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And Thereby Hangs A Tale!

By Lilian Tait

Smashwords Edition

Copyright Lilian Tait 2017

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Afternoon all! Welcome to this, the long awaited sequel to Random Quest! To those of you just tuning in, Random Quest was my first attempt at collating my memoirs, and Ill admit that it wasnt easy! So many memories, and so little time to get them together, in a digital format! Dont be fooled, Peeps! That first bumper edition merely scratched the surface! Come closer if you want to hear more! As for the title, it comes from a Shakespeare play, and I think the phrase itself means Theres a lot more to it than that. Usually applied to a situation where you realise that youre not being told everything when someone tells you about something that happened to them, humorous or otherwise! Diaries and journals are probably the only place where your thoughts can have free rein! As it happens, Ive just looked it up, (Thanks, Google!) and I had an inkling that it was from the play As You Like It, and that the phrase meant what I thought it meant! Turns out I was right on both counts! However, you have to be as accurate as possible when it comes to memoirs! So, best to check! Its the character of Jacques who says it, and hes also the character who claims that, All the worlds a stage, also from the same play. Something Ive noticed through studying Shakespeare, is that, the clown or fool characters display far more intelligence than the characters who have power and intellect, so, perhaps its Shakespeares little joke! As its Easter Sunday, the T.V scheduling Gods put on that classic film, Watership Down, on Channel 5! I have this film on dvd, and I had it on VHS cassette before the advent of dvd players! Nothing makes you more reflective than seeing an animated film from 1978 about rabbits, and realising that a lot of the actors who voiced the key characters, are no longer with us! Such as Michael voice of the original Paddington, the series that went out before the evening news on the BBC Horden (He was the voice of Frith in the film, but you can also catch him in Theatre Of Blood a horror film from a while back, which also had Vincent Thriller Price in it), John Ollivander in the Harry Potter films Hurt (Who voiced Hazel) and Richard Roobarb Briers (The voice of Fiver, the psychic bunny!). Fair dos, the film is almost forty years old, but this serves as a poignant reminder that mans walk upon the Earth is but a short one! And, let us not forget that the author of the book, Richard Adams, passed on recently too! You feel as if the world is just closing in on you sometimes, especially with the passing of time! I read the book twice, if memory serves! Once in high school, and again a good few years after that! I love writers because, under the veneer of a good story or novel, one gets the sense that theres a hidden message thats like, to be thematic, like the Easter eggs people speak of that are hidden in dvds and various media styled things! But you really have to be perceptive to spot them! From Childrens literature to more advanced forms of fiction, theyre there! Using Watership Down as an example, you get a sense of the principle of Capitalism, when you see the large monopoly that is Efrafa, the overcrowded warren thats run like a corporate company, by General Woundwort, where the inhabitants, or workers, are oppressed versus Hazel and his small independent group, less bound by rules and regulations at Watership Down. That says something of the working world, doesnt it? So many people are unhappy in their jobs, and put up with them because they dont know any better, but there are a select few, the Watership Downers who think that there is a better deal out there! Thats just my interpretation! And, I couldnt help but think that the late Richard Adams may well have believed,(although I cant be absolutely certain) that every creature has a God that they can relate to. For humans, its a human in whichever form they see fit, so, for rabbits, naturally, God would take the form of a rabbit, see? Like when, spoiler alert, Hazel meets the black rabbit at the end of the film, he doesnt fear death because hes going with someone of his own species. Still, everyone believes what they want to believe, and its amazing what you can get from a simple childrens novel about rabbits! Fivers premonition also gives something of a nod to following ones instincts, even if theres no solid proof to draw on. But there were some who believed him, okay, in their minority, and what happens later on lends some credence to how important it is to be guided by that force that works independently of reason and logic. Which makes Watership Down a very human novel, only, its allegorical in that such human characteristics are being expressed by rabbits! It makes you think about how some humans come together in the wake of a crisis. Survival was the primary concern of the rabbits (or, were they hares?) and its the general preserve of all species, that survival instinct. Theres also a strong message of solidarity in the face of adversity. I got all that off the top of my head! Maybe youll get much more out of it than I did!

So...to business!

Right, now, if you did read Random Quest, youll have some idea of what to expect! If not, then, big diff! Im hoping that this will be the all new and improved formula! Usual rules apply, and, its time to get ready to go back! Pack your bags! Have your boarding passes ready! Etc, etc!

