Category Archives: Chat from the author

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.

Appointment with Venus (1951)

Appointment with Venus (1951)


Appointment with Venus is a 1951 film starring David Niven and Glynis Johns. The film was based on the evacuation of Alderney cattle from the Channel Islands during World War II.

In 1940, after the fall of France, the fictitious Channel Island of Armorel is occupied by a small garrison of German troops under the benign command of Hauptmann Weiss (George Coulouris). He finds that the hereditary ruler, the Suzerain, is away in the British army, leaving the Provost in charge.


Back in London, the Ministry of Agriculture realise that during the evacuation of the island, Venus, a prize pedigree cow, has been left behind. They petition the War Office to do something urgently due to the value of the cow’s bloodline, and Major Morland (David Niven), is assigned the task of rescuing Venus. When he realises that the Suzerain’s sister, Nicola Fallaize (Glynis Johns) is in Wales, serving as an Auxiliary Territorial Service army cook, she is quickly posted to the War Office and the two, with a radio operator sergeant and a Channel Islander naval officer who knows the local waters, are landed on the island.


They contact the Provost and discover that the Hauptmann, a cattle breeder in civilian life, is about to have the cow shipped to Germany. In a race against the Germans discovering their presence, they spirit the cow onto a beach and via a special craft, onto a Royal Navy Motor Torpedo Boat which takes them to Britain, though they are pursued by a German E-boat.

Smoke Screens and Wild Women …

Smoke Screens and Wild Women …

I was never all that much of a smoker during my adolescence. Like most teenagers though, I was heavily influenced by pop culture and advertising. 


I saw an advert for Gauloises cigarettes in a French magazine called Paris Match.


It also frequently carried photographs of a beautiful French singer called Francoise Hardy.


Logic dictated that if I smoked French cigarettes, Francoise would get to hear about it and seek me out. It was certainly worth a try. Anyway, to cut a long story short, she lost her chance after a couple of packets.

I went through a phase of trying to roll my own cigarettes …


My friend Wilf could roll a cigarette with one hand. They were bloody works of art. He was a veritable magnet to wild women who liked to drink pints and beat you at arm-wrestling. On Wilfless days I had to resort to using a roll up machine. It wasn’t cool. I felt so ashamed.


What I needed was something a bit classy. This came in the form of Passing Clouds. These were elegant and sophisticated oval-shaped cigarettes which came in a glorious pink packet.


They cost 7/6 for 20. I was working weekends as a shelf stacker in Sainsburys at the time and only got paid £1 a day. So 7/6 was very expensive. But sophisticaltion came at a price and it came in the glorious form of  Marilyn who worked on the cheese counter. She could do things with cheddar that would make your eyes water. She smoked Capstan full strength and had tattoos and a decidedly dodgy boyfriend called Malcolm who worked at a sheet metal factory. Marilyn  and I were sitting at a table together in the staff canteen one day and I nonchalantly offered her a Passing Cloud. I remember her eyeing it suspiciously.
“Why’s it all squashed?”
I had to admit that I didn’t know. She stuck it behind her ear to smoke later and told me she was being promoted to the bacon counter. God, that girl had class.


The 1951 Club over 60s Guide to Carbon Dating (Annual reboot)

The 1951 Club over 60s Guide to Carbon Dating (Annual reboot)


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A place to stay in … 1951

A place to stay in … 1951


This is the 1951 edition of Hotels in the British Isles.
It was published by the British Travel and Holidays Association and printed by Liverpool based printers C. Tinling & Co. Ltd.