Tuesday, November 24, 2020

ROBBLOG #861- Traditions


Traditions are a part of Christmas and the Holiday Season. It's what I look forward to more than anything else. 
Yes, the gifts are nice. 
The music is nice. 
The decorations are nice but traditions...

Tonight The Mister and I completed a Holiday Tradition.
We watched "Love Actually"- the Movie for probably the 20th time. The movie was released in 2003 to little acclaim but every year since we have taken the time- early in the season because that movie starts about 4 weeks before Christmas, to watch and be merry.

It has some good laughs yet some very touching bits too.
The scene with Andrew Lincoln- long before Zombies ruled his life, flashing those Cue Cards at Kiera Knightly.

When Hugh Grant- as the Prime Minister, dances through his private apartment much to delight of one of his secretaries catching him unaware.
I remember Mr. Grant in an interview saying he was embarrassed by the scene because he said he was frightfully bad at dancing. Nonetheless, it was like watching an elf "get jiggy with it".

The Scene where Colin Firth goes to Provence to ask Aurelia- Lucia Moniz, to marry him and on Christmas Eve no less. Sighs and tears every year when he does.

    Selfridges Department Store on Oxford Street, London

Of course, Rowan Atkinson as the man behind the jewellery counter at Selfridges on London's Oxford Street was so memorable.
His attention to detail is what one would expect at Selfridges.
Completely over the top. The prices are too.
I love shopping at Selfridges every December and would be there again this year if it were not for Covid. I like to walk through the department where the movie scene was filmed with the Cartier Store in the background. If you want to tour Selfridges- owned by Canada's Weston Family, just search for Selfridges Oxford Street London UK. You can order online for Christmas too and they'll send it to you.

If you go in person, take the time to have Afternoon Tea in the Cafe named after the sisters who had a real life dalliance Mr. Selfridge.
Maybe one.
Maybe both of the Dolly Sisters.
Who knows.

Anyhoo, I love watching this movie with The Mister
It's fun.

After you've looked online at Selfridges Christmas website, take a moment to google "Oxford Street Christmas Walk 2020". Look for the walk that is about an hour and a half long. If you've never been to London- especially at Christmas, it'll feel like you've been there.
If you have been along, Oxford Street, New Bond Street, St. James, Regent Street and Piccadilly, it'll being back fond memories and it won't cost you a ticket or a hotel stay.

London at Christmas.
There are no words... 

           Regent Street, London, at Christmas         

Saturday, November 14, 2020

ROBBLOG #860 A Fresh Start


Well My Darlings, it has come to pass.

The Mister and I have started a new life- again.
We couldn't be happier.
I've had a lot of sadness and a feeling of being displaced over the past three years. It was not easy assimilating into a new province. It was not easy moving across the country- although we knew it was the right thing to do. There have been many happy times since coming onto this island and we've met some fabba-luss people too. We've also met a few people who showed their true stripes along the way. That's not exclusive to this Island, that happened in Ontario too and Gawd knows I am NOT a perfect representative of a "perfect human being".
I try.
We all try...

You know there's that old saying that some folks stay with you for your entire life while others drop in for a short while and leave. It's happened to me before and I am sure it has happened to most people. You just have to keep your eyes on the ball. Look to the road ahead. Some people never change and they don't want to change. It's why their lives are a drudgery but you know that's their problem. We each have to sort our lives out and live the life we were born to live.

So kids, after a trio of years of ups and downs we have finally landed on our two feet atop a mountain in the Cowichan on Vancouver Island. Living up here feels very much like our life back on Ontario.
A good distance between houses.
A proper street.
People walking by pausing briefly to say hello.
Just living life and it's wonderful.
It truly is wonderful.
I haven't felt this satisfied being at home feeling in a long while.

The move was fairly easy. We packed a bunch ourselves. Box after box- and this after downsizing from Ontario. We hired a truck. Friends helped for a couple of days. I felt like Noah on the Ark. We were rushing to take one box of every kind while there were those that stood and stared not knowing that the rains would come- eventually.

Then, one day the moving boys came and packed up the big stuff and placed it gently in our new home all within four and a half hours. We had closed the door to recent memories and sailed away. Of course, the putting away and sorting through stuff took a while longer but basically a week later we were heaving a huge sigh of relief that we had put down new roots.

Let me tell you the views atop this mountain are beyond spectacular. Some mornings the cloud cover hangs over the valley and you wouldn't even know that there are green spaces and people living beneath. A couple of mountains have snow on them now.
It is quite pretty and really as close to snow as I need or want to be.
We have walking trails galore in every direction and we are making good use of them. Again, the views are never ending and sometimes you just have to stop and look and take it all in.
It's life-changing.

