Tag Archives: London

January 7th

On this day in 1618 Francis Bacon became the Lord Chancellor of England.

Francis contemplates how he's going to pay back all his debts.

Of course you are all more aware of his later fame as an Irish born artist, but before he began painting screaming popes he spent his [far] earlier life as a statesman, scientist, jurist, lawyer and author. As you can see he was quite the Renaissance man.

We might never have been introduced to his painting skills if it hadn’t been for the fact that he got into a bit of bother as Lord Chancellor. Unfortunately in 1621 it was discovered that he was in serious debt which did not look good, so he was fined £40,000 which was about a billion pounds in those days and sent to the Tower of London. Luckily he only spent a couple of days there before the king let him out and realising that a bloke in debt would probably not have forty grand, the king let him off his debt too.

Of course, nowadays people would be suspicious of the Lord Chancellor wasn’t a bad man with debts aplenty, or so it would seem given the type of person who gets that job these days. In 1621 Bacon was declared unfit for office. In 2012 he’d have been given the job as Chancellor of the Exchequer as we seem to be happy to give that job to numeric idiots in the second decade of the 21st century.

Anyway, long story short, due to him being all disgraced and stuff,

Bacon looking all smug after he gave up the other stuff and became a painter

Bacon had to find something else to do. He was fed up with writing and as he couldn’t event a nuclear bomb because he hadn’t heard of nuclear energy, he decided to do some painting which made him very famous and renowned.

Because his paintings did not appear until the 20th century, by which time he was allegedly an artist who had been born in Dublin, most people think that the painting Bacon is different to the earlier Bacon. He is not, he’d just had a rather long kip and not woken up for a couple of centuries. It could happen to anyone.

Today is the birthday of a man who we all know is a few follicles short of a full head of hair and several sandwiches short of a picnic. On this day in 1964 Nicholas Kim Coppola, better known as Nic Cage was born in Long Beach, California.

Nic Cage, mad as a badger on Ketamine

Back in the old days, Nic was a rather wonderful actor, if a bit of a batshit mental human being. The Oscar he won for Leaving Las Vegas was well deserved, even if it was a very difficult film to watch. However, in recent years you can more or less measure the shite content of a film by whether or not Cage is in it. He has been in some hideously shit-shite films in recent years.

But, through it all, there’s been his compellingly ugly but interesting face, the fact that he’s about as sane as a box of manic frogs and the knowledge that under the increasingly awful hammy acting there is a real talent that he’s decided to forego in favour of being the go-to mentalist for shit films.

I can’t help liking him, even when his personal life becomes almost too hard to look at and his talent fades more quickly than his ever receding hairline. So, for a change, I’m going to be nice to today’s birthday celebrator and say to the wonderfully insane Mr Cage that I hope he has a rockin’ good birthday!

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June 7th

On this day in 1977 after months of faffing about, Queen Elizabeth II officially celebrated her silver jubilee. There was loads more stuff after this day as well, but it was on June 7th that everyone was to go out into the streets, have street parties, get pissed, get off with the neighbour and drunkenly slur “Lawd luv her, she’sh a great queen, Gor blessh ‘er!” and other such patriotic bloody nonsense.

This picture makes me sad

We’ll be doing the whole thing again next year when the queen reaches her diamond jubilee (60 years on the throne) and everyone waves flags, a lot of people hang around on the Mall, bonfire beacons are lit up and down the country and some people get drunk again and whilst red in face and full of beer, wine and/or spirits, they will toast the queen before farting loudly and the quietly slipping off their chairs to lie in a drunken coma on the pavement, their carpet or in the gutter. Adultery will be committed in the name of the jubilee, if it’s a hot day there will be sunstroke and pants will be pissed. All in all, a British celebration, meant to evoke the spirit of pride and patriotism, but only managing piss and wind.

