Dulltown, UK: Today’s quotation is from Vladimir Nabokov’s 1933 novel Laughter in the Dark which I have just finished re-reading; bloody hell, those Russian writers love their miserable endings, don’t they?
As she (Margot) was leaving for home one night, she noticed him on the other side of the street. She walked slowly on without looking round, but with the corners of her eyes folded back like the ears of a rabbit: expecting that he would follow her, but he did not…
Again, this is a rather thinned down ‘Short items’ post – with this self-isolation business I haven’t been anywhere to observe anything outlandish, or overhear anything interesting – still, but anyway, let’s see what I can manage to cobble together…
Excuses for being late. No. 442.
I’m sorry I’m late, but I found that I was required to implement my mandate.
How about a bit of blues from the 1960s?
This is American bluesman Champion Jack Dupree singing and playing his piano with some young British blues enthusiasts – one of them does a very nice guitar solo in the middle of the song – his name was Eric Clapton. Champion Jack lived in Halifax Yorkshire for several years. Click here to listen.
‘Do you think clergymen perform a service?’
‘Well, I er… I suppose you could call it a performance. I expect they have a large mirror with lights round it, on the wall of the vestry, so they can practise in it before they come out with their costume, and their make-up on…’
‘Er, no I meant a service, you know, to the community…’
‘Oh?… I s’pose so…’
There’s a channel on British TV that shows lots of old films, a few American ones, but mostly British ones mainly from the 1940s to the 1960s – it’s very good.
I was watching a fairly interesting 1960s black and white detective film the other night; one very short scene struck me as rather puzzling. It opened with a shot of a hotel reception desk with no-one on duty – the hero of the piece walked in and looked around briefly. There on the desk was the usual dome-shaped bell with the button on the top that you are supposed to slap down with the palm of your hand to make it ring. The hero walked up and instead of pressing it down, he put his hand on it and rotated it in a clockwise direction instead. I thought that was very odd – it was obviously a ‘push-down’ type of bell. What was more odd was that the sound produced was not that of a single ‘ding’, but that of a continuously ringing electric bell.
Although this was a very short sequence, it made me ponder on what was going on. I imagined a conversation between the director of the film and the actor.
‘We’re shooting this short scene without sound.’
‘We’ll put the bell ringing on later.’
‘Alright… I just plonk my hand on it, and it will go ‘ding’?’
‘No, we don’t have a recording of a ‘ding’ available, but we have a good recording of an electric bell.’
‘So, Billy, could you just twist the bell around as if that is making the sound?’
‘Won’t that look a bit odd?’
‘ It’s alright, it’s a quick scene, no-0ne will notice – just twist the bloody thing…’
How about a little bit of spam?
Here’s a nice moist sliver from someone with the unlikely name of Liggystare:
Enhance your photos with a tripod. This may not be generally required for snapshots, but is vital when working with slow shutter speeds. Shaky palms can ruin a picture if you make it hazy. Tripods also help you make certain that is degree if it is a scenery. You do not want the horizon collection to be unequal.
Well, Liggystare, although I have been a photographer for many years, I have found your information and advice most welcome. I have regularly been troubled by shaky palms, and also I must admit I have always struggled with degree and the collection of my horizon. Do not hesitate to get in touch again my drear fellow – I can take any amount of this twaddle.
Yes, I’m thinking of changing my name to Bill Izinda-Post.