So now that we're settled- what's next?
Well, even with all the turmoil of the move I managed to get Starlite and The Island's Golden Classics on Swisssh back on the air. As a matter of fact, both online stations started playing all Christmas Music just yesterday and as usual the listenership is solid.
I am glad of that.

Today, I am mulling putting up the outdoor lights and maybe next week I'll start to decorate the big inside tree. 

More than ever, I think we all need a little Christmas and there's no hard and fast rules of when it can start. You are your own liquor control board as a friend used to say.

So, put a little joy in your life, get out the twinkle and bling and be happy.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

ROBBLOG #859- Old Time Radio


When I was but a child- an older child of 20 or so, I started my career in Radio.

It was a long time ago but recently I was thinking about the early years. I was wet behind the ears but excited at the opportunity to work my magic behind a "live" microphone. I had been second in my class at Broadcasting School only to be beaten by Chris Wilson.
He was good, had a real smooth voice and one of the best moustaches I had seen-ever.
I think I actually heard him on radio years ago down around St. Catharines or maybe it was Toronto.

I never thought I had the best voice ever for radio but I thought I was sincere on air and always remembered to image I was speaking to just one person when that mic switched on. 
Usually in the first few years of my broadcasting career, I worked the six to midnight shift and a couple of times midnight to 530.
That's how a new radio person learned the ropes.

Back in the early 1970's it was usually all guys on air.
Maybe Betty Kennedy in Toronto on CFRB but in the stations where I worked there was never a female voice on air until early 1980 when Sharon Edwards started working at CHAY FM in Central Ontario.
A few times over the years a gal would do a commercial voice but other than that- nothing.
As a kid I do remember Auntie Marg on CFOR in Orillia. She also did a "Woman's Programme"- as it was known in those days. 
You know- recipes and such.
Woman's stuff!

Basically though, it was just the men.
Working nights at a couple of stations I saw a lot.
I mean- A LOT!
A lot of men doing things that they shouldn't be doing and expecting me to me a "man-pal" and say nothing about what I saw.

Most radio stations seemed to have a couch in the Manager's Office.
"How cozy and comfortable"- I thought.
In those days I seem to remember that ladies were supposed to have a "couch" somewhere at work where they could lay down if their Aunt from Red Bay came visiting.
I soon found out that the couch in the "Manager's" Orifice...
Sorry, I mean office, performed other duties.
Smut for instance.
Oh my Gawd, Shirley Feeney would be shocked.

One night I remember walking from the studio- where I was on air, down a short hall towards the newsroom. As I reached the stairs that went down to the front door and the street, I saw our news director coming up the stairs with a lady who had a pair of the biggest bazooms I had ever seen.
Keep in mind I was not interested in big bazooms at the time and in fact I am still not interested today.
You can imagine just how large this twosome was to grab my attention!
The lady of which I speak was not the news director's wife.

I didn't care.
I much preferred the news director as far as eye-candy goes. Once I had seen him in a tiny-ish bathing suite at a local beach.
Oh my, oh my but he was pretty.
Some summer evenings he would walk into the studio shirtless with little drops of perspiration hanging from a few thick, wiry, blonde chest hairs.
Oh. My. Dear.

He'd ask how were things.
Shoot the breeze.
Did I want a cold drink or coffee from Tim Hortons or something.
All the while wearing nothing but very tight shorts and flip flops with one muscular arm reaching up to grab the top of the studio door practically handing off of it while he conversed with me.
That was the 70's.
My! Is it hot in here or is it just me.

At another station, one time I saw the morning man come into the station absolutely polluted with a young lady on his arm. That's back in a time when drinking and driving was encouraged!

"I jusht came in fer slumshing in the offish upshtairs"- he would say from a partially open studio door spraying rum-spit across the counter where my records sat piled up in order of their upcoming play.

"Yah. Okay."-I'd say. "Kinda busy here."

"Oh. Slorry. I'll jusht nip upshtairs then...Oh you never sleen me- right?"- At least it sounded something like that.

"Oh right."- I'd say holding my breath from the smell of booze and loose women.
The little lady stood outside the glass wall to my right smiling with lipstick smeared across her cheek and hair tussled and askew.

I believe those couches got quite the workout over the years.
I never personally sat on them- if I could help it, when in the Manager's office.
I also never had a workout on a manager's couch but I do remember one young, well-built radio fellah and one hot, sultry summer afternoon but I'll leave that for another time.

You know, to this very day, I blame what never happened on a manager's couch on a hot, sultry summer afternoon on a Michael Bolton song.
Michael was strictly a girl-thing and came on the radio that afternoon at a most inopportune time.
Now Tom Jones. 
There was a man's man who got one's juices flowing!

There were various other bits of traffic that passed me by in the evenings or overnight hours. The stories I have just told you were a compilation of events that happened.

If I told all the stories or told them as they really happened, I'd have to place a "Smut" warning at the top of this RobBlog.