To be fair, next year’s one will be far smaller than the celebrations in 1977. For a start there are more people like me who’d quite happily see the back of the whole lot of them and then there is the lack of community spirit that our beloved St Margaret of bastard cunting Thatcher bestowed to us in the 1980s. There will be flag waving on the Mall. There will be some street parties, but there will also be a lot of taking advantage of smaller crowds in supermarkets, going abroad, sitting home and watching it on the tv but in no way getting involved with the neighbours one couldn’t pick out in a police line up if ones life depended on it.

In 1977 a worldwide audience of 500 million watched the queen smiling on a balcony with assorted misfitsmembers of her family. She

Corrie on acid

made nice speeches and there were enough people around who still remembered the war and rationing and “the good old days” to really care about what was going on. And then of course there were The Sex Pistols. They released their single God Save The Queen to coincide with the whole jubilee hullabaloo, after all Malcolm McLaren was nothing if not a PR überkind and my oh my did people seethe at the sheer effrontery. Of course rather like those who don’t like Springsteen’s Born in the USA because “it’s so patriotic and America fuck yeah“, those who hated it so much, hadn’t really listened to the lyrics. It’s not anti the queen, so much as the establishment, the government and all of us dreaming our way in a fog of apathy through our, er, “fascist regime”. To be fair, even if the haters had listened to the lyrics they’d still have hated it, but at least it would have been for the right reasons! The hand sailed along the Thames on June 7th on a barge called the Queen Elizabeth and, well who on earth would have seen that coming! had a bit of a skirmish with the police and found themselves nicked. Oh and the song was banned on the radio, but it still got to no.1 in the charts, but instead of showing it at no.1 they instead left the no.1 spot blank. Ooh, those scary punks! It was a precursor of where we were all going. A more generalised cynicism for pomp and circumstance, although with a sprinkling of sentimentality and love of tradition; a more media savvy class of celebrity (the royals themselves were soon whoring themselves out to the media like Kings Cross crack addicts) and a future that was happy to forget the hardships of the past and demand more for no other reason than they could.

Lawd luv 'er

It was also a comedy rebellion with no teeth, which pretty much sums up the sort of rebellion we British folk excel at. We can’t have revolutions because mum’s got the tea on and we don’t want to miss Coronation Street (btw, they had a special episode for the Jubilee where Annie Walker dressed up as Elizabeth I. The writers had probably taken a lot of acid before they came up with that one). But, if you insist, we will enjoy the silly fellows being a bit angry, after all it’s just a laugh.

So, that was it. I didn’t go to a street party because I didn’t want to. I’ve seen friends’ photos of events they attended. I am so glad I wasn’t tempted. It was a tragic mess of flags, appalling hair and clothing decisions, spam sandwiches and generic fizzy pop for the kiddies.

Lord luv ‘er and all who sail in ‘er.

 

Today was and is the birthday of three singers of some note. The dead one is Dean Martin and the two who are still alive are Sir Tom Jones aka Jones the Voice and Prince.

Now, taking them in order of birth, I start with a man who had a voice that was probably used to get an awful lot of women into bed, both

Dino did like a fag

by him and those who bought his records. Dino Paul Crocetti, started his showbiz career as Dino Martini and then Anglicised it to Dean Martin as he hit the clubs and sought success. He never really got girls peeing their pants and acting like lunatics in the way Frank Sinatra did, but he did have a lovely voice – pretty much modelled on Bing Crosby – and soon most people realised that he was less of a dick than Sinatra and some of them even preferred him to Sinatra. Me? I like them both vocally, but Martin’s the one I’d like to have had a drink with. Now, I know if I dig even a little deeper I can find out horrid stuff about Martin, but I don’t want to, so, you know, he sure did sing pretty and anyone with ears to hear is grateful to him for that.

Put it away, love!

