Wine songs: “Wine, Wine, Wine” by The Nightcaps

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Here’s a bit of fun from the say-uff of the USA.

I haven’t been able to discover how and why a white Texas blues band wrote a song called “Wine, Wine, Wine” – Dallas was hardly a vinous destination in the 1960s. The southern accents render the song as “wahn, wahn, wahn”, which is not dissimilar to the Sarf London pronunciation – “i” sounded as “aah”.

The Nightcaps were popular locally but never nationally or internationally. “Wine, Wine, Wine” was a hit in Texas and nowhere else. “Thunderbird” was their other hit and was covered by fellow Texans ZZ Top on their 1975 album Fandango! Later a copyright infringement case was brought by The Nightcaps but it turned out that they didn’t have the copyright on “Thunderbird” – ZZ Top did…

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On and off the field in Portugal with Sir Henry Leveson Gower

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Recently I read Sir Henry Leveson Gower’s autobiography On and Off the Field.

00036481-1200x1445Leveson Gower – pronounced “Loosen Gore” (and not hyphenated), which confuses everybody and not just Americans – was captain of Surrey 1908-10 and had a long association with the club. I borrowed the book from The Oval’s library, a 1953 first edition with a Surrey County Cricket Club stamp on the inside cover dated 22 May 1953. It’s possible that it was presented to the club by the author himself.

Chapter 23 is devoted to a tour to Portugal in April 1934. Sir Henry wrote, “The cricket in Portugal was quite good, and gave much pleasure to all of us who played as well as to the spectators. But we found many other interests in the country as well, especially in historical Oporto area where the worlds best port wines are produced. Under a treaty of 1916 with Portugal, the United Kingdom only admits as port the wine actually shipped over the bar at Oporto.”

3273352_origHe also describes a visit to the Factory House, a private club in Porto with a strong British influence, not least the Port shippers and families with British origins such as Cockburn, Croft, Taylor-Fladgate, Forrester, Graham, Sandeman, Symington, and Warre. “It is a world of its own without parallel anywhere”, wrote Sir Henry, “and I hope it will always remain so and be kept sacrosanct in a foreign land as a token of something which has meant much to Britain and Britishers of the past great days.”

In a book that is very much of its time and of its author’s social status, full of stories about how wonderful Winchester and Oxford were in the 1890s and what a nice chap and cricketer the Hon so and so was, there are two excellent comic stories.

At the Scarborough festival one year, a strong gust of wind blew away not just a hat but also the wig of a distinguished lady visitor, which was chased across the playing field by a butler, carrying a silver salver in order to return the missing objects to their owner.

At another Scarborough festival Leveson Gower had to present some prizes at a show that was given in a park near the cricket ground. One event had been won by a lady and her prize was a pair of hairbrushes. As he presented the prize he said, “I hope you will find this gift of hairbrushes more useful than it would be to me”, alluding to his own baldness. A colleague quickly and discreetly pointed out that the lady wore a wig.

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PROJECT FRONT FOOT: OCTOBER NEWSLETTER.

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A message from my friend Vic Mills at Project Front Foot:

“Hi Stuart,

More tales from the not so far pavilions with PFF’s October newsletter. A slightly earlier than usual edition due to next week’s flight to Mumbai.

The plan during November is to provide, as near as possible, daily Facebook pictures and postings of the project at work. To follow PFF’s progress simply click on www.facebook.com/projectfrontfoot/

A busy month in prospect, then, but no more so than October which had its fair share of mayhem, intrigue, and opportunity.

Cheers

Vic”

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Wine songs: “Bordeaux Rosé” by Claude François

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Herewith the first in an occasional series dedicated to wine-themed songs.

Claude François wrote and composed “Comme d’habitude”, which was the source of the tune for “My Way.”

A very 1970s and very French performance of his song “Bordeaux Rosé” can be seen here.

I think that Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux (CIVB) could use this to sell more of their pink wines…

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Project Front Foot: Take it away boys…

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A message from my friend Vic Mills:

“We were pretty happy here at Project Front Foot when we managed to get a sea passage for the bulk of this summer’s donated kit. So much so in fact that we wanted to sing and dance about it. Ok – so the venture may not be all calm seas and container heaven, but we’re happy to give it a go. To mark this momentous occasion, we found a couple of matelots who seemed to have their finger on our front foot feelings. Take it away boys…”

Jatt Mele a Gya || Maritime Bhangra Group || Bhangra at Peggy’s Cove Halifax, NS, Canada

 

 

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Project Front Foot September Newsletter

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A message from my friend Vic Mills, who has just published Project Front Foot’s September Newsletter:

“Hi Stuart,

We swap the far pavilions this month for matters a tad closer home with the September Sort & Pack Special.

The busiest month in the project calendar saw half a ton of donated kit made ready for its journey to Mumbai by sea and air.

Along the way we added another term – “palletised” – to the project lexicon. Believe me, by the month’s end the kit and I were well and truly palletised!

Cheers

Vic”

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Project Front Foot: August Newsletter

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A message from my friend Vic Mills:

“More tales from the far (and not so far) pavilions with the PFF August newsletter. A busy month that saw us join forces with Old Trafford and the Lancashire CCC Foundation and undertake kit collections in Bradford, Derby, Nottingham and Manchester. I’m a tad earlier than usual with the newsletter as September is set to be even busier with Mumbai, although not until the end of October, fast looming.

Cheers

Vic”

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Project Front Foot: July Newsletter

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A message from my friend Vic Mills:

“Hi Stuart,

More tales from the far pavilions with the Project Front Foot July Newsletter.

With Mumbai currently awash with all things monsoonal, we concentrate on events in the UK where our work is fast approaching the business end.

I’m delighted to report that, in a project first, we’ll be taking the bulk of our kit to Mumbai this autumn by container ship. And, in the first of a two-part special, we take a look at some of the images that made PFF VII our most successful season yet.

Cheers

Vic”

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My TLS review of Simon Barnes’ “Losing It” published

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The title of Simon Barnes’s de facto autobiography is slightly misleading. As good (and immodest) a writer as he is, this book reveals that he’s not a great sportsman. But his lament about being a failure at sport is what makes him such an effective sportswriter.

Barnes understands and appreciates greatness when he sees it, even more so because he was, as he puts it, “a trifle short on natural talent”.

The full review can be seen here.

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Dinosaur food in Vauxhall

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Having lived most of the past 11 years in sunny SW8, I was pleased to discover recently that Vauxhall is home to a couple of Ginkgo trees, which have survived on Earth for at least 240 million years, since before the dinosaurs. 

Ginkgo’s longevity is due to its ability to survive the most hostile of environments, including whatever wiped out the dinosaurs, and – in the case of a tree in Nagasaki, Japan – an atomic bomb blast.

fentimangingko

 

 

 

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