Ref! On Baldrick’s Robin Hood costume

The candid thoughts of former Premier League referee Colin Preece, as recorded by our eavesdropping mole in the Duck and Peasant.

 Referee

Oh Gawd, gentlemen, I was determined to enjoy my retirement without the stress of making pronouncements on the world stage, but the last knockings of the transfer window have tipped me over the edge. The metaphorical edge, Dave, yes. Some of the lunacy out there is too much for a thinking man to keep quiet about.

Who’s the thinking man, Baz? One is talking about oneself, mate, and I don’t mean you could be included. Your thinking process is like primitive life emerging from the slime – no offence, mate.

So I’ll tell you what’s got me so worked up, since you ask. People buying multiple players for one position. Take Spurs. They sell Kyle Walker to Man City, and I didn’t use to like him but he’s come along well the last couple of years and sometimes for England he’s the one player you can see causing some danger.

And they’ve got a readymade replacement, Kieran Tripper, who has also had a go with the national team. And then who emerges but Kyle Walker-Peters. Now that’s just bloody silly, isn’t it, a guy with almost exactly the same name coming through for the same position at the same club.

Anyway, they’ve got those two readymade replacements, and what do they do? They buy Serge Aurier from PSG. Did they need him, Baz? What’s going to happen to the other two if he plays? That’s English talent being blocked again.

In case of injuries, Baz? I’m glad you brought that up, because what it reminds me of is that episode of Blackadder Goes Forth where he’s in prison, about to be shot but planning to escape and Baldrick brings him a Robin Hood costume. And Baldrick’s thinking is: what if the Captain finds himself in a French village in the middle of a fancy dress party? And Blackadder says, “What if I find myself in a French village and there isn’t a fancy dress party?”

So when you only need one right back and you’ve got three, what’s the rationale? The reasoning, Baz – what’s the thinking behind it?

Yes, I suppose there could be two fancy dress parties.

And there was this late flurry about Fernando Llorente. Chelsea had just bought Morata and they already had Michy Batshuayi, not to mention Loic Remy peeling potatoes in the canteen to pass the time. So why would they need Llorente? Because they can, lads. Money.

Cheers Gary I’ll have a white wine spritzer. Titter ye not, gentlemen. You’ve seen my young lady. You don’t hang onto that sort of thing drinking pints and eating pork scratchings.

Who else is stockpiling, Dave? Yes, Liverpool are buying up all the dross as usual. Unkind but true, mate. No, I don’t know what they see in Oxlade-Chamberlain either. But it’s all part of life’s rich tapestry, and we may just have seen the richest tapestry we’re ever going to get, because it can’t carry on like this, can it? Insanity. They’d pay 25 million for you, Baz. Arsenal, I mean.

 

 

 

 

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Kaycee’s Klasic Films – The Graduate

Siobhan Kennedy-Clarke’s classic film reviews
Our fictitious reviewer Siobhan (KayCee) didn't have much of an education but she's passionate about films

 

Funny thing I only remembered this one when I mentioned something last week and its one of my favourites funny what slips through your brain cells when your not looking. You no the one from 1967  it was Dustin Hoffman’s big break and now he’s a veteran who don’t seem to do much at all. Suits me actually because it’s not nice seeing your heroes getting really old and watery-eyed like Clint Eastwood. Paul Newman got out while the going was good and speared us the agony. Not that Dustin was ever a heartthrob he was kind of born middle aged.

And that’s what makes this one so successful I reckon he shows there is hope for all of us. If it was Robert Redford being seduced by Anne Bancroft you wouldn’t be surprised and he couldn’t of done the “who, me?” routine because you know Mrs Robinson would  be dying to get her hands on him.

For the benefit of those who have never seen it the film is about Ben a student with pushy parents and he’s just graduated and is home for the summer to decide what glittering career to do. We are asked to believe he was a great athlete too, but when you see him running he’s got all the arm and leg movements but you can tell he ain’t really fast.

His parents have organised a party to celebrate his graduation but its full of their friends not his and they still treat him like a little boy they’ve bought him scuba diving gear and he’s supposed to demonstrate it in the swimming pool they happen to have in the garden but he’s shy or depressed or something and he don’t want to play the game.

