On one side of the door was a packed surgery with fighting, bleeding, dying patients… on the other side was a quiet grassy bank with one coffin.

Sally bolted the door after the doctor pulled out a clump of her hair and fell back into the maelstrom.

The Chocolate Apple!

Before the Chocolate Orange – which is normal and natural – in 1926 Terry’s of York created THE CHOCOLATE APPLE !?! Which is clearly an abomination that would shock the Kirk Sessions.

Also THE CHOCOLATE LEMON – which is disgusting.

And The Chocolate Greengage… which is unbelievable.




During the performance Neve tried to goad her,

“Oh, Diane would be so great in this”, “Oh, I don’t know why they didn’t cast her”.

So there – on press night – Diane placed her cravat over Neve’s thin throat and pulled.

Dean’s Book of Fairy Tales

When I was wee my Dean’s Book of Fairy Tales was one of my most treasured possessions – the others being Dean’s Alice In Wonderland, Dean’s Sleeping Beauty and my extensive Ladybird book collection.

What made Dean’s Book of Fairy Tales so special was the beautiful, spindly illustrations by Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone, twin sisters born in 1926 who lived and worked together until Janet’s tragic death in a fire in 1979. Anne worked on alone until 1998.

More info on them here:

and more info on Dean & Son here: 



Sally phoned 999 and explained that a car had crashed through the arcade and the roof had collapsed on either side of them.

“This isn’t Emergency Services”, replied the indifferent voice.

“But it must be. She’s dying. We’re trapped”. She rang 111, 911, 191, 919, 199… a school kid snarked her and tried himself… no one could help them.

Robby Benson

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One of the movies I remember most from my childhood is ‘Ode To Billy Joe’ the tale of a country boy who dates a country girl, gets drunk at a Jamboree, ends up in bed with his boss & chucks himself off the Tallahatchie Bridge. I liked the lazy indifference of it. All that melodrama but life goes on.

And it turns out the star – Robby Benson – was in quite a few 1970s movies that all share a kind of earnest, drippy Catcher In The Rye via Fiddler On The Roof vibe. His films are glossy, schmaltzy, angsty, coming of agey – proto-Brat Pack without the high concept. He’s the missing link between the swinging teens of the 60s & the cynical teens of the 80s & beyond.

He retired from acting because of a heart condition and became a composer and teacher, which explains his unjust pop culture obscurity.

Here’s some of his 70s highlights.

Jeremy (1973)

A shy 15 yr old New York cello student has his heart broken by a 16 yr old ballet dancer who has to move back to Detroit. A slightly dodgy film beloved by middle-aged men for reasons we’ll ignore.

One on One (1977)

A basketball player wins a scholarship to a college and has to overcome bullying and reading issues to get the girl and defy the coach. (similar to All The Right Moves – an early Tom Cruise vehicle).

Ice Castles (1978)

A figure skater dates a hockey player and has to overcome cheating and blindness to win a championship… I can’t tell you how much I loved this film when I was a nipper – love and winning a competition – what more can a girl dream of (apart from ponies – obviously)?