The Get Ahead edition

groovers offside

In the 1940s there was a well known advertising slogan

that ran…..

‘If you want to get ahead, get a hat’

This was the brainchild of Dunn & Co’s ad-agency

On Tuesday the G.-man was in the West End for an art

preview at Ben Brown’s gallery…..courtesy of the G.-moll

Candida Hofer’s photographs of the interior of the Villa Borghese

in Rome

Very nice they are too…..

…..but at Euro 28000- Euro 75000 for a snap-shot it’s clearly

only for the snap-happy (and stupidly rich)…..

…..at least they were limited editions of six…..

…..in other words, six stupidly rich people could pay 28-75K for

a happy snap of someone else’s house…..

…..Oh, alright, I accept it’s rather a nice one !

But I bet there’s something, somewhere in the small print that

would allow Meine Dame Hofer to run off a few more if needs be !

Anyway, she was…

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The Get Ahead edition

In the 1940s there was a well known advertising slogan

that ran…..

‘If you want to get ahead, get a hat’

This was the brainchild of Dunn & Co’s ad-agency

On Tuesday the G.-man was in the West End for an art

preview at Ben Brown’s gallery…..courtesy of the G.-moll

Candida Hofer’s photographs of the interior of the Villa Borghese

in Rome

Very nice they are too…..

…..but at Euro 28000- Euro 75000 for a snap-shot it’s clearly

only for the snap-happy (and stupidly rich)…..

…..at least they were limited editions of six…..

…..in other words, six stupidly rich people could pay 28-75K for

a happy snap of someone else’s house…..

…..Oh, alright, I accept it’s rather a nice one !

But I bet there’s something, somewhere in the small print that

would allow Meine Dame Hofer to run off a few more if needs be !

Anyway, she was old and small and charmingly teutonic…..

…..as one would expect one to be if you are facing the tasty prospect

of trousering (skirtering ?) tens of thousands for a bloody photo

Bless her

Rather unsportingly the drinks (white wine or water) were only

available for al fresco consumption…..

…..’This is England’, 2006…..

It rains a great deal when it ought not to…..

…..and it did !

…..and anyway even the stupidly rich probably need a libation

or two to loosen the cheque book from the jacket pocket in order

to part with 28-75 gorillas (Euro variety) ! ! ! ! ! for a piccy

Anyway, the lure of the ice-chilled bourgogne was infinitely greater

that the willingness to be a highwayman’s victim so it was to the

great outside in Brook’s Mews that the Groover shimmied

Feeling happy with life and having chewed a little fat with the Dame

he found himself smiling at another happy soul (female variety)

with nothing else better to do on a Tuesday evening…..

Spying the baker boy adorning the G.-bonce she exclaimed…..

‘Ah ha, if you want to get ahead, get a hat’

‘And that’s exactly what my dad used to say’ I replied

Pause…..

‘That dates me, doesn’t it’ she murmured

I suppose a simple, ‘Thanks’, would have carried the day but it

was too late…..

…..and that was the end of that…..

…..another beautiful relationship still-born…..

She resumed paying careful attention to her vino bianco, her

Marlboro Light and her ever so slightly more diplomatic

companion

Bless her, her wrinkles and Candida the highway gal

G.

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The Camel edition

groovers offside

What is a camel ?

Answers on an e-card please

To the G.-man’s brother it is a variety of cancer sticks

To the Australians it represents a pest

To an Arab it might represent a possibility for a romantic interlude

To a Blair-hater it affords an opportunity to give him a very apt

moniker after a camel’s famous body part

To the lucky diners at Tarragon in Cheltenham it presents itself as

a (surprisingly) tasty dish

What ! ! ! ! !

Yes, strange but true

Yep, last night the Groover got munching on camel…..

Now by the time it arrived at the table on a plate it wasn’t possible

to say whether this was the…..

Bactrian or dromedarian variety…..

…..farmed or feral ?

Mystery abounds…..

Who would have thought that the humble camel would have become

a literary hero (or heroine) ? ? ? ? ?