The Robinsons are family friends and there is a daughter Elaine played by Katherine Ross who people seem to assume is going to be Ben’s wife or something. She’s all pure and gentle and quite nice really. Again, if it had been some sexy guy in the role you’d have expected him to at least doink her once but what happens here is that her mother seduces him and his attitude to Elaine gets confused and he’s horrible to her.

He knows its wrong and he should be with Elaine but he’s such a drip he can’t handle it. I sound like a right bitch don’t I? I suppose that’s what I thought when I was young and gorgeous (if only) and now I’ve mellowed a bit you get more understanding ain’t it? Actually looking at it now, if a 20-year-old guy is being seduced by a sexy older woman, most of them are not going to complain. Its not like he’s underage or nothing.

“Mrs Robinson are you trying to seduce me?” “No, Benjamin, I want you to cut my toenails.”

There are some good lines, like when Mr Robinson finds out about the affair and Ben says shagging his wife was just like shaking hands. And when Mr Robinson leaves he goes “You’ll forgive me if I don’t shake hands with you, Benjamin.”

So there you go, all set up and  will the young couple get together or will Ben and Mrs R carry on until she gets tired of him? It gets quite emotional is all I will tell you and you do feel good in the end which is what a lot of movies are all about.

 

 

 

 

Kaycee’s Klasic Films – Hope Springs

Siobhan Kennedy-Clarke’s classic film reviews
Our fictitious reviewer Siobhan (KayCee) didn't have much of an education but she's passionate about films

There are two films called Hope Springs one from 2003 and another completely different in 2012 and this is about the first one it stars Colin Firth and Minnie Driver. So make sure your watching the right one because the other one is okay but this one is more than okay.

Colin plays an artist from the UK who goes to the US Hope Springs a town in Vermont because hes split up with his girlfriend Vera and hes very upset. He checks into this small hotel type thing run by an interesting couple Joanie (Mary Steenburgen) looking older woman sexy and her strange husband. They notice that this English guy isn’t himself funny expression aren’t it and how would they know they only just met the guy but they didn’t say it just me.

Anyways Joanie gets her friend Mandy (Heather Graham)  to come and see him she’s some kind of therapist but really she’s a sort of hippie new age bit of a loon depending on how you look at it. Likes jumping up and down naked to feel liberated or something you no the type or maybe you don’t my cousins like that people think she’s a slapper but she thinks shes a free spirit.

Mandy couldn’t be more different from Colin that’s his name in the film too he’s a typical Colin Firth guy quiet shy repressed. Mandy works at an old people’s home called Shining Shores and she and Colin get it on a bit and have one of those relationships that is fun but you know its not going to go nowhere but if you don’t push it it passes the time.

Then Vera turns up. That’s Minnie Driver and its one of the funniest performances I’ve ever seen. Just watch the bit in the middle where Vera’s driving past the old folks’ home and finds Mandy pushing an old lady in a wheelchair. It won’t sound funny if I write the dialogue (that’s the words they say technical term like) but she’s so bitchy it cracks me up and I keep having to watch it over and over again. She’s a spoilt, ultra well educated snob who thinks Mandy is beneath her and Colin she don’t really want Colin but she don’t want Mandy to have him either.

Bitching on the golf course: posh girl Minnie Driver bends Colin Firth’s ear

Okay try this bit: she looks at the sign for the home which says Shining Shores in swirly writing and pretends to misread it, she goes “Whining Whores”. I tell you it kills me I don’t need the rest of the film just that scene although there are plenty more good ones.

This film is based on a novel by the same man who wrote the novel The Graduate (so he must be knocking on a bit) and he does keep the plot rolling especially towards the end but of course I’m not going to tell you what happens. Colin Firth couldn’t be funny if he fell off a tall building wearing a santa hat but it don’t matter somehow. Like I say the Minnie Driver scenes in the middle are worth the price of admission on their own.

 

Kaycee’s Klasic Films – Donnie Darko

Siobhan Kennedy-Clarke’s classic film reviews
Our fictitious reviewer Siobhan (KayCee) didn't have much of an education but she's passionate about films

This film deserves to be more popular than it is but in my humble opinion it has an image problem. If you look at the Wikipedia entry they call it a science fiction film but its not really it has a bit of pseudo sci-fi about it but it’s a comedy that takes the mickey out of horror films and sci-fi films if you ask me.