Jones the Voice also sang so fine that he made laydeez throw their knickers at him. I love a lot of stuff he’s done, but what is it with his hair and that stupid bloody nose job. And wearing really tight leather trousers long past a time when anyone could have told him that an ageing  paunchy Taff showing off his meat and two veg is NOT attractive. That said, I have brilliant memories of It’s Not Unusual becoming a hit for the second time and my colleague Zac phoning up to my office to say “It’s on!”. I’d race down to the room where he was working, where they had a radio and he and I would dance like lunatics and then when it was over, get back to our work. So thank you, Thomas and I’m very glad you’ve stopped with the dye jobs. Grey hair is better on you even if it still does look like a Brillo pad.

And then there is Prince Rogers Nelson.  I love Prince. When I saw him live on the Lovesexy tour, he rendered

You sexy motherf***er. Sort of.

me nearly hysterical with, well I don’t know what. Lust, certainly, even though I don’t fancy him. Some sort of manic episode? A temporary madness? Definitely. He’s been laughed at for being a bit odd, a bit short and a bit up himself, but the thing is he is SO talented. A multi-instrumentalist (as opposed to a mentalist, although probably that too), he has written some of the best music I know. Sign o’ The Times, is one of the best albums I know and the title track sums up the eighties in one simple and compelling song. His music can make you happy, it can make you horny (4 real as Prince would write it) and every so often it can make you cry (if you don’t believe me, listen to Sometimes it Snows in April). If he doesn’t, someone else singing one of his songs might: Nothing Compares 2 u. The man was and is a genius and anyone who doesn’t at least acknowledge that he has some good tunes in him is totally wrong in the head. Happy birthday Prince! You make me happy.

 

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March 28th

On this day in 1889 there was a murder in Sweden which eventually resulted in the execution of one of those involved. Her name was Anna Månsdotter and she was the last woman to be executed in Sweden.

Anna Månsdotter, the murdering mother-in-law

The story is both pretty dull, pretty grim and pretty ugly. At the time of the murder Anna Månsdotter was 47 years old and living with her only surviving child, her son Per Nilsson and his wife Hannah Johansdotter in the small town of Yngsjö in the Southernmost tip of Sweden (or the ridiculously low hanging mutant ball sac if you look at the map of Sweden and see a cock and ball sac, which I do not). Anna’s marriage to Per’s father, Nils had not been a happy one. He was 13 years older than her and she married him expecting a comfortable or even wealthy future. She was to be disappointed. Their life was beset with poverty and debt and of the three children they had only Per, born in 1862 lived into adulthood.  Nils died in 1883 and Anna and Per lived alone until she arranged a marriage for him. Herein lies the problems that led to the murder of Hannah Johansdotter.

To put it bluntly, Anna was having a sexual relationship with her son. It’s almost certain that she arranged

Per Nilsson, the motherf**king murderer

the marriage to stop the rumours of incest that surrounded them. After the marriage had taken place Anna should have moved in with her own mother, this was the initial plan; she did not. Hannah wrote often to her father that her marriage was not  happy and that the fault for this lay with Anna. The events that led to her murder are not known, as neither Anna nor Per were forthcoming, but at the trial two theories were put forward. Either Hannah had discovered her husband and his mother in flagrante delicto and they killed her to stop her from telling their dirty little secret; or Anna’s jealousy got the better of her and she murdered her daughter-in-law with the full knowledge and support of her son. Hannah’s letters to her father could point either way. Anna was certainly jealous of her and did all she could to make life miserable for her. However, Hannah also  had a sense of things being not quite right and as they all lived at such close quarters, discovery of what wasn’t quite right was only a matter of time.

The murder itself points to the former theory. Hannah was beaten with planks of wood, then strangled by Anna, which doesn’t

indicate much in the way of planning. Once dead, Nilsson and Månsdotter dressed her and placed her at the foot of the stairs to make it look as though she had fallen to her death. They fooled no one and were arrested almost immediately. Both confessed and both were sentenced to death.