No, not Laurence…

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The Camel edition

What is a camel ?

Answers on an e-card please

To the G.-man’s brother it is a variety of cancer sticks

To the Australians it represents a pest

To an Arab it might represent a possibility for a romantic interlude

To a Blair-hater it affords an opportunity to give him a very apt

moniker after a camel’s famous body part

To the lucky diners at Tarragon in Cheltenham it presents itself as

a (surprisingly) tasty dish

What ! ! ! ! !

Yes, strange but true

Yep, last night the Groover got munching on camel…..

Now by the time it arrived at the table on a plate it wasn’t possible

to say whether this was the…..

Bactrian or dromedarian variety…..

…..farmed or feral ?

Mystery abounds…..

Who would have thought that the humble camel would have become

a literary hero (or heroine) ? ? ? ? ?

No, not Laurence of Arabia !

Anyway, that was a straightforward love affair ! ! !

‘The Towers of Trebizond’ by Rose Macaulay, 1956…..

…..English wit and wisdom at its very best

‘The Camel’ by Lord Berners, 1936…..

…..more English wit and wisdom (plus a whiff of sexual chemistry !)

So how did it come to pass that a large even-toed ungulate slipped

down the G.ullet last night ? ? ?

Apparently, and this was news to me, camels were imported into

Australia in the nineteenth century as sand-loving beasts of burden

…..then made redundant as trucks were invented in the twentieth

century…..

…..and subsequently released into the outback…..

…..where they copulated like rabbits and spread like wildfire

So !

Now they are regularly culled, shipped around the world and end

up on plates as far-flung as Montpellier, Cheltenham…..

‘Chunky camel tagine’…..not the most imaginatively-named dish

But tasty as hell !

Oh, as for the Blair reference…..

…..just think of the hairy humper’s body part you are least likely

to eat !

There ! You’ve got it !

Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, 1953-, War criminal

Bless…..

…..or perhaps not

G.

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The Dinner Party edition

groovers offside

Obviously this post has to be based on food…..

…..and it is…..

…..but the real action lies elsewhere

The G.-man was suited and booted and more…..

…..the two-tone Ben Sherman was dusted off and donned

http://www.bensherman.com

Founded in 1963 by Arthur Sugarman and still rocking

Woooosh

Unusually, this was a two-part evening for the G.-sters

…..a one-part evening for the also-rans…..

…..So drinks al fresco, nel giardino, per tutto

…..followed by dinner for eight at eight

So Plan ‘A’ was for the hostess to announce close to said

hour (8) that a reservation had been made for the hostess

and a small group in a restaurant that necessitated the departure

of said others

No one moved

No one blinked

The fallback plan (B) was to repeat the entreaty to leave toute suite

or…..

…..said reservation would be lost

Still no one moved

Not a soul blinked

Time edged towards 9pm…..

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The Dinner Party edition

Obviously this post has to be based on food…..

…..and it is…..

…..but the real action lies elsewhere

The G.-man was suited and booted and more…..

…..the two-tone Ben Sherman was dusted off and donned

http://www.bensherman.com

Founded in 1963 by Arthur Sugarman and still rocking

Woooosh

Unusually, this was a two-part evening for the G.-sters

…..a one-part evening for the also-rans…..

…..So drinks al fresco, nel giardino, per tutto

…..followed by dinner for eight at eight

So Plan ‘A’ was for the hostess to announce close to said

hour (8) that a reservation had been made for the hostess

and a small group in a restaurant that necessitated the departure

of said others

No one moved

No one blinked

The fallback plan (B) was to repeat the entreaty to leave toute suite

or…..

…..said reservation would be lost

Still no one moved

Not a soul blinked

Time edged towards 9pm…..

…..said fictional reservation was almost certainly to be lost soon

Up stepped the redoubtable hostess…..

…..patience at an end…..

…..and blurted out the unpleasant truth…..

Plan C !

…..followed swiftly by a straightforward order…..

…..’Look’…..

…..’A small group of you is staying for dinner here’…..