Secondly the main character Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal) is always referred to as “troubled” and you get the feeling he’s one of these spooky, scary kids who causes havoc but really he’s not. He’s a nice kid meets a nice girl and just happens to find weird things happening. The name doesn’t help either if he was Donnie Smith it would give a different impression.

Donnie is seeing a psychiatrist played by Katherine Ross looking like she’s spent too much time in the sun and she does the part pretty good.

Thirdly people talk about this giant rabbit that tells Donnie to do things which again makes him sound like a psycho and although there is a large rabbit type thing involved it is not made to look realistic or scary. That’s because this is a comedy like I said.

It also has similarities to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in the way the acting is done particularly Donnie’s parents who are cool and don’t freak out about things like they might in other films. Jake’s sister Maggie Gyllenhaal plays his sister here and she’s good but kind of in second gear all the time because it’s not a big part. She’s quite sexy though I like her she’s done some good stuff and she was good here even as young as she was and her brother too she looked more like him in those days.

Seth Rogen is in it as one of the school bullies he’s a strange guy Seth I think he manages to be amusing but not funny funny whatever he does.

I suppose part of the Ferris thing is it’s set in a school and some of the teachers are funny and there’s pompous people for you to dislike especially this kind of goody goody played by Patrick Swayze who turns out to be into child pornography but again that’s not actually what the film is about.

Drew Barrymore is one of the teachers but she’s a good one I wouldn’t have thought she was old enough but time flies she’s not too bad in this not one of my faves usually.

“Weird? me?” Yes you, Donnie. It says so in my contract.

Like Ferris the soundtrack is full of British music Tears for Fears and Echo and the Bunnymen it seems American kids thought that sort of stuff was cooler than their own country was producing at the time well this was in 2001 so I don’t know really they use the strange slower version of Mad World not the TfF one.

It was supposed to be set in 1988 which is Bueller era I don’t know why they didn’t want it to be contemprey or whatever

The main sci-fi bit is people keep having these clear plastic things growing out of their chest like elongated bubbles and you get the Rabbit talking and giving the date and time of the end of the world but although the captions do a countdown of that its not scary or tense or nothing really. Just a device as they say and it has no baring on what happens I don’t reckon.

So just watch it as a fun film it’s well done well acted and all that stuff you only notice in a film when its not there the quality I mean.

 

 

 

 

Kaycee’s Klasic Films – Mona Lisa Smile

Siobhan Kennedy-Clarke’s classic film reviews
Our fictitious reviewer Siobhan (KayCee) didn't have much of an education but she's passionate about films

You could say this is a chick flick if you like but I reckon it stands up pretty well in any company? just because it’s a mainly female cast with lots of pretty young things don’t mean it ain’t got a brain just like the girls themselves.

It stars Julia Roberts as Katherine Watson an art lecturer at a posh all girl college in Massachusetts she’s from California which makes her a bit of a rebel they think and this is her first lecturing job and she ain’t the type to conform so she’s out of place at this stuffy erstablishme… whatever.  Plus she’s 30 and not married and this is the 1950s so there all wearing dresses and long skirts and blouses quite a nice look I always think although I don’t go in for skirts much myself who does these days.

It’s a bitchy class she finds herself teaching there all dead keen and know everything on the syllabus which is like a list of what their going to study so she has to get onto things their not expecting to wipe the smug smiles off there faces. The worst of all is the Kirsten Dunst character I won’t bother with the film names cos its too confusing Kirsten is a real spoilt upper class cow and the funny thing is there all at this college but there also trying to get married its like a competition almost and Kirsten is with this real posh dickhead whose going to be rich and he already is because of his family but he’s a pipe smoking serious type old before his time.

Kirsten actually takes time off college to get married have a honeymoon and expects that will just be okay but Katherine’s not impressed. And of course dickhead isn’t as good as he makes out always disappearing to New York “on business” ha ha were not stupid are we girls.

The school nurse gets sacked for giving out contraceptives and that tells you a lot about the place. And theres a male lecturer Dominic West who has affairs with his students you’ll know him if you watched The Affair on Netflix he’s English but gets a lot of work in the States. He is currantly bonking Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character she’s a bit of a tart but he fancies Katherine too but she’s having none of it and then her long-term on-off boyfriend shows up from California and thinks he can breeze in and marry her but she’s a modern girl and sends him packing.