Hannah Johansdotter, two's company three is murder

Anna was beheaded on August 7th 1890, becoming the last woman to be executed in Sweden. Per’s death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment with hard labour. He was released from prison in 1913 and died in 1918. His sentence was commuted for a number of reasons. Firstly, Anna was seen as the more guilty party and the one widely thought to have committed the actual murder. Secondly, the incestuous relationship was seen to be of her making and her bidding. He was the child and therefore less guilty than the parent. Finally, as is still true today, “evil” in a woman is seen as far rarer and therefore far more heinous, as such Anna had to die and Per could be slightly forgiven for being in thrall to his mother.

So there we have it. Murder, incest and execution in Sweden, many years before Henning Mankell and Steig Larsson got in on the act! Read it and shudder just a little.

Today was the birthday of engineering superman and purger of “The Great Stink“, Sir Joseph Bazalgette.

He was born in 1811, served his engineering articles with Sir John MacNeill and was involved projects revolving around land drainage and reclamation. By 1842 he was qualified and noted enough to set up his own practice in London. Unfortunately he got a bit too stressed and harassed with his profession and ended up having a nervous breakdown. While he was recovering a London Commission on sewers decided it was time for all cesspits to be closed and something to take their place. The cesspits were closed before there was anything around to replace them and there was a big old cholera epidemic in London that killed nearly 15,000 Londoners (too few would say some, but they’d be  bit chippy and need to have a word with themselves). So, blah, blah, blah, the next thing we know is that the whole sewer building thing gets under way and Sir Joe is one of the team; the assistant surveyor.

He got to be chief engineer when his predecessor died of “harassing fatigues and anxieties” which seems to show that being an engineer in Victorian Britain was something that might lead to you going a bit Chicken Oriental.  And we know what happened next, brilliant sewers got built and it was all down to the only slightly harassed and anxious Bazalgette. It’s worth noting that the original idea behind them was that they would stop cholera by preventing “The Great Stink” or miasma that was, it was thought, causing cholera. The sewers did lead to a dramatic reduction of cholera, but not by stopping everything ponging, but by stopping shit and stuff contaminating the water supply, which as we now know was the real cause of cholera.

So, there we nearly  have it. Sir Joe was a great bunch of lads whose sewers were so brilliant that they’re still doing their thang in

Punch's representation of The Great Stink and the death it brought in its wake

London today and keeping the poo out of everyone’s water. But, for all  his wondrous disease preventing and pong destroying, there was something that Bazalgette did, albeit indirectly, that is very bad indeed. He procreated and one can hardly blame him for indulging in marital ghastliness with his fragrant (well after he’d fixed the sewers anyway) missus. But the family carried on procreating and lo his great-great grandson Peter Bazalgette was born.

While grandpa Joe delivered us from sewage and disease, Peter, or Baz as he is known, has brought it all back, to our television screens at least. Baz is the head of Endemol and so he is responsible for Big Brother (and yes I watched it, but fuck me sideways with rusty barbed wire, it was pure and utter shite), The Farm (which saw alleged David Beckham mistress, Rebecca Looes wanking a pig) and the pointless, pathetic, fucking depressing Deal or No Deal, which as well as being the most stupid programme featuring a box ever, also rehabilitated dangerous helicopter wielding shitehawk Noel Edmunds, which is a sin against all mankind. It just goes to show that no matter how good ones antecedents are, and great-great grandpa Joe was good if slightly harassed and nervous genes, one can still turn out to be a shitstain on the underpants of humanity.

Happy birthday Joe, thanks so much for getting rid of the stench, pity about your great-great grandson, but that’s life I guess.

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March 4th

On this day in 1966 a  member of a popular beat combo gave an interview to a London newspaper. In it he talked about gorilla suits and car phones. He also said “We’re more popular than Jesus.” You may think that the shit hit the fan immediately, but you’d be wrong. It appears that no one in London really gave a flying act of fornication about this comment, but four months later the remark turned up in the US and a whole heap of opprobrium ensued.

