Friday, 30 October 2009

Gigless Remembrance Day?

Oh dear. It's 1st November the day after tomorrow and I currently have no gig to do the Last Post on Remembrance Sunday. Do you think I blotted my copybook so badly last year that I've had it? Oh dear, and oh dear again. At the time, I thought everyone was full of forgiveness ... hmm, watch this space. I wonder if I will, in the end, get offered it - or any other similar gig - this year.

If you've dropped in here looking for how to pronounce Reveille in British English then you should probably click this paragraph.

If you want more on the Last Post and Reveille then here are my other bits on the topic:
  • 2007
  • 2008 (rhymes with Very Nearly Late)
- and here's a well-meaning but horrible-looking site with more information about this area:
Here's a final thought. If I don't get offered the gig, and they are still using a bugler/trumpet player, shall I go along to the service? Would that be a bit, erm, yes? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Update: no gig, chiz, but I don't really mind as I know who did do it (the very nice Tom D; Haringey people will know) and I thoroughly approve. He probably ought to symbolically kill me and eat my brains or nail my bugle (ouch!) to the barn door or something, but I guess we can skip the formalities. Go, my boy, this world is yours now ...

Friday, 23 October 2009

Penelope White das Graças - nice concert tomorrow

Here is a piece I wrote about a St Anne's concert by this fine singer. Now there's news of another London gig - it's tomorrow so get your skates on!

FUNDRAISING CONCERT 24th October 7.30pm, London

Fundraising Concert “Life Cycle and other stories”

The Grosvenor Chapel, South Audley Street, London W1

25th October 2009 - 7.30pm

Come and watch the talented White-Pires Duo in the compelling fundraising concert “Life Cycle and other stories” where they will be joined by guest star, Bruno Santino, member of the internationally acclaimed opera band AMICI. The choice of repertoire for the concert is to coincide with the reason for the concert – children.

A Charm of Lullabies Benjamin Britten

Valsa da Dor (piano solo) Heitor Villa-lobos

Kindertotenlieder Gustav Mahler

A selection of popular opera arias and duets by Mozart, Rossini, Bizet, and Saint-Saëns

British born Penelope White das Graças (mezzo-soprano) achieved her PG Dip in Performance at Trinity College of Music and in 2006 won a place on the first Mentorship Scheme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. She has given concerts and recitals in England, Switzerland, Italy, Brazil and the US, performing diverse repertoire in venues including St Martin in the Fields and St James’ Piccadilly, London. She is now living in Brazil, researching the rich Brazilian classical song repertoire and attending the prestigious Tela Lírica opera studio at the Teatro Guaíra, Curitiba. For more information please see

Brazilian Ivan Pires (pianist) graduated in Piano Performance from the School of Music and Fine Arts of Paraná, Brazil. He has recorded several interviews and recitals for Brazilian television and radio programs. Currently, he splits his professional life teaching pupils in London and Paris, also working as a recitalist and collaborative artist in BrazilEurope. For more information please see and

Brazilian Bruno Santino (baritone) changed the course of his life from being a chemical engineer by winning several scholarships to study singing abroad, where completed his PG Dip in Vocal Training and MMus in Performance at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. As a testament to his outstanding abilities, not only did he achieve distinction in his PGDip but his prizes include the Revelation Singer Award of 2001, UFMG’s Young Soloist 2002, Eleazar de Carvalho’s National Competition for Young Soloists 2002 and was Highly Commended in the Guildhall’s 2005 English Song competition. For more information please see

The Charity

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Foopball - a review

Thursday, 26 May 2005

There was a foopball match shown on the televisual receiver last night.

I watched it with my friend Adrian and my wife Deborah and my collie called Daisy and a great big glass of wine called Fitou. It was most exciting! At the end a lot of plump gentlemen who had been spectating from the upper parts of the auditorium took their shirts off and waved them around. My word. They did seem jolly. They were infected with enthusiasm by a gentleman called Mr Dudek who very kindly did some funny little dances to cheer up the foopball players from the opposing "team" or "side". Goodness, how we clapped and smiled at this little foreign chap's merry antics!

Yours sincerely

Mr Strawberry Yoghurt

Note: this was first posted on my then-LiveJournal in 2005.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Moonshot disappointment

In which we proudly present the first and best NASA LCROSS impact photography, complete with massive explosive dust plume and who knows what else. Guaranteed fully authentic and very, very scientific. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the image for which the world has been waiting.

I got very excited about the LCROSS mission and the fact that at 1130 today it was due to smash a great big rocket into the moon. This would create an excitingly massive debris cloud which, the Metro told me, would be visible for a couple of minutes from here, which is a pretty cool proposition, so as I was travelling at that time (long story) I got off the Tube at Kings Cross and went up to the street in the hope of seeing something. What I could see at exactly 1130 was a lot of cloud with maybe an inch or two of blue sky, so I wandered off again to finish the journey. When I got to work, though, it was even more exciting because it was still going on - I think maybe I'd seen 1130 GMT and forgotten we're on summer time, or they'd run out of petrol and had to go back, or something. Anyway, the point was that it was still happening and was live on the Beeb. As the time got closer I watched it and even sent email round the office pointing it out to others. (Sounds a bit didactic of me but, well, I am, plus doing stuff like this has had good results in the past.)

As the moment approached they cut to a camera which I think must have been in the nose of the Centaur upper stage rocket - the first and biggest hitting-the-moon thing - and it showed some quite nice, but not over-exciting, footage of craters getting bigger, then bigger ... then the screen went white, and there was no more. (I conjecture that this was when the camera operator baled out before it hit so he or she could get home safely in their Rocket-Pak™.)

I then thought, great, they will now show us the footage from the other bit of spaceship, or from a big telescope, or something, in which the rocket smacks into the moon and a huge explosion of debris blasts up into the atmosphere (yes I know I know, don't bother me, I'm on a roll here) and it's all dead exciting, because that's what the whole thing was about.

moonshot-disappointment Ermmmm, nothing. No footage, no explosion, no dust plume blowing in the wind (shuttup shuttup), no nothing much really. As I write they still say they're analysing the data but, so far, no wonderful pictures have emerged showing the moment of impact. Well, apart from this one, which was pretty difficult to research. But what actually happened, I wonder? Ho hum ... Onward and, er, downward!