There are other bits of the story with other girls and its too complicated to tell you you don’t need to know anyway but my favourite is Ginnifer Goodwin yes that’s how she spells it and she’s not quite as gorgeous as the rest still pretty good looking but a bit round faced and could get fat later in life and she’s a nice character too.

Maggie thinks she’s Sherlock Homes and that’s Ginnifer in the middle Julia Stiles right

You know what films about uni and college are like when the lecturer turns out to be a real nice guy (or gal) and they all end up liking each other in the end well I suppose this one is like that but its wrong to lump it in with crap films that have the same theme this one is real class and Julia Roberts is good so is Maggie so is Kirsten there all great really and its not soppy at all.

 

 

The wisdom of pop songs – Revenge and vitriol

It’s the ugliest of emotions and completely fruitless. It makes us as bad as the person we’re getting back at. It leads to ongoing conflict. Revenge isn’t sweet, it’s sour. It just feels sweet briefly. And it makes for great little pop songs sometimes.

Connie Francis had a hit in 1958 with Who’s Sorry Now, which had first been published (in the old sheet music days) in the 1920s. She’s glad that her ex is sorry, so she’s got her own back in a tame way. We don’t learn what has happened to the man who broke her heart, but he’s not happy, and that makes her feel better, even if you get the feeling she’ll be round at his door within the hour with a tin of tomato soup and some ice cream to cheer him up.

The Ronettes got slightly more vitriolic with How Does It Feel, written by Vini Poncia and Peter Andreoli and produced by Phil Spector in a rare example of an uptempo wall of sound recording. Some girl has broken her ex’s heart and she’s as pleased as punch, but unlike Connie Francis, she openly admits she’d take him back because he still loves him. Silly girl; he’ll only do it again, you mark my words.

The Angels were in a very different situation in 1963 with My Boyfriend’s Back. He’s been away, you see, and in his absence a boy who fancies her, having failed with his advances, is spreading rumours about her. But now the boyfriend has returned and is about to give the young pretender a bunch of fives.

The Angels were unusual for a Sixties girl group in that they were white – not that colour has any bearing on what they were like as a musical unit. But it was the song, not the singers, and they are one-hit wonders – and there’s nothing wrong with that. A nifty little three minutes of pop and very singable: Hey la hey la, my boyfriend’s back.

All of these revenge songs seem to be from the early 60s, and we’ll continue with The Shirelles and Foolish Little Girl. It’s not openly about revenge, but a girl talking to another girl who wants her guy back, having dumped him earlier. Now he’s about to get married and she’s a jealous as hell. The singer is berating her for this, which leads me to read between the lines and surmise that there is history between these two and the singer is glad her rival has been hurt.

Whatever, this is a classic lineup of four black women. The lead singer has a good, strong voice and the backing vocals sound like they’re done by a bunch of random girls dragged off the street as they walked past the studio and told to do their best and do it loudly. And I mean that in the nicest possible way – it’s part of the record’s charm.

Incidentally, if you’re going to download this from YouTube or wherever, make sure you get the original version. There’s a rerecorded one out there, and I wish they wouldn’t do that. Sure, singers may improve as they get older and recording techniques are constantly evolving, but the artistes never recapture the magic, and if they’re eradicating some blemish that’s been bugging them for years, they should realize that we, the fans, know and love it just as it is.

John Lennon, for all his peace-and-love stuff, had a nasty jealous streak and wasn’t averse to venting it in song. Take You Can’t Do That, from A Hard Day’s Night. He’s not taking revenge – yet – but he’s telling the girl in no uncertain terms that he’s going to dump her if she persists in talking to a particular boy.

The live recording I’m putting here is pretty faithful to the studio version but there’s one irritating thing: they don’t show us who played the solo. It doesn’t appear to be George, which means it must be John, but we don’t know for sure.

And that’s where I’m going to leave it. There are plenty of others and you could probably name a few off the top of your head. Cry Me A River, yes, and products of spiky personalities like Alanis Morrisette and Lily Allen, but the early Sixties was the goldmine.

