Category Archives: Chat from the author

John Conteh … boxing clever

John Conteh … boxing clever

John Conteh was born on 27 May 1951. He is a British former professional boxer who competed from 1971 to 1980. He held multiple light-heavyweight championships, including the WBC title from 1974 to 1978; and the European, British, and Commonwealth titles between 1973 and 1974.

Conteh was one of the celebrities featured dressed in prison gear on the cover of the 1973 Wings album, Band on the Run. He was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1974. He also has the distinction of being British Superstars competition champion in 1974, the second year of the televised sporting event. Conteh is now an after-dinner speaker and speaks at venues all across the country.

9th December 1974: American heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali with British champion John Conteh. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

Hotel Sahara (1951)

Hotel Sahara (1951)

Hotel Sahara is a 1951 British war comedy starring Yvonne De Carlo, Peter Ustinov and David Tomlinson.

In WW2, desert hotel proprietors Emad and Yasmin are caught between the warring armies and have to constantly shift their political allegiance to whichever army happens to control the area.

Inside my head …

Inside my head …

I had an MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) scan the other day. It was actually quite relaxing in a weird sort of a way, confined in a narrow tube with magnets whirring and buzzing away all round. Reminded me of the noises you get on an arcade pinball machine. It was a busy little miracle building up images of the inside of my head.

The whole process took about twenty minutes. Lying there, I brought to mind so many things. Summer days and starry nights. Butterflies and the cats we looked after on Corfu. Things going on at the edge of the universe. My wife. My children. Songs & poetry. All sorts of stuff. I wanted that scanner to see beautiful things … just in case it had to see something not so beautiful.

 

Beaches …

Beaches …

This is a picture of me, (The Anonymous Majority), circa 1955 building sand castles on a beach with my Mum. I suspect I may well have been attempting to draw her attention to a nearby ice-cream vendor. This splendid photograph was taken by my Dad with his Brownie 127 camera at a setting of Gas mark 3.

This second glorious snapshot is of me on a nice pebble beach this time. We were staying in one of the caravans you can spot lurking suspiciously in the background. I think that the object on my immediate right is the crumpled remains of my parachute. Hence the first rule of skydiving : Always eat a banana immediately after landing.

Anyone fancy some Sugar Corn Pops ?

Anyone fancy some Sugar Corn Pops ?

Corn Pops is a puffed grain breakfast cereal made by Kellogg’s, described by the company as “crunchy sweetened popped-up corn cereal.” The cereal was introduced in 1950 as Corn Pops.

 In 1951, the name was changed to Sugar Corn Pops and later it was called Sugar Pops. It was the sponsor for “The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickock” radio and television show. Guy Madison, the star of the show, appeared on the box from 1951 to 1958. It also carried the tagline “Shot with sugar!” The name was changed to Sugar Corn Pops in 1978, and finally to Corn Pops in 1984, a time when many cereals dropped the word “Sugar” from their titles for marketing reasons. In January 2006, the name of the cereal was changed to Pops, but after a few months of poor reception, was changed back to Corn Pops.

The Old Man and the Sea … 1951

The Old Man and the Sea … 1951

 

The Old Man and the Sea is a short novel written by the American author Ernest Hemingway in 1951 in Bimini, Bahamas, and published in 1952. It was the last major work of fiction by Hemingway that was published during his lifetime. One of his most famous works, it tells the story of Santiago, an aging Cuban fisherman who struggles with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream off the coast of Florida.

The Old Man and the Sea, published in its entirety in one edition of Life magazine, was an instant success. In two days the September 1st edition of Life sold 5,300,000 copies and the book version sold 153,000. The novella soared to the top of the best-seller list and remained there for six months. Critical reception was warm. Many hailed it as Hemingway’s best work, and no less than William Faulkner said, “Time may show it to be the best single piece of any of us, I mean his and my contemporaries.”

In 1953, The Old Man and the Sea was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and it was cited by the Nobel Committee as contributing to their awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Hemingway in 1954.

Cheers Kirstie …

Cheers Kirstie …

Kirstie Alley was born on January 12, 1951). She is an American actress and comedian. Her big break came in 1982 playing Lieutenant JG Saavik in the science fiction film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Alley is best known for her role as Rebecca Howe on the NBC sitcom Cheers, in which she starred from 1987 to 1993, winning an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award as the “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series” in 1991. She also has starred in number of movies, include Summer School (1987), Shoot to Kill (1988), Look Who’s Talking (1989) and its two sequels, Sibling Rivalry (1990), It Takes Two (1995), Deconstructing Harry (1997), and Drop-Dead Gorgeous (1999). She received her second Emmy for David’s Mother as the “Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie”.

From 1997 to 2000, she starred as leading character on the NBC sitcom Veronica’s Closet, for which she received additional Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominations. In 2000s, Alley has appeared in reality shows revolving around her life. In 2013, she returned to acting with title role on the short-lived TV Land sitcom Kirstie, and in 2016 joined the second season of the Fox horror-comedy Scream Queens playing Ingrid Hoffel.