husband likes to show me his ‘twerking’

To hits that are from yesteryear

It will always set me off laughing

As he is seriously lacking a rear!

Some songs can make me so happy

That I just want to get up and dance

Others will make me all weepy

Remembering a failed young romance!

I am very thankful for music

For lifting me when I am low

It is something that I can rely on

To persuade some of the sadness to go!

Episode 67: Christmas Crooning! — December 6, 2014

Episode 67: Christmas Crooning!

One thing that did strike me as funny yesterday, (whilst having a miserable day) was listening to two of your young nurses in their early twenties singing along to all the ‘Classic’ Christmas songs that were playing, despite them being made well before they were even born!  Now, being in my twenties myself (with an additional twenty years experience) I can remember when some of these hits came out first time around….

Was it really 1973 that Slade first assaulted our eardrums with “It’s Chriiiiiiiiiisttttmasssssssss”? (Merry Xmas Everybody). Wizzard also came out with their timeless  ‘So Here It Is Merry Christmas’  the same year. I loved the video to that especially when the kids sang their bit at the end. Elton John and Paul McCartney also had a go with their Christmas attempts and good old Sir Cliff Richard (bless him) trots out a Christmas song every year (Everyone loves a Trier, and I even quite like ‘Mistletoe and Wine’, A-hem, perhaps I should have kept that quiet!)

Johnny Mathis with his version of ‘When A Child is Born’ always brings a tear to my eye, as does Mud’s ‘Lonely This Christmas’ (despite his dodgy Elvis impersonation)! Whereas Boney M’s  ‘Mary’s Boy Child’ will have me jigging about as it is so upbeat and cheery. Jonah Lewie’s ‘Stop the Cavalry’ is great too. Shakin’ Stevens singing ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ reminds me of my great friend Karen and the Christmas back in 1985 when we were both in the Army, and had landed up on duty over the entire Christmas period. (We did manage to have some fun though)!

The other great Christmas songs of the 70s and 80s have got to be Wham’s ‘Last Christmas'(I have to say, that one does get on my nerves a bit now), and John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s ‘Happy Christmas (War is Over)’ My favourite of them all though has got to be the Pogues and Kirsty McCall with ‘Fairytale of New York’. I just love the story of two drunks, scrapping one minute, lovey-dovey the next.

Of course, Christmas songs were around way before then, and many of those are included on the typical compilation album that gets dragged out by the shops and offices around mid November to get us ‘in the Christmas mood’. Everyone loves Nat King Cole singing ‘The Christmas Song’. It can’t fail to bring a warm and rosy glow to your heart. Good old Bing and his ‘White Christmas’ , so moving. Then we have  the sultry Eartha Kitt with her ‘Santa Baby,’ Ooooh, saucy! I also like ‘Let it Snow’ and ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ for a bit of sentimentality.

The 90’s and 2000’s do not have a lot to offer though in the Christmas song department. The one huge exception of course is the dulcet tones of Mariah Carey belting out ‘All I Want For Christmas is you’. Oh Destiny’s Child did ‘The Eight Days of Christmas’.Personally I love the Darkness and their ‘Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bell’s End)’ Silly song and great video. (Where the hell do they get those leotards?)!

I also love some of the traditional Christmas carols as well, ‘Silent Night’, ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ and ‘Once In Royal David’s City’ to name but a few! These are even better when sang by a children’s choir. I remember taking my daughter to the Christingle service at church when she was about 4, and it was so lovely hearing them singing ‘Away In A Manger’.

I know a good many of these songs are re-released every year, or they are on the compilation albums, but for me especially, because the 70s and 80s music is so great (as I may have mentioned before, I live in a music time warp) I am glad that I remember them from the first time around.

What’s your favourite era for Christmas songs or do you prefer the traditional carols?

Episode 22: Toy Story! — October 20, 2014

Episode 22: Toy Story!

 

When I was in town yesterday, I noticed that there was a brand new toy shop ready getting ready to open shortly, probably just in time for Christmas, and it got me thinking about how different my expectations of toys were when I was growing up.

One of the earliest toys/games I can remember getting in the early 1970s,  was a miniature post office set, with its own stationary and stamps, as well as bank notes and coins (the new decimal ones), postal orders etc. This set kept me and my younger sister amused for hours, We would take it in turns to be postmistress, and dish out money, stamp letters, and so on.

My brothers, had Meccano and Lego, and would build all sorts of things with it, as well as put together Airfix models, which they would sit huddled over, deep concentration on their faces,as they would try to glue together some fiddly part or other! We all used to play the family games like Frustration, Ker Plunk, Buckeroo, Mouse Trap etc, as well as Monopoly and Cluedo. These games, however usually ended in a family punch-up as inevitably one of my brothers would cheat, which would annoy the rest of us, and a lot of shouting and arguing would ensue! This, was all in good fun though and it wouldn’t be long before we would all play something else.

I remember also having this doll which I think was called ‘Tippy Tumbles’. She was battery operated and did forward rolls at the touch of a button. I was enthralled by this doll. The other dolls I had were either Cindy dolls, which I just used to dress in different outfits, or other baby like dolls which would close their eyes when laid down to look like they were sleeping,,They were not as good as my Tippy. Unfortunately though, she didn’t really last long before she got broken !…

Other things I remember playing with as a child were fuzzy felt, sticklebricks, and spirograph (that was fun making all these crazy patterns with the different stencil things)..I also loved to read (still do) and I would have a large collection of books in my room,which I would read over and over, especially those by Enid Blyton (Oh how I wanted to go to a boarding school like Mallory Towers)!