…..’and the rest of you need to leave so we can get on with

our repast before it goes cold !’

Nice…..

…..for the lucky eight…..

…..the unlucky residue shuffled towards the exit heads slightly

bowed

At last ! Etta James, 1961

Taking his seat the Groover got comfortable to get munching

Surprise !

The Amazonian to his right was returning her food…..

…..’Hmmm, not hungry ?’ the G.-man enquired

‘Not at all,’ she shot back, ‘I don’t eat meat, wheat or fish’

The gentleman to her right perked up…..

‘That doesn’t leave much, does it ?’

‘Well no,’ she admitted unabashed

Then the G.-man waded in with a simple…..

…..’But why ?’

‘Oh, easy’ she replied, ‘Wheat is a gluten thingy’…..

…..’as for the rest, I don’t eat things with faces’

What ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

‘Oh, I do eat crustaceans’

Ah ha  ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Got you, the Groover thought…..

…..she obviously hasn’t seen ‘Finding Nemo’, 2003

Remember ?…..Jacques…..the Pacific cleaner shrimp

Bad, eh ?

Well, it got worse…..

…..said Lady declined the wine ! ! ! ! !

Hell on earth ? ! ?

A poor soul that doesn’t eat (virtually) or drink !

She doesn’t know what she missed, the food was very good

…..and the almond flour cake served for pudding was outstanding

Well the conversation ebbed and flowed but politics and sport

seemed to be off the agenda…..

…..which was a little surprising as Iraq was entering critical

meltdown and the boys sporting three lions in the world cup began to

serve up as yet no positive surprises for now nearly sixty successive

years

But the conversation remorselessly avoided conflicts and

confrontation

…..Like Nero fiddling while Rome burned ?

Well….maybe but

Bless them all…..

…..big hearts aplenty

…..and bigger thanks to the generous host and all who sail in her !

G.

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The Underground edition

You may remember…..

…..at the very least you will know the tune to 

‘Working in the coal mine’ by Lee Dorsey from 1965

So without further ado the G.-man is going to take you

underground in the ‘famous’ Chislehurst Caves

Ah ha ! ! ! ! !

Then why do you mention the Lee Dorsey ditty about mines ?

The answer is easy…..

Chislehurst Caves are not caves at all…..

…..they are, in fact, mines

Chalk mines to be precise…..

…..22 miles of tunnels

…..carved out by the Druids, the Saxons and the Romans

Not at the same time !

Don’t ask me the order…..

Anyway, I think the cave owners made it up

You see, it’s hard to make a tunnel interesting…..

A tunnel is a tunnel is a tunnel is a tunnel and so on

However, these dull tunnels did tremble with excitement once !

! ! ! ! !

In the 1930s they were used as a mushroom farm !

That little snippet made the Groover feel closer to home as…..

…..having been a banker once he is very familiar with the 

practice of being kept in the dark and having poo chucked on

him every once in a while !

It actually gets even more exciting……

During WW2 the tunnels served as an enormous air-raid 

shelter for 15,000 lucky London souls…..

…..literally an underground town

Complete with a post office, a hospital, a chapel and even a …..

…..naughty corner !

…..a jail to you and me !

The most exciting thing that happened was a woman actually

gave birth down there and then promptly named her baby girl

Cavina ! ! ! ! ! ! !

There’s stupid and there’s stupid and then there are Cavina’s

mum and dad

She sensibly asked folk to call her Rose as soon as she could talk

In the 1960s it actually did get quite exciting !…..!…..!

Rock bands started to perform down there…..

Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones to name a few

Pretty cool until the local residents put a stop to it

…..and now it is one of London’s more unusual tourist attractions

…..and almost certainly the worst

There is a cafe to help you part with even more cash

…..and a souvenir shop to help you part with yet more of said cash

Anyway, my advice would be that if you want to go underground…..

…..you will have more fun getting on the Circle Line for two hours

and doing a couple of circuits

At least you might see a Romanian pickpocket !

…..or a traveler experienced in the dark arts of frottage !

G.

 

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