Which beardy man is your favourite?

In context Lennon – for it was he – had been talking about the fact that Christianity seemed to be on the decline, that it was disappearing. Being more popular than Jesus wasn’t a boast, it was a (probably quite factual) comment on the waning of religion and the rise of celebrity culture, especially that surrounding the Beatles, which was, by any yardstick you care to measure it with, pretty batshit mental.

In parts of the US, well let’s be more specific, in the bible belt, this out of context remark was seen as blasphemy. Some DJs put a ban on playing any Beatles records ever again. This was of course their right, but then arranging places where ex-fans could bring any Beatles records and memorabilia for burning was a tad beyond the pale. Lennon realised that things had got a bit out of hand when he heard about the scheduled Alabama Bonfire of the Vanities and apologised, not for what he said, but for how he had said it.

Some bona fide idiots have stated that it was this remark that led to the end of Beatlemania in the US, completely overlooking the fact that after August 1966 the Beatles never toured again. Granted there  were a few problems with the last US tour as officials got their knickers in a twist about religion being mocked, and there were a few empty seats, but the tour was a commercial success. The Beatles stopped playing live, not because fuckwits burned their records but because there was no point doing live shows when the audience screamed so hard that you couldn’t hear the band playing or singing.

It’s worth noting that one of the radio stations that organised a public burning of Beatles stuff, KLUE in Texas, experienced a spot of bother the day after their exhibition of utter lunacy. Their transmission tower was hit by lightning and all broadcasts screeched to a halt. It would appear that your man Jesus was a Beatles fan.

Today was the birthday of the original Jack the lad, Jack Sheppard . He was born in 1702 in Spitalfields in London to a poor family. We know they must have been poor because just about everyone in Spitalfields was. You’re probably wondering who this man you’ve never heard of was. Well, he was the model for Macheath in John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera and he was Jack the lad.

Ladies Love Cool Jack

His early life was pretty ordinary, he found himself apprenticed to a carpenter and was happily learning  his trade, but he fell into the wrong company, or maybe it was the right company, and soon his apprenticeship was behind him and he was  thief and a burglar.  That in itself is not that unusual or interesting. What brought Jack his fame was his ability to escape from imprisonment. He was first arrested on 5th February 1724. He was imprisoned on the top floor of St Giles Roundhouse and within hours he had escaped through the roof using his bedding as a rope to lower himself to the ground. He remained free until May when he was arrested again.  This time it took him a little longer to free himself as he had manacles to saw through, but within five days he was lowering himself down the walls of New prison in Clerkenwell  into the neighbouring Bridewell, where he scaled a 22ft wall and was free again.

And again? This time he was in Newgate and had received a death warrant. With a little help from a couple of female friends, he loosened a bar in the window where he got to speak to visitors, got himself through it (Sheppard was a very slight and slender man) and was then dressed in women’s clothing and smuggled out of prison. By this time, Jack was quite famous. The public loved to hear tales of his derring do and his escapes. The authorities were not quite so enamoured of him, I really can’t think why. When he was arrested and imprisoned for a fourth time, again in Newgate prison they got a bit tougher.  When warders found files and tools in his cell – the condemned cell – they were removed and he was put in another cell, one that was

Jack was also a bit of a graffiti artist. Is this Banksie finally unmasked?

even more secure than his old one. Feeling that was not enough, they clamped him in leg irons and handcuffs. While in this compromised position, Jack was visited by the great and the good who were also rather titillated by tales of his exploits. Jack treated all the same, he was polite, funny and not at all depressed by his situation. He had no need to be. A few nights after his imprisonment he freed himself from his handcuffs and escaped, still wearing his leg irons. This was his most spectacular escape of all. He broke through six locked doors, made it on to a neighbouring roof, broke into the house under that roof and made his way through it to the front door and out onto the street. All of this without waking the inhabitants.

