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★ Great Bores of Today ★ No.45
‘...good morning madam and are you the lady of the house? so you’re Liz right? great stuff I’m Steve hi how ya doin’? is it nice and sunny in your neck of the woods today Liz? smashing now this won’t take more than a few minutes of your time Liz don’t worry I’m not trying to sell you anything I just want to ask when you last had double glazing fitted in your property right that’s quite a while ago Liz now I’m calling from JPC windows we were voted number one in a customer satisfaction survey and we’re currently running a fantastic new promotion where you can have your entire house fitted with our pvc eco energy windows for less than half price ok perhaps you’d like to think about it as I say there’s no hard sale no pressure what matters to us Liz is that you get best quality new windows fitted to your individual requirements hello Liz...hello... are you still there hello...’ © Al
Tips for Meanies
Few Meanies will baulk at removing the odd bar of soap or complimentary shampoo bottle from their hotel. After all, these items carry the hotel’s logo, so it’s a bit of a branding exercise. Yet an equally useful nick can be the unattractive plastic shower cap. These make brilliant containers for storing shoes in a suitcase when travelling, to prevent them shedding dirt onto clothes. They also work for covering bowls in the fridge, bowls of dough left to rise, and for shielding bicycle seats on rainy days. JANE THYNNE
have sailed through to the finals of Britain’s Got Talent. ‘I love your spirit and your attitude,’ said judge (and this month’s Chump) Simon Cowell after watching them perform ‘(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)’ by the Beastie Boys.
The Zimmers popped up on the Old Un’s radar in 2007 when BBC documentarymaker Tim Samuels made a film about how badly the elderly are treated. He formed the Zimmers from people he met in tower blocks, bingo halls and care homes and they recorded the Who’s ‘My
Generation’ at the Abbey Road studios. The video went to number one on YouTube and the band was flown to Hollywood to appear on a chat show alongside George Clooney. The winners of Britain’s Got Talent will perform in front of the Queen at the Royal Variety Performance. We reckon Her Majesty (aged 86) will be thrilled if the Zimmers triumph.
A Lees cannon To the Imperial War Museum, where staff are concerned about plans to close the museum in 2013 for a six-month remodelling project. The closure is going ahead even though only half of the £35 million needed for the redevelopment has been raised.
Last May the museum’s director Diane Lees suffered a major setback when her £23.5 million grant application for the project was shot down by the Heritage Lottery Fund. By then she had already paid architect Lord Foster more than £565,000 for a plan which included removing the famous naval guns at the museum’s entrance. Undeterred, Lees ploughed ahead with the redevelopment.
The official purpose of the long closure is to create ‘brand new First World War galleries in time for the Centenary in 2014’, but a source inside the museum tells us that staff fear this will be at the expense of displays and exhibits about World War 2.
The large galleries on the lower ground floor, which are currently equally divided between the two wars, will become entirely devoted to the first, and WW2 may not be properly reinstated unless enough money can be raised.
In addition, there are plans to reduce the large exhibits in the stunning entrance atrium by half, making a light-well into the galleries below and
8 THE OLDIE – June 2012 D I A R Y
enlarging the café and shop.
Our man in the Lancaster Bomber tell us that Lees wants to tap into the nostalgia for World War 1 – Downton Abbey, Birdsong, War Horse and so on. ‘She is hell-bent on capitalising on the WW1 centenary. But to do this by marginalising WW2 to this extent is madness and shouldn’t be allowed.’
You heard it here first Last month the BBC and other news outlets reported the hot scoop that the government will be able to monitor the calls, emails, texts and website visits of everyone in the UK under new legislation. Eagle-eyed readers will have spotted that this story was broken in The Oldie’s ‘Superbyw@ys’ column way back in January 2011, when Webster wrote ‘While announcing their various reviews, with all the shouting about deficits and so on, tucked away in the fifth paragraph of Section 4 on page 44 of the The Strategic Defence and Security Review is a quiet note meekly announcing the resurrection of a Labour Party plan (which was dumped last year, in the face of considerable opposition) to allow the security and police authorities to track every phone call, email, text message and website visit made by us all if they argue it is needed to tackle crime or terrorism.’ The Oldie is always first with the news!
Still at it... Former BBC Musical Director and LWT Head of Music, Harry Rabinowitz has written a huge amount of film music and was a conductor on Cold
Mountain, The English Patient and music coordinator for Chariots of Fire. He celebrated his 96th birthday in March and keeps up a punishing pace with his wife Mitzi, dividing his time between Portland, Oregon and the Luberon Valley in France.
He begins his day with 40 minutes of bending and stretching followed by a one-and-a-half-mile hurtle on the track. This is followed by 60 minutes at the piano where he battles with Bartok, Shostakovitch and Stravinsky. He still composes material for the Portland group Pink Martini as well as for films, and he is planning a couple of American lectures on the pleasures and oddities of life in a 400-year-old sheep barn in a tiny French village.
This summer he will be cheerleading the LSO’s opera and concert summer season in Aix-en-Provence, and Pink Martini will play at Kew Gardens on July 5. If you know someone who is ‘still at it’ please contact The Old Un’s Diary
Voice from the Grave ‘Politics is like a chicken-coop, and those inside get to behave as if their little run were all the world.’ John Buchan, Greenmantle (1916) Sent in by Michael Davison. £25 for published contributions
J U N E A N D G E R A L D b y N A F
Not many dead
Important stories you may have missed
The Queen had a longer than expected trip in a lift following her speech in Parliament, the BBC has learned. Rather than descending, it went up and only reached the intended destination after three false starts. BBC News, deputy political editor James Landale
Manchester City football boss
Roberto Mancini is a fan of Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles, it has been reported. The Press (York)
Scottish SPCA officer Karen Hogg was called out to rescue a snake which turned out to be a draught excluder. The Press and Journal
Police are investigating after a car aerial was badly bent. Brecon and Radnor
£25 for published contributions
June 2012 – THE OLDIE 9