L Tait

April 2017

1. Friends In High Places

Sunday 24th February 2008

Ja, tis I, here at home, watching The Perishers on dvd. As you know, its a cartoon show from yore; before the news came on at 5.45pm in the 1980s, they had spacers, as theyre called, ie, Willo The Wisp, and, The Perishers, created by the late Maurice Dodd in the Daily Mirror and then on our T.V screens. I love it for the theme tune alone! Check it out! Theres two dvds available and Ive got them! And, you can follow the antics of Marlon, Maisie, the orphaned Wellington and his dog, Boot, voiced by the late Leonard Rigsby from Rising Damp Rossiter. Its a retro phenomenon, trust me!

So, anyway, how have you all been since we last talked, on Wednesday? Same as ever, you could say.

Moving on, on Saturday night, P and I went to the cinema in town (Glasgow baby!). We stopped off at Tescos and got stuff for the cinema. Thats what it has come to; People buy their drinks outside, and everything else, may I add, because, youd need to be earning an absolute fortune to be able to afford their prices! Seriously! So, on arrival, after driving around for a good twenty minutes or so trying to get a place, we ended up in Bath Street, where all the lah-di-dah wine bars are. One was called Kushion and I said, I suppose the K stands for Krap! (Think about it! I was making a spelling joke - put the correct spelling to it and youll get the joke! As in, Cushion and Crap, see?).

Also, the cleverly named seafood place Catch 22, also a spy novel, so, nice work there! And, Im sure theres one called Zeus or something like that. All situated in town houses and basements, you know? If only I had the money and connections to even take a peek inside one of them!

When we got to Cineworld, the place was hoachin! And there wasnt a lot to choose from. Two of the films I wanted to see had late showings only. Which left, Be kind, rewind with Jack, School of Rock Black, but that was full. So, we opted for Juno, and we had a good half hour before the programme kicked off. It was 6.40 to get in, but we got great seats up the back, and it was a full house. For the most part, it was a funny film, about Juno, a sixteen year old girl, who falls pregnant by her High School boyfriend, and the dilemma she faces when she plans to give the child up for adoption. It ends appropriately enough, but not a lot happens in it. You could have heard a pin drop in that picture hall. The like of which has never occurred since Dead Man Walking at the Renfield Street Odeon, now, alas, no more. Oh, the fun we had at the horror all-nighters they used to organise! Men and women have so little to talk about these days that the cinema halls are packed so as to avoid any form of conversation. Sad, but very true. Thats the result of poor education and poorer minds. But, what really irked me was that, during the film, I caught P on her mobile texting that person I told you about ages ago now! P moaned the Hell out of me cause I wanted to stand in the back of the lift when we went out of the cinema, only because I wanted the bar to hold on to as my balance is poor at the moment. But no! Shes got to go on and on and on about a simple thing like that.

And, finally, couple of things to mention. One, I was in town (Glasgow baby!) today, and I was in Borders and horrors! Got another book! The Chrysalids by John Day of the Triffids Wyndham, the late John Wyndham I should say! Im on a sci-fi kick at the moment, and currently three quarters of the way through The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood, which is a vision of the future, and its very good! Top banana!

And, guess what? That film Duel was on T.V a few days ago, the Spielberg debut of the ultimate case of road rage on the open road. But it was a different opening. This one opened on him being on the road right behind the scary truck, but the dvd Special Edition (Ooh! Get you and your geeky dvd Special Edition!) has a much longer starting sequence, which builds up the tension levels, so its by far, superior to the T.V version. Thats yer lot. Im outta here!

Friday 7th March 2008

Ja, tis I, here at home, and Alan Carrs Celebrity Ding Dong is on T.V just now. Well, what can I say? Ive had a right sidewinder of a week folks! Im just your average irrational female, but you all love me really!

First up, book news! I finished Atwoods The Handmaids Tale, and it promised so much, but the end was rather inconclusive. Could have been one way or the other. But, Im about a third of the way through The Chrysalids, and I dont know what to make of it! At least, not yet!

Do you know Patrick Swayze (sometimes referred to as Patrick Swizzle in top retro pop mag Smash Hits sadly, now defunct) who was in Dirty Dancing and Ghost. You all know the famous Dirty Dancing line - Nobody puts Baby in the corner. Well, hes 55 now, and like an older Morten his pop highness Harket. But, sadly, Patrick Swizzle has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and rumoured to have only five weeks to live, but some say he may get a year out of it at best. Poor soul! Hes had radical therapy, but the cancer isnt responding to treatment and its also thought to have spread to some of his vital organs too! Maybe its true that you fulfil your earthly purpose and once you do, you either get picked off cruelly through illness, or you get to live on and die peacefully.