Kaycee’s Klasic Films – Letter to Brezhnev

Siobhan Kennedy-Clarke’s classic film reviews
Our fictitious reviewer Siobhan (KayCee) didn't have much of an education but she's passionate about films

This one from 1985 wasn’t a big hit but it’s good fun and features young Alfred Molina and Peter Firth who both went on to great things as they say became famous and respected that means. It’s set in Liverpool and at that time the whole UK was in a bad way and the north west was no different. So there was enough doom and gloom around and a little romantic comedy was just what we needed I guess that’s why it stayed with me cos it cheered me up a bit yes even happy go lucky me needs a pick me up sometimes if you no what I mean.

The girls in this certainly did they worked in a chicken processing factory stuffing the giblet bags into cavorties and stuff which can’t be much fun at the best of times. So you get two factory girls Teresa and Elaine (Margi Clarke and Alexandra Pigg) who both didn’t go on to greater things I never seen them in anything else but they do the job here.

Teresa is a tall mouthy blonde and Elaine is small and quiet. Anyway a Russian ship comes in (Liverpool is like a port) and our girls meet two sailors Sergei and Peter (that’s Alfred and Peter) in a nightclub and one thing leads to another very quickly and they end up in a hotel room. Teresa just wants sex because I guess she’s had every bloke in the city but Elaine is romantic they only got a few hours before the boys sail again so Teresa and Sergei get stuck in (litrely) but the other two just talk and fall in love which can happen that fast your just not sure until later that its real.

Cheer up girls, it’s only an economic downturn and the guy’s not married anyway

With all the doinking that goes on you’d think Teresa would be the sex symbol but my mate Chris reckons the most exciting part is seeing the hair in Alexandra Pigg’s armpit you no girls you wouldn’t be seen dead like that but theres blokes who like it it takes all salts.

And then the boys are gone and the girls come down to earth with a bump well Elaine does it meant something to her and she and Peter write to each other and she wants to go to Russia and marry him so she writes to President Brezhnev the podgy guy with thick eyebrows you know the one.

The British Foreign Office gets involved because Elaine is so determined and at the time Russia was a country it was hard to get into and when you were there they wouldn’t let you out something like that anyway I think its like North Korea is now real dodgy. And they tell her that Peter’s married but she don’t believe it. Nor does Teresa she says “I’ve had the knickers dragged off me by enough married men that I know one when I see one and Peter ain’t married.”

I mean imagine falling for someone in that situation its complicated enough when it’s the guy round the corner without politics and stuff getting in the way.

There’s a lot of bad language but its all in Liverpool accents so it don’t sound so bad they say fooken  but they say the k like the ch in Loch Ness I didn’t think of that myself like but I heard someone say it and its true.

Its quite funny and theres romantic bits and very sad bits and some very 80s music Hit That Perfect Beat and stuff to remind you when its set. I don’t know if Alfred and Peter think of it fondly as a stepping stone it ain’t exactly Shakespeare I guess though I never seen any of his films so I can’t really say.

 

Bloke in the Kitchen. Venezuelan black beans

kitchen

Taking the mystery and fear out of cooking

This blog is not about adding a new recipe to your already impressive repertoire. It’s for people who don’t really have a repertoire.

It’s all about being flexible, creative – and having a go. Recipes are useful, obviously, but just a guideline if you’re too much of a cowboy to slavishly follow them. And anyway, you don’t have the ingredients at your disposal that real chefs seem to assume everyone does.

The aim of this blog is to teach the unskilled and inexperienced to make something out of what they’ve got in the house – or just fly into the supermarket and pick a few things up. You don’t want to be in the kitchen for hours and nor do I. Grab a few ingredients, mix them together and be eating in half an hour or so – that’s what I’m talking about. Radio on in the background, glass of wine on the go, and a decent result at the end of it.

Venezuelan black beans

In Venezuela they eat black beans with arepas, the corn flatbread they eat all the time. But they go just as well with ordinary homemade flatbread or plain old toast – just make sure it’s decent bread. The fluffy, slightly sweet stuff that sells by the truckload in many parts of the world is an insult to the tastebuds and even if you’re used to it, just get unused to it. Find something with a bit of body to it, a bit of earthy oomph, a bit of natural wheaty flavor.