Although a lot of the games and toys that were around when I was younger are still available now (in some cases they have become popular again), children are more interested in the latest video games, or the trendiest apps!..

I must admit that I love an app as much as the next person, but then I am old and past it, and am entitled to while away the odd hour or so on trying to level up in Candy Crush or Farmville, or even beat my sister on 80’s music on Quiz Up, but it does seem a shame that today’s kids would rather get out their phones or tablets to play, then sit down around a table playing a good old board game!!

A lot of the kids also don’t have the patience to painstakingly piece together little bits in order to make a model aeroplane or complete a jigsaw puzzle; they are used to getting things now and do not want to wait for the end result. Some children don’t even like to read books anymore, which is a shame as they are missing out on so much; what it is to become immersed in a story. I still have some of my books from childhood where I have written my name and age proudly in the flyleaf as they were very dear possessions.

As for dolls today, they have really come a long way, they eat, drink, speak and even poo!! The children now are so much more informed than we were, and their expectations of toys and games are a whole world away from what we were happy with . I wish the toy shop lots of luck…I think they might need it!

Episode 11: Pop Culture. — October 1, 2014

Episode 11: Pop Culture.

I love music..a few bars of a long-forgotten song can instantly transport you back in time to the moment you first heard it, evoking all kinds of memories… the first dance with someone special, the song played over and over again just after a breakup, which is perfect for having a good sob to, or the one that you just HAVE to get up and dance to.

The other night Mr Grump and I were listening to an old 70’s CD, and I was musing over how music had changed so much over the years, My elder sister was desperately in love with Donny Osmond, so my earliest memories were of the sweet, and innocent (might be a song title in there somewhere) songs that he, and his family used to churn out prolifically throughout the 70’s. In a similar vein there was David Cassidy (oh so handsome)., David Essex (he’s still got it), and the Jacksons (always loved their music, not to mention  their crazy outfits)!

Then towards the end of the 70’s suddenly Punk Rock burst onto the scene with their spiky hairdos, safety pins, and bad language (You’ve got to love  the Sex Pistols, Friggin’ in the Riggin’). What a complete turnaround! Gone were the saccharine sweet lyrics, and the wholesome teenage heart-throbs, and in come lyrics that were written to offend, which were SHOUTED rather than sung, and the bands as well as the fans,puking all over each other, or fighting for the sheer hell of it.

The 80s though were my favourite, a bit more classy. The New Romantic look had taken off and bands like ABC, Duran Duran Duran, and Spandau Ballet, were dominating the charts…God knows they probably gave a huge boost to the cosmetics industry as well, with their carefully applied, perfectly made-up faces, (It didn’t put me off Phil Oakey from Human League though, and I still have a bit of a thing for him)!

Disco was a big thing through the 70s and 80’s as well, with groups like the Bee Gees (Unfortunately for them they were not blessed in the looks department, but were brilliant anyway),and The Jacksons, (particularly Michael,he really came into his own in the 80s, and their music guaranteed a full dancefloor at the the one and only nightclub we had in our town back then),

Oh yes, how I loved the music . Of course there were also the rather dubious ‘fashions’ that went along with the music, but the less said about those the better!! I cringe anytime a photo crops up of me in that era, with my garish make-up, awful, clothes, and even worse hair, but I was blissfully unaware at the time, as everyone else looked just as bad, (or good as we thought then)!!  Even Mr Grump had spiky hair and highlights, ( He does miss his hair, Bless him).

My daughter despairs whenever she gets in my car,and Gilbert O’ Sullivan is singing a jaunty little number, or  Kate Bush is wailing pitifully from the CD player. She has not quite learned to appreciate good music yet, no matter how much she has been exposed to it!

The stuff she likes to listen to (like Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, etc ) has to involve people straddling inanimate objects,’twerking’ or some kind of bump and grind routine (the most risque band I can remember were Imagination, or the bloke from Cameo that used to wear that ‘cod piece’ over his trousers)!

She also likes Eminem (actually so do I), but it is hardly easy listening for a young, impressionable child ,I remember when Frankie Goes to Hollywood released ‘Relax’ and it was banned by Radio 1!! Once I twigged what the lyrics were about, I was shocked! (Even though the Sex Pistols were around before them,  their ruder songs never got played n the radio). No problem now though they just blank out the bad bits, even though it is pretty obvious what is being blanked out, and they can usually listen to the uncut version on the internet anyway!

And another thing, not many recents artists have managed to produce a decent Christmas song, Who can compete with Slade, Wizzard, Elton John. Wham, and even good old Cliff Richard ?(you got to hand it to him, he does try). When I was younger, we would watch ‘Top of the Pops’ on Christmas Day to see who had made it to the prestigious number one spot, but now it is almost a foregone conclusion that the winner of X Factor or some such show would have got it!

Still, although I do enjoy some of the music that is around at the moment, I am more than happy to live in my little musical time-warp, as I merrily  screech along to my favourite songs  from yesteryear!

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