He was only free for two more weeks. He was captured whilst utterly off his face – Jack did like a drink or several – and taken to a cell in Newgate where he was under constant scrutiny. This time he did not escape. His journey to Tyburn was like a public holiday 200,000 people accompanied the cart that was transporting him. They stopped along the way at an inn where Jack drank a pint of sherry and then finally he was upon the gallows. The hangman found a penknife with which he had been intending to cut the noose and it was taken from him. He was hanged for five minutes and then cut down. At this point the crowd surged around him to prevent the theft of his body for vivisection. This action prevented friends from getting to his body and taking him to a doctor to be revived. It’s likely he was dead already, but if there was any life in his body he would have had his most daring escape to date. Alas, his fame and popularity meant that it wasn’t to be and Jack was dead at the age of 22.

Now, far be it from me to big up a thief and a burglar, but Jack was a bit exciting and fun and for a while he really stuck it to the man and who can fail to enjoy that, even if just a little. And Jack was not violent. In his brief criminal career he never physically hurt any of his victims. He was loyal as well. If Jack had agreed to grass on his associates his death sentence would have been commuted to transportation; he refused.

So, good on you, Jack the Lad. You were a very naughty boy, but by golly you were a grand man! Happy birthday you terrible rogue!

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March 2nd

On this day in 1717 The Loves of Mars and Venus opened in London. It was the first ballet to be performed in Britain.

The ballet was created by John Weaver who was a dancer, choreographer and pantomime performer. Up until The Loves of Mars and Venus the “ballets” that had been performed in Britain contained singing and speaking. Despite getting a good reception, no one was that bothered about seeing any more ballets and the art form pretty much petered out in the UK until the 19th century. Hardly surprising, given that the performers wore masks, heavy clothes and the women pranced about in high heels. La Sylphide it was not. In fact, although dance  historians like to have a little jig of joy about this early ballet, it’s hard to know why. At this stage of the evolution of ballet the female dancers could barely move, their “prancing” about was very limited; the masks worn by all the dancers

Louis XIV giving it large in his ballet gear

meant that you might as well have been looking at a big old puppet lumping about the floor.

There is very little evidence left of Weaver’s ballet. We know that it was based on classical stories, that people quite liked it and there was no singing or speaking, but that’s it.  It wasn’t until much later in the century that the first ballet that is still performed was created. That was La Fille Mal Gardée, although to start with there wasn’t any getting up en pointe and gliding around. The first dancer to do that was Marie Taglioni in about 1822. She was also the first dancer to perform in something akin to the modern tutu. She did not dance The Loves of Mars and Venus because she thought it was shit and she didn’t want to hide her face behind a mask.

Before we leave the hallowed world of skinny bints and men whose padding gives the impression of a mighty large package, I should tell you that before ballet got professional and really rather good, people like Louis XIV would get up and prance around in ballets. If anyone was fool enough to tell the Sun King that his performance was a bit flat he would hand them over to Mazarin, who had learned how to be a really good torturer and henchman under Cardinal Richelieu.

Although the ballet  has not been performed or thought about for nearly 300 years, it is understood that some idiot told John Gray about it and told him he should write a book about it. We all know what happened next.

Today is not the birthday of

Sam I-Am,

So no mention of green eggs and ham.

But Dr Seuss today was born

He had no teeth so could not eat corn

Dr Seuss liked hunting for strange imaginary creatures

But he  soon knew how to rhyme

And that he did all  of the time

He saw a cat

He saw a hat

We all know what happened  after that.

He then had an idea about a Grinch

Who stood far higher than an inch

And stole a special  holiday

A particularly jolly day

He liked to write  exciting stories

Wasn’t bothered by  silly glories.