Presumably many people like that bland, mass-produced stuff, but you don’t have to follow the crowd.

Now, savoury black beans – and this could hardly be simpler. In fact the most difficult thing might be finding them, depending on what country you’re in and if you’re in an area without a decent supermarket or healthfood store. But they might be there, hidden among the cans of baked, kidney, brown, haricots and all the rest, but you’ve never noticed because you’ve never wanted them before.

You may also find them in their dried form, which will mean soaking and boiling them before you start. But a can of black beans is just as good.

Like so many tasty dishes, this is cheap and dead easy. It’s food for getting the job done, the job being to get some nourishment into yourself and your family with minimal fuss and expense.

INGREDIENTS (for two people)

Can of black beans

A medium onion, halved and sliced.

Cilantro (coriander leaves), half a handful, roughly chopped or torn. Some people tell me they don’t like cilantro, which is up to them, even if I find it hard to believe. If you are one of those people, or you just can’t find any of the fresh plant (dried is not the same at all), use flat leaf parsley.

In some countries, notably the Caribbean, they have culantro, which is different by one vowel and similarly close in flavor. In Trinidad and Tobago they call it Shadow Benny (officially chadon beni).  It has long narrow leaves and when you chop it and use it in a cooked recipe, it’s hard to tell the difference (it’s not so good raw, though).

Sunflower oil.

Unsung hero: fried onions are the subtle, indispensable savoury basis of countless dishes, including this one

METHOD

Make your arepas, flatbreads (see my recipes on this site) or toast.

While they’re cooking, heat a frying pan and add a little oil.

Fry the onion until it is just turning brown.

Add the beans and stir.

Mix in the cilantro, plus a little salt and black pepper, plus a touch of general  seasoning (which is mainly salt plus a touch of herb and spice). A sprinkle of cayenne can help, if you like a bit of zip.

When the mixture is hot, serve with the bread.

Ludicrously easy, tasty, nutritious – and exotic.

The wisdom of pop songs – Regret

Having your heart broken is an unwanted part of life’s rich pageant, but there is another side to the coin: when we do the hurting. I’m not sure anyone has ever deliberately broken someone’s heart through stopping loving them. It’s just one of those things, although don’t try telling that to the person on the receiving end.

Breaking up with someone doesn’t make us a monster; it shows that we’re human, and what were we supposed to do: not fall in love in the first place? The more you look at it the more complicated it gets.

Prince gets straight to the heart of the matter in Purple Rain. “I never meant to cause you any sorrow…”

Cher, on the other hand, in If I Could Turn Back Time, has lost the guy through her own stupidity, so what she is regretting is the things she said and did.

John Lennon’s Jealous Guy hasn’t quite blown it altogether, but he’s singing to himself as much as his lover, regretting what he said and did and knowing that if there’s a next time it could be terminal.

At a glance you might think Bryan Adams’s Please Forgive Me is about a similar scenario, but closer inspection shows it’s not. In this case he’s apologizing for loving her so much, perhaps because she thinks his adoration is over the top and is stifling her. Sometimes you just can’t win.

John B. Sebastian of the Lovin’ Spoonful evidently found himself in a regrettable position in 1966 when he wrote I Didn’t Want to Have to Do It. However, he’s not blaming himself entirely. He had to do it because one of them had to and, good hearted guy that he is, he elected to carry the can.

“Was a time when I thought our love could fly

And never never fall

Why should I suppose we were never really meant

To be close to each other at all.”

We’re not told the girl’s reaction, but he does tell us he knew she would end up crying, so presumably that’s what happened.

Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, on a song written of course by Smokey himself, are also not accepting unmitigated blame. Ooh Baby Baby wasn’t a hit in the UK and may have never even been released as a single there, but it just goes to show the charts don’t paint a comprehensive picture of the brilliant stuff that exists in other people’s record collections. I only discovered the song three or four years ago and I couldn’t believe it had eluded me for so long.

“Mistakes,” he says, “I know I made a few. But I’m only human: you’ve made mistakes too.”

