Sunday, June 19, 2011

A baby shower

Susan is well along in her pregnancy now and all looks to be going well so she and Paul put on a baby shower this afternoon at their Daisy Hill place -- and they did get showered with many things for the baby -- including a toy Dalek which Paul seemed inclined to keep for himself.

Susan is a talented and hard working cook so the spread she put on was legendary. I think I tried most things but my favourite was the Pavlova. Maureen would understand that.

There was a friend of Susan's there who had her little 18 months old boy with her. He and I hit it off very well and his mother looked a bit worried that she might lose him at one stage. He kept coming back for more games and eventually sat on my knee for a fair bit.

The coming back for more reminded me of certain other children who used to come back saying: "Come on John, More John, More"

And, wonder of wonders, I won the door prize. I normally don't win anything. But that might be because I don't go in for much.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Songs of yesteryear

Anne remarked recently that a lot of the songs we enjoy listening to would be unknown to the young people of today and we both thought what a pity that was.

I decided that I could at least introduce Paul and Susan to such songs so that at least they would have some of the pleasure that we oldies find in the songs that we have grown to treasure over the years.

So I arranged one of my "educational" nights again -- this time not devoted to anything serious but simply to playing some old favourite songs which Paul and Susan mostly had not heard.

We started off with a curry dinner on the verandah as usual and then adjourned to my computer for 10 minutes so I could play us two videos: George Formby singing "When I'm cleaning winders" and Joni Mitchell singing "Both sides now". Formby is still a very funny man and Joni's phrasing of her own song makes it a great work of art.

After that we moved to the sitting room for music off CDs. We started off with the incomparable Paul Robeson singing Ol' Man River and went on from there -- not forgetting Peter Dawson's brilliant rendition of The Floral Dance.

Some other songs that we played were Men of Harlech, the Holy City, The Battle Hymn of the Republic and How Great Thou Art. So it got a bit religious but I am a great fan of religious music. The fact that I was once very religious myself no doubt plays some part in that. And as William Booth said: "Why should the Devil have all the good tunes?"

At Anne's request I put on the hilarious "Blue Bird of Happiness". It is actually a quite wise song but lugubriously overstated. I was pleased to see that Susan had a smile on her face for a lot of it. She obviously saw the funny side of it.

Susan also provided an impressive confection for dessert, as she usually does, so that rounded off a very pleasant evening.