He was a most admired chap

He would never give  you the clap

So send some happy cheer his way

On this his very special day

Be glad, be funny and be gay

And all that merry type of stuff

And as a final by the way

Old Seuss did really love the muff

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February 8th

On this day in 1750 there was a minor earthquake in London. In fact it was so minor it was almost micro. It measured 2.6 on the Richter scale, although at the time nobody knew that because Charles Richter had not yet invented his earthquake measuring system.

The Bishop of London was a secret transvestite

An earthquake of the magnitude (or microtude) is the sort that gets measured but not necessarily felt by that many people; in short as earthquakes go, it was a bit rubbish. However, some people must have felt it because exactly a month later on March 8th there was another one – a little stronger this time at 3.1, but still pretty shit – and then all of a sudden Londoners got all scared and “Ooh, bugger me sideways, what’s going to happen on April 8th!” The answer to this was: not a lot, but there was no telling the panicked populace that.

Of course, wherever there is panic you will find people who are happy to take advantage of it. In this instance, it was the Bishop of London who jumped into his pulpit at St Paul’s  and started getting all “God is angry with us! You’re all depraved and he is trying to smite you for your sin and reading that book what that Henry Fielding wrote what is called Tom Jones!” During these fulminations he spat a lot and got very red in the face, the better to show he was a bit cross. Many in the congregation were much in awe of his rhetoric, but there were some voices of dissent. It is reported that a learned fellow from Bishopsgate confronted the bishop with a question thus: “Your Grace, while I may accept some of thine imprecations on the general populace, I do find myself wondering why thou dost mention Tom Jones, when as any learned chap dost know, there were no earthquakes in 1722 when Moll Flanders was first read by the good people of London and the

Enlivened by his own sermon, the bishop wrote an imaginatively titled pamphlet

heroine of that story was a known short-heeled wench! Also, it doth also seem passing strange that our Lord and Father has sent upon us such piddling tremors if he is really as angry as all that. I do believe that the Gentleman’s Magazine hast got it right when they sayeth that yon tremors were more than likely the result of subterranean waters cutting new courses!”

The Bishop of London then thundered so hard, that the people in the front row of the congregation felt the earth move far more than they had during either of the two earthquakes. “Shut up!” he shouted, “What do you know about the ways of our Heavenly Father, young scamp!  For did not an angel visit a cobbler from Carnaby Market and tell him that the world would end on 8th April. You’ll be laughing on the other side of your face then. Ha!” It is thought that the learned young gentleman then protested that if the world did indeed end, he wouldn’t have a face to smile on the other side of, before being ejected from the cathedral by some burly rectors.

As it happened, a lot of people left London and went to Slough – thus turning it into the place that in later years John Betjeman wished friendly bombs on – and others slept out on hills on April 8th, though how they thought this would save them from the end of the world is not at all clear. Some of them were so stupid, that they did this for months to come on the 8th of each successive month, before going back to drinking shed-loads of gin and getting up to all sorts of jiggery-pokery in the streets and alleyways of London. The Bishop of London met his end eleven years later, in the manner of Elvis Presley.

Today is the birthday of tit grabber and alleged style guru Trinny Woodall, who found fame with Susannah Constantine (an ex-

Noted "style maven" and exuberant lip-pumper, Trinny Woodall

fiancée of a minor royal) by telling women “what not to wear”. Their fame continued for a number of years, despite the fact that they more or less put all the women in their show in the same clothes and spent far too long squeezing the tits and arses of their vapid victims. As their fame has waned, Trinny has had cosmetic surgery to give her lips that just punched in the face look and hung various hideous frocks on her increasingly skeletal frame. Still, one shouldn’t be overly mean to the poor woman. She’s hardly the only celebrity to do strange things to her face and wearing the wrong frock every now and then isn’t a crime – unless of course you’re one of the poor bitches she laid into on her show for not knowing that “sallow women should not wear that shade and why is it below your knee making your legs looks like tree trunks!”, so pax and all that. Happy birthday, Lippy Trinny! You don’t look a day over 58 48!

 

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