Quite right too. We don’t know the ins and outs of it, but nobody’s perfect. Whether or not this is an admirable trait he’s displaying, I’m not sure, but he’s clearly crazy about the girl. About three months ago Ooh Baby Baby got stuck on repeat in my head and was with me for days. I was on the net for hours, searching for  a slightly different version I seemed to remember, but there isn’t one. It must have been just my imagination, if you’ll forgive the Smokey-inspired reference.

And then there’s the kind of regret to which there is no answer, no other way of doing it. It had to be done and that’s life. Sometimes the end of a relationship is like that.

Cue an absolute killer from one of this column’s favourites, Brazilian singer Astrud Gilberto, via the composer Antonio Carlos Jobim and lyricist Normal Gimbel. How Insensitive sees the singer wishing she hadn’t broken the boy’s heart, but “what can one say when a love affair is over?” He must hate her; he must think she’s a heartless bitch, but really she had no option. The poor man’s loss is our gain, however (or perhaps girl, since Gimbel is a man). It doesn’t have to be autobiographical to strike a chilling chord in the listener’s heart.

Regret of a different but equally painful kind can be found in Cat’s In The Cradle, a 1974 hit for Harry Chapin. This is about a man who fails to find enough time for his young son and then, when he’s old and the boy is the one with a busy life, finds the tables are turned.

Chapin was something of a genius with lyrics, and regret was one of his themes. W.O.L.D., his other huge success, is the sad tale of a DJ who walked out on his family to follow his broadcasting career wherever the offers came from. Now he’s getting past it and he’s thinking he’d like to get back with his wife, but she has moved on.

It’s hard to see either of these songs as truly autobiographical, although they might have been visions of what he worried might happen, given the musician’s inevitable absences from home while touring. Sadly, he never had time to find out, because he died at the age of 39 in a car crash, possibly having had a heart attack that caused him to lose control.

As it happens, anyway, the lyrics were written by Chapin’s wife about her ex-husband’s relationship with his father. And if you didn’t want to know that because it spoils your personal memory of the song, well I’m sorry.

Kaycee’s Klasic Films – Coogan’s Bluff

Siobhan Kennedy-Clarke’s classic film reviews
Our fictitious reviewer Siobhan (KayCee) didn't have much of an education but she's passionate about films

Ive talked about Clint Eastwood here before, a couple of times in fact and its not that I’m obsessed with him or nothing but he has made a lot of movies ain’t he and in different styles. So now I’m looking at my favourite non-cowboy one Coogan’s Bluff. I could of gone for Play Misty For Me cos that’s good too but Coogan’s is the one I always go back to.

Its about a law man in Arizona who takes time off from tracking villains in the desert to go to New York City to bring back this guy Jimmy Ringerman whose on the run. Clint plays Coogan who wears the old cowboy stuff pointy toed boots and  hat maybe a Stetson I don’t know. And people keep calling him Tex because he looks like he’s from Texas.

He gets ripped off by a taxi driver who takes him all round the houses to get where he’s going and Coogan spots that they pass Bloomingdales twice (big department store). And the guy charges him extra for luggage because he’s got this little briefcase with him.

Nice lines here: the guy on hotel reception charges him extra because he hasn’t got luggage and Coogan goes “there’s a taxi driver in this town that’d give you and argument”.

We know, Clint, it’s Arizona. But blimey, don’t you look young.

Coogan has no patience with the slower NY way of justice and just wants to get Ringerman without waiting for the court to authorise it so he pees off the detective he’s dealing with (Lee J. Cobb nice performance). And he meets a probation officer Julie played by Susan Clark who never really made it but must have been only inches away cos she’s good and really pretty. She just couldn’t get past actresses like Katharine Ross I guess still she done a few things.

And Ringerman’s girlfriend is this tiny little thing Linny Raven (Tisha Sterling) and she fancies Coogan and it’s like his duty in those days to doink her just because she’s there and he does and she tells Julie all about it.

This was 1968 and there was cycle delick music around then and the scenes in clubs and parties are full of weird music and stoned people.

There’s a motorbike chase which might a peel to some people blokes I guess but what I like about the film is its quite funny and Clint’s so cool.

I guess its just personal preference I know there’s nothing here that makes the film a mantelpiece but it’s a nice way to spend an hour and a half and that’s the name of the game as they say what game I don’t know the game of life maybe the game of what am I going to do tonight when I ain’t going out.