Seasons Greetings

Dec 1, 2022

The old songs are the best songs and surface every year like the handful of xmas tree baubles that have survived since I was a child.

Hear here

Lava Lamp

Dec 1, 2022

I first recall seeing a Lava Lamp on TV (perhaps in the Prisoner or even Tomorrow’s World) when I was a child in the 1960s. The original manufacturer was Crestwood and they continue to manufacture them in the UK today although at some point they changed their name to Mathmos.  I assume this is in homage to the Barbarella film. Mathmos was a bubbling lake of lava underneath the city of Sogo.

These things were never particularly eco friendly regarding the amount of electricity used as they need a regular lightbulb to heat up the mysterious goo stuff that floats about inside. Energy-saving lamps don’t generate enough (any) heat to make the goo move. Current Lava Lamps use 35w GU10 Halogen lamps or 80w R7 linear Halogen lamps in the case of the 3ft tall version. 

The Lava Lamp was invented by Edward Craven Walker and first produced circa 1963. You can still get ones that look very similar to the original Astro for £85 each. I toyed with the idea of purchasing a giant 6 foot tall Lava Lamp called a Saturn but couldn’t really justify £2500 for what is really just a novelty. I might treat myself to a 3 foot tall one for £375. It can be screwed down to the floor to prevent potential accidents. The small print says not to leave them on for more than 6 hours at a time. They can take 30 minutes or more to “warm up”. There are now dozens of different models to choose from in a variety of sizes and colours. You can even buy candle-powered Lava Lamps. Dunno how long they must take to “warm up”?!?

Mr Walker sounds like he was a larger-that-life kind of guy. He sometimes drove around in a Fire Engine and was a comitted Naturist in his spare time.

PS: I have now unearthed my Lava Lamp. Purchased at least 25 years ago. Last switched on perhaps 24 years ago. It took three hours to warm up until it began performing as it ought to. The glass container is actually a bottle, carefully disguised by the spaceship nose cone. The bottle top warns not to drink the contents.

Nuff Said 77

Dec 1, 2022

The life story of the Queen in pictures…well up to and including her Coronation anyway. In the first half of the 1950s Thorpe and Porter imported loads of soft porn magazines and SF pulps from the US to sell here in the UK. They also published Black and White versions of a handful of Avon and EC Horror comics which didn’t go down too well with various organizations here who didn’t want the growing trend “teenage delinquents” to be imported from the States to the UK. I never saw a direct connection between Horror comics and teenage misdemeanours myself.

Anyway, perhaps to balance things out Thorpe and Porter got involved with the Distribution of Classics Illustrated comics, comic strip versions of Bible stories and this book about Elizabeth 11.

Joan the Wad

Nov 1, 2022

The odd Jobremus Bojeffries along with his even odder extended family lived for decades in (unpaid) rented accommodation in Northampton. Their saga unfolded in a number of random publications in the 1980s. Eventually all the printed material was collected into one book. I just want to mention a single panel that may have confused readers not based in the UK.

Joan the Wad was the Queen of the Cornish Pixies and tiny metal (sometimes silver) likenesses were (still are I suppose) sold as lucky charms. Adverts appeared profusely in magazines and comics, particularly during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.

Broken Peach

Nov 1, 2022

If you’d like to read the whole of Superman World Adventure Library No2 then I’ve put it over on the right into its own page.

Nuff Said 76

Nov 1, 2022

A good version of a great song. But Linda’s vocal can’t match the Everly’s harmonies.

And of course the above was a cover version of one of their own songs released as a single a decade earlier.

Half a Million

Oct 1, 2022

Yes, unbelievable but true. Any day now this humble blog will welcome it’s 500,000th view. Although to put things into perspective it has taken 14 years to reach that figure. Still half a million views by 86,000 visitors across 950 posts is an achievement of sorts. So to visitors old and new, even if you arrived here by accident…thankyou.

This reached No 28 in the UK charts in 1967. It sounds like and they look like it could have been recorded a decade earlier. It’s still a fab song. “sweeten my coffee with a morning kiss” is a great line. (The song was written by John D. Loudermilk).