Friday, 16 September 2016


Rabbit was rushing along through the Hundred Acre Wood in a great hurry.

"Can't stop, Pooh," he said as he hurtled by, "I've got to order my copy of next Sunday's Sunday Telegraph."

Pooh was wondering what a 'Next-Sunday's-Sunday-Telegraph' was, when Eeyore wandered by, stopped and looked gloomily at Pooh. "I don't suppose I'll be in it," he said.

"In what?" asked Pooh.

"What indeed?" echoed Eeyore and shambled away in search of a thistle with which to console himself.

Pooh went to ask Piglet what he thought and then they both went to ask Owl whether he thought they were right and Owl said it was all to do with something called a 'Sequel' that was Coming Very Soon. 

"You see," said Owl, "a sequel is Something That Comes After Something That Went Before and really needs to be the Same but Different, if you see what I mean." 

Unfortunately, they didn't, so they went to ask Christopher Robin What it All it Meant.

Two jars of honey and a plate of haycorns later, Christopher Robin explained that because Pooh was about to celebrate being 90, the nice people at Egmont, who looked after his books for him, had invited four writers – Paul Bright, Jeanne Willis, Kate Saunders and Brian Sibley – to tell four new stories about Pooh and his friends and Mark Burgess to make lots of pictures of them all doing the Sequely things that happen in Sequels.

And when Sunday eventually arrived, Rabbit rushed round to Pooh Corner with a copy of The Sunday Telegraph, which had an interview with Brian in the newsy part, and an article by Brian in what was called the 'Living' part along with a thrilling extract from Brian's story that everybody crowded round and read with great interest and excitement: because, as well as Pooh and Piglet and Eeyore and Rabbit and Owl and Everyone Else, there was Somebody New, called–––––––––

But I really you can't tell you any more than that, because if I do, we will find ourselves being pursued by something called an Embargo, which, as Rabbit has reminded me, is a Very Fierce and Potentially Litigious Creature indeed!

And THAT is why, if you really want to know what this is all about (and Pooh says that You Really Do), you will have to buy The Sunday Telegraph this Sunday...

Tuesday, 5 July 2016


For the past 15 years I've been coming to Kalymnos: the first thing I have done on arrival is stop the battery in my watch so as to be able to live solely by my body clock.

Alas, my time in the place where time stands still has come to an end, so I need to let Jiminy restart the process of calibrating my seconds, minutes and hours...

Farewell, Kalymnos!

Sunday, 26 June 2016


Regrettably nowadays (and for a number of years past) I have been unable to take the hill walks I used to enjoy here on Kalymnos. The spirit is still willing – but the joints are weak!

Fortunately, David can still take to the hills and bring me back a few photographic memories...

Saturday, 18 June 2016


Kalymnos with islands, Telendos and Kalavros

Pothia, port and town, Kalymnos

Monastery of Saint Savvas of Kalymnos

[Photos: David Weeks]

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Monday, 13 June 2016


"There are those who stay at home and those who go away, and it has always been so. Everyone can choose for himself, but he must choose while there is still time and never change his mind..."

                                       Tove JanssonMoominvalley in November
Of course, some of us go away to places we know so well that it less like going away at all as going home!

Saturday, 21 May 2016


Farewell to Alan Young (1919-2016) that engaging actor whose many roles on stage, film and television include Wilbur Post, the klutzy owner of a loquacious Palomino horse in one of the wackiest of the goofy '60s TV sitcoms Mister Ed (1961-66) and, later, the voice of Disney's Scrooge McDuck in Mickey's Christmas Carol and numerous TV animations.

Anyone thesp who can share the screen with a talking horse without being totally upstaged and can speak like a stingy Scottish duck is, surely, an actor with genuine talent!

Friday, 13 May 2016


FRIDAY 13...?

What better day to celebrate my blog's TENTH BIRTHDAY?

Since 13 May 2006 this blog has featured 1920 posts (including this one) and received 9368 published comments –– thanks to YOU!!

It is true that recently I have been somewhat seduced away from blogging by that coy mistress, Facebook, but I still enjoy coming back here, once in a while, where so many weird and wonderful, delightful and dubious things have been celebrated and where, over the years, so many friendships have been made!

Friday, 6 May 2016


Today would have been the 100th birthday of a very special lady who, for several years, I called a friend...

Her name was Adriana Caselotti (1916-1997) and although it never appeared on the film's credits, she was the speaking and singing voice for Snow White in Walt Disney's classic, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Rather than retell Adriana's extraordinary story, I am going to let you hear it from the lady herself in an archive recording of a  long-distance, virtual-interview which I conducted in June 1987 while researching for the book Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Making of the Classic Film which I wrote in collaboration with Richard Holliss to mark Miss White's 50th birthday.

I mailed my questions to Adriana and she answered them onto tape. The quality isn't great: it was recorded in a very echoey acoustic and there are one or two amusing stops and starts (and a few inaccurate answers!) but it gives a good idea of what a fascinating person she was.

As you will quickly deduce, she was something of an eccentric, but she was – once you became acclimatised to the near-exhausting enthusiasm – an utterly charming and adorable person. I loved her dearly...

Anyway, here's Snow White's adventures as she herself recounted them, aged 71...

Alas, she never did visit England, but I visited Los Angeles and got to meet her in person at her extraordinary Polynesian style home (with an anachronistic wishing well and a Japanese bridge in the garden!). I knew I was in for an experience when she answered the door-phone as Snow White telling Grumpy: 'Brian's at the door!' and singing 'I'm Wishing'!

On the subject of singing, here's another unique recording for you: the seventy-year-old Adriana singing six karaoke numbers that she recorded in November 1986: 'Bésame Mucho', 'Strangers in the Night', 'Harbor Lights', 'Autumn Leaves', Beyond the Reef' (both vocals!) and 'I Left My Heart in San Francisco'. This recording concludes with 'I'm Wishing', from Snow White, recorded (as she explained in the interview above) for the Fantasyland Wishing Well in Disneyland in 1983, when she was age sixty-seven...

I corresponded with Adriana up until the end of her life and made a number of memorable visits to see her, by myself or with dear friends – on various occasions, Richard and Chris, Muir, Michael and Malcolm – all of whom shared my affection for this wonderful character...

Every visit was commemorated with some keepsake of our friendship... 

Finally, here's The Fairest of Them All – a vintage BBC radio feature marking Snow White's 50th anniversary that I wrote and presented on the BBC World Service programme strand, Meridian on 8 December 1987...

And if you're not snowed-up by now, you can read the story of the making of this iconic film on today's post over on my sister blog, Decidedly Disney.

Thursday, 21 April 2016


Loyal salutations to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on her 90th Birthday!

Here's my favourite royal portrait by cartoonist Trog (Wally Fawkes), made shortly after Her Majesty had visited 'The Queen Vic' on the set of the BBC soap-opera, EASTENDERS...