Crabbiness, Crabbiness, the Greatest Gift that I Possess

Comedians by and large used to be terribly happy people. Tony Hancock excepted, they usually presented as cheery, cheeky chappies whose life was one long laugh. Ken Dodd even went so far as to sing about it; Happiness was one of his favourites. Of course underneath the smile there was often a life of depression, as Robin Williams sadly demonstrated. Nowadays comedians are generally more real, more cynical, even dystopian – and now I can’t remember where I was going with this, except to mention how exceptionally crabby I was yesterday. There’s only so much sleep deprivation a body can take and like Popeye I went around muttering that’s all I can stands, I cain’t stands no more! Sadly spinach did not do the trick so if anyone came near I’d growl at them – and were they rash enough to attempt conversation I’d snap: ‘Back off! I’m feeling really crabby!’ Thankfully crabbiness doesn’t last all day and by the afternoon with a sizable nap under my belt I was merely feeling exhausted. I’m happy to report that last night was better.

While we’re talking about happy songs, though I can’t stand the Ken Dodd one I do like this:

I didn’t get much work done yesterday as the brain simply refused to function so in the afternoon I turned instead to knitting. My latest project is a jumper in twiddly wool, by which I mean it has lots of colours woven into the thread and comes out a sort of variegated autumnal mix. I’m liking it very much, though you have to pay attention when you’re knitting otherwise the fibres tend to separate. I’ll post some pics when it’s done.

It has often occurred to me that wool and knitting are potent metaphors, both to use in poetry and as metaphors for the poetic process itself. I’ve written poems about the yarn-bombing (though we didn’t call it that then) at Greenham Common, and using knitting as a metaphor for life – and it’s like poetry in that you’re creating a pattern: poetry has lines, knitting has rows; they both have different stitches, they both add up. Besides, there’s something meditative about the process: in-round-through-and-off, in-round-through-and-off, knit one, purl one, drop one… and you can do it while watching TV.

Speaking of which, we tuned in for the first episode of the much-trailed Doctor Foster spin-off, Life, starring Alison Steadman. So far it looks highly intriguing.

Doddy and the Old Grey Good Old Grey Good Old Days

Ken Dodd Pictures, Photos & Images - Zimbio

(image will be removed upon request)

You know how Billy Connelly once suggested replacing the National Anthem with the Archer’s theme tune?

Well, since today’s news has struck of the death of Ken Dodd, I propose the following update to the words:

God save our gracious Dodd

long live our noble Dodd

God save the Ken.

Send him hilarious

tattifalarious

long to remain with us

God save the Ken.

Because, let’s face it, Doddy  is like her Madge.  They both go on and on for ever; they are both corny but inoffensive and they are both National Treasures.  Doddy and his fluffy stick tickled the nation for decades; so long in fact that one of the first links on youtube was to an appearance on the Old Grey – hang on, no – the Good Old Days.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Good_Old_Days_(UK_TV_series)

The GOD (interesting acronym) was a series which ran for almost as long as Doddy (1953-1983) and was basically Music Hall on TV.  People dressed up in Victorian gear – all boas, corsets and crinolines – and crowded into an old-fashioned theatre to watch a variety of Acts, of which Doddy was one.

He’s about 34 minutes in:

He had his own show on TV for years, as well as performing live (where he was reportedly more risque) and amassing a fortune of millions.

This got him into trouble at one stage when he was tried on suspicion of tax fraud; however he was acquitted, giving rise to a rash of jokes from other comics about Ken Dodd’s lawyer:

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/11926587.Court_breaks_out_in_cheers_as_tax_case_jury_frees_Dodd/

RIP Doddy, your fans will miss you

Kirk out

 

 

Ken Doddery

I never was much of a Ken Dodd fan, but you’ve got to take your hat off to the guy.  He’s in his eighties now and still performing, still touring and even giving Celebrity Mastermind a go.  He still has all that (electric) shock of hair, though it must be dyed: they’ve managed to catch him looking totally ga-ga here but he did quite well in the quiz.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04wtrs2/celebrity-mastermind-20142015-episode-2

The only woman contender (they always use the word ‘contender’ on MM, rather than ‘competitor’; I guess it gives the thing more gravitas) was a bobsleigh athlete who really should have stuck to her field (or slope) of expertise; instead she got baffled by the sheer vastness of Ambridge from 2002 onwards.  Here’s a question they should have asked:

Why the hell did the BBC appoint the editor from hell (sorry, Eastenders) to control The Archers?

She was also very slow in answering questions, which made me wonder whether people who practise super-fast sports make up for it by being super-slow in real life.

I always count the number of general knowledge questions I get right.  It’s usually between six and nine, though it does depend on how fast the competitor (or contender) answers.  Too fast, and I don’t get a look-in; too slow and I don’t get a shot at enough questions.  I really must write in and ask them to fix that.

Holly is due home today, so sanity will return to the house.  In the meantime, I shall be starting on the radio play I’m writing for the Beeb.  They have a drama window coming up in the autumn and so I’ll be working on something about Mark’s trans stuff.  I think I’ll call it ‘Lost in Transition’…

Kirk out

PS  I heard another noxious compound verb this morning: ‘to risk-assess’.

Ugh!