Sunday 16th March 2008

Ja, tis I, here at home, and Dancing On Ice is on! Its the final! and, as predicted, my three are in, Susanne Shaw, Zara off of Coronation Street, and Chris Fountain, the Hollyoaks guy who does a lot of ice hockey stuff. So, Im back from my sisters place; I managed to reach her on Saturday, D phoned me at work, and I had a lovely dinner there too.

so, anyway, how have you all been since we last talked? Im okay, I guess. I finished The Chrysalids and, quite frankly, it was rubbish! I thought it was going somewhere, but, turns out it didnt really. However, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Tressell or Tremmel or something, is shaping up to be a fantastic story about political principles and the harsh realities that govern our lives today. Its said that the majority of society is either living in poverty or perilously close to it, and those who appreciate (or, perhaps not!) everything our efforts produce live in million pound houses and dont work at all. Its a purely Socialist novel, well, thats how it starts out.

Friday 21st March 2008

Ja, tis I, here at home, watching, The Curse Of Steptoe on BBCFour, a dramatisation of the behind the scenes action of Steptoe And Son, a 1960s comedy starring Wilfrid Brambell and Harry H Corbett (not the man behind Sooty, the puppet), as father and son respectively, in the rag and bone business, and all the trouble that ensues as a result. It started as a Comedy Playhouse short before it evolved into a phenomenon that lasted throughout the 1960s and the 1970s, as in their T.V personae, the two of them tried to separate and do other types of acting work, but, Steptoe And Son would always be what they were known for. To elaborate, in the T.V shows, Harrys character, Harold Steptoe (the son in Steptoe And Son), was always trying to leave Albert (Wilfrid Brambell, who was the father), but never could. It was a marvellous T.V show. I loved it! Sunday nights,cherry pie and cream, and Steptoe And Son. Great days! But, youd never have thought that they didnt get on! Their on screen chemistry was fantastic! Even after they stopped doing Steptoe And Son, they never got any other work, so, this was their thing.

Tuesday 25th March 2008

Ja, tis I, here at home, and Little Britain is on BBCThree right now, and, man Ive had a mad day!

So, anyway, how have you all been since we last talked? Im a bit on edge actually, the operation is the day after tomorrow, and my nerves are jangling like the set of keys a prison officer would have to each and every cell in Barlinnie (Bar-L as its sometimes known- or is it Barlinne? I dont know!). So, theyre pretty much shot.

And, at last the Gods have spoken!

Ill tell you why. Purely by chance I googled Metal Mickey on tinternet, and, youll never guess! Thanks to the trusty Wikipedia website, source of all useful knowledge, I discovered that, drumroll please, Metal Mickey series one was released to dvd format on the 18th of February 2008, through retro gurus Network, who brought us Press Gang and Mind Your Language to dvd in their entirety, not to mention Charley Says, the information films of the 1970s and 1980s. So they listened! To me! My letters paid off! Whats more, theres eight episodes in series one, and I checked the HMV website for it, its 11.99 on tinternet, but, on further enquiries, I found it was 15 to buy in the shops. So, I tried HMV in Argyle Street and Sauchiehall Street, but the copies they had sold really quickly, so, Ive ordered it! Itll be mine all mine in about a weeks time! Get in! If they start making Metal Mickey models then Ill know the powers that be took my ideas on board! Itd be even better if I could get all the old London Weekend Television idents at the start of each episode, like Mind your Language, then Id be so made up! I was right! Metal Mickey is a huge cult character. Okay, so his middle panel lights up like a 1970s dancefloor a la Saturday Night Fever, but, hes witty and lovable. To properly understand the true value of retro, you need to observe, and know the scale which determines a programmes class. So, Ill tell you, okay? Right, to make silver, a programme has to be at least ten years old, to make gold standard, its twenty years, and anything twenty years plus, makes platinum, the top, the daddy, the ultimate retro experience. And this principle applies to objects and appliances too. So, our disco droid that moves around on wheels like a hostess trolley (another retro product!) is officially platinum plus because he makes the twenty years plus standard required for platinum retro, plus another nine years on to that. Having been created in 1978, that confirms the analysis. Full marks!

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