Saturday, May 15, 2010


I sign a new contract next week. I’ll be full-time again and probably incapable of much beyond grunting and farting when I arrive home to the bosom of my family in the evening. I told Mrs Dilo that I’ll try to get home earlier than I did before so we can enjoy the summer sun together in the garden; I therefore need to leave for work earlier; I therefore need to do less blogging. And it feels like a natural place for a pause right now. I’ve still got masses of stuff in my head that I need to get out – heck, I’ve got many posts already written – but it’s time for a break. Thanks to everybody who’s made blogging such a rewarding experience for me, especially those who comment so regularly and reliably. But I’m sure I’ll miss it - and you - and I’ll be back before long. I leave you with the new team:

Now, I always was an optimist and so I’m feeling quite chipper about this new Con-Lib-Dem-Dave-Nick alliance. I've been hearing how it’s unfolded mainly from the trashy, dirty mouths of CNN’s Fionnuala Sweeney and Becky Anderson. Two of a kind, if you ask me: both 44 years of age and with at least one divorce apiece behind them at a guess, with a slatternly grasp of the English language – “They have literally been tearing each other apart”, “Looking to the future, going forward”..... – and probably never happier than with a Malibu and black in one hand and a Lambert & Butler in the other - in other words, not merely TV journalists but gals I’d expect a 60/40 chance of going home with if I met one of them at a nightclub called Roxy’s. But I digress. I was also very pleased to observe that on hearing the news my (totally unjustified) inverse snobbery didn’t kick in regarding our new Beloved Leader’s background. And so - though I can’t top Gaw’s Sam and Dave in No. 10 - to prove the point here’s another Old Etonian we took to our hearts, the late Mr. Humph Lyttleton. Ta ta for now.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Just Wait 'Till I Get Through With It!

NB: I've written this post before the result of the election has become clear, with the intention to post it ‘as is’ whatever that result might be.

I totally (and shamefully) failed to register to vote this time – when I’d made up my mind who to vote for I realised I’d missed the deadline! But on Wednesday, on the eve of the election, I made amends for my lack of political engagement – I finally saw (yes, for the first time) the Marx Brothers’ film Duck Soup. (A lot of the gags are reruns of gags I already knew from BBC radio’s excellent re-creation of the Marx Bros’ Sheekman and Perrin scripted radio series Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel, but that didn’t matter - you can’t keep a good gag down - and then there's also some great physical comedy, and was there ever a more perfect foil than the stately Margaret Dumont?). It was the ideal moment to see this film: “If you think this country's bad off now, just wait till I get through with it!” – about 5:48 minutes into this clip Groucho explains his plan for running the kingdom of Freedonia:

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Gadjo’s Turner Prize #1

A brief glimpse at The “News” on the BBC yesterday informed me that it’s that time of year again. I love Modern “Art”, me... it makes me righteously indignant as no amount of tax rises or human rights atrocities ever could. I’ll get onto the business of singing “Whispering Grass” in a Bratislavan public lavatory as a masterpiece to rival Rembrandt later, but there’s another reason for me to bring up the subject now: we have several blank spaces on our walls chez Dilo. I’ve tried to get my pictures and their frames over from UK but it was too difficult for the big ones. So I want to buy some masterpieces over the Internet that I can hang up, and here are the criteria for choosing them:

The Right Colour: Our walls are lime green, and any picture should match this tastefully.

Easy on the Eye: We don’t exactly have that Brian Sewell coming round for dinner too often, so no art in the house should be too challenging for our guests: poetic or classical scenes, countryside and animals, etc would probably be OK.

No Pornography: I did bring over some smaller pictures, including Edvard Munch’s lovely Yellow Madonna - that’s the mother of Jesus, not the Madonna - but Mrs Dilo’s convinced it’s Pornography! She’s even insisted I keep it my study, with a small curtain that can be drawn across it. I’ll have to be careful.

This narrows it down, and to narrow it down even further I’ve decided (for this first selection): No Rubbish. Here are some I’ve found that may fulfil the criteria:

#1 The Farmer's Daughter (by John Everett Millais): Mrs Dilo and I liked the recent Millais exhibition at London’s Tate Gallery - very Christmassy. This is like that sweet little Connemara Girl, but this one’s made a bit more of an effort. She’s a ginger, so is never going to be appreciated as anything except “Art”; but, oh, what if she starts feeling tired carrying all that milk about and has a lie down in the grass and... oh, I mustn’t think about that – maybe the wife will see what I’m thinking.

#2 The Washerwomen (by Camille Pissarro): Mr Pissaro’s pictures have plenty of green in them, like he got a job lot of it and didn’t want to waste it - I’m the same. Like me he also loves to watch women at work - but, hang on, what if they splashed each other and their blouses became really quite wet and....? Ah.

#3 The Lady of Shalott (By John Waterhouse): You really can’t beat the Pre-Raphaelites for sheer good taste - and gingerness. And there’s some nice greens here and.... but, oh heck, imagine if she thought nobody was watching and decided to take off her clothes and have a skinny dip??

#4 Deux Poires (by Édouard Manet): Paintings of actual limes – which would be perfect for our wall, obviously – were rarely done by your old masters, but other fruit can be a similar colour. Here.... oh, no, that’s just one pair, Édouard – we know what you’re trying to suggest.... typical bloody Frenchie!

#5 Diana and Callisto (by Titian): Blimey! This is more difficult that I thought it would be. A nice classical scene, outdoors, and I think there's even a farmyard animal in there somewhere, but..... And here’s loads more where this came from!! I had no better luck with dryads or nymphs either.... I’m going to have to give this up.

#6 The Alan Carr “Tennis Girl” Poster: Ah, now, maybe this is the one: tennis is classy, there’s some green in the background, and it’s a classic scene - the original Athena poster showing a girl on a tennis court scratching her arse (remember?) was indeed a classic, selling 2 million copies – but luckily here there’s not a woman in sight. I can’t see anybody objecting to this.

Ok, now the “prize”: choose the one you think is best for us and you could win Gadjo’s Turner Prize! Yes, Lana/Tina/Anthea/Alan Turner (subject to availability) will visit your home, dance for you, and let you paint her/his sensual, writhing, naked body with a set of Rowney Artist's Watercolour paints in the art movement style of your choosing - Fauvism, Dadaism, Vorticism... it’s entirely up to you. In the next episode – when the painting you’ve chosen is up on the wall and accepted as part of the furniture - I’ll offer you a selection to chose from that’s a little more modern and daring. To end, and especially for zmkc, here’s the immortal Peter and Dud on the subject: