Happy Christmas to one and (almost) all .

At this time of the year I guess we all get a little nostalgic and in particular about the days gone by with family, friends and loved ones.                        As a child, although we didn’t have much in the way of gifts if you compare to the amount of products, toys, games and so on that are all readily available nowadays. What we did have undoubtably was great big helpings of food but above all, LOVE !!  I see and (over)hear  in the shops, in the street and from personal exchanges with my family and friends how difficult it is nowadays to “give the kids all they want”….well  Mums and Dads, Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles its quite simple really……DON”T !!

Surely a house full of love and a stomach full of food is a treat enough. All this peer pressure rubbish is not really the road you want to go to or even drag your kids down. What is the sense in running up credit card bills and borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, quite literally for a five minute wonder? Come New Year and a return to school life all these must haves fade into oblivion when the little  ‘angels’ begin comparing, dissing etc. they’ll want another pile of stuff and where do they run, to good old Mr and Mrs softie, good old Mum and Dad of course. I’m sure that when Natalie was a princess in training (she’s a fully growd up one now !) we didn’t over indulge her in pointless piles of expensive rubbish and believe me it wasn’t as if we couln’t afford it as she was growing up. I recall, ironically, it was our parents that used to say “Oh don’t be so hard on her, you only have the one”. But, dear reader, we were very aware even then, of the damage to a childs character you could unwittingly cause them.I see nowadays the ‘throw money at a child syndrome’ going on everywhere.  Money doesn’t grow on trees and all those other uphamisms. Respect and value of money is a great thing to aquire.

And so, my friends, have a super Christmas, show love ,feel love and nurture and enjoy all those simple moments of joy, because before you know it they’ve gone (and that means the kids too I’m afraid). I hope this  Christmas, if we get there that is, we’ve got the 21st. to get through firstly. If that goes according to prophesies, then forget all I’ve written and go draw all the cash from the Bank and max. your Credit Cards before the shops shut !!

Lots of love and fond moments to cherish, I have hundreds and I’m so blessed, I know.

                  HAPPY CHRISTMAS xx

The Dusty diaries part IV

It took Dusty a year or more in re-hab to quit the booze and serious drugs.She had a hard time shaking of the addiction to ‘slimming pills’ though. She had, it appears , a real problem with her weight for years before during and after her metioric rise to fame.When the the plunge into the depths of addiction took hold the weight problem was worse (binge eating, drinking etc. ).

However when our girl emerged from this “very difficult time in her life”, she looked at least, very cool, laid back, slightly tanned not ” the old hanbag look that so many men and women went for in those days”. The new album was all finished on time (remarkably!) and included some great tracks from the ‘girls’ from LaBelle, her close friends for the rest of her life, a couple from Carole Bayer Sager (soon to become Mrs.Burt Bacharach) and a great track to launch the album and be her new single, A love like yours don’t come knockin’ everyday. This was previously a hit single for Martha and the Vandellas who,again were lifelong friends of Dustys. So she had surrounded herself with her friends, good musicians,great production teams and was ready to get out there.!! Quite like old times, or so it would appear.                                                                                     The producer for the aptly entitled ‘It begins again’ was Roy Thomas Baker who had been doing great things with Queen and (very importantly to Dusty) he let her get on with a major part of the production and enrolling the right girls to do the all important backing vocals. Great stuff !!

However, Dusty private life was at an all time low, her long term lover was heading back East for good !.. The pressures and day in day out dramas were taking their toll on her too and so when the launch was scheduled Dusty cracked up, picked up “laryngitus” again and ,it appears, headed back to the solace of the booze and drugs !! Now…….this album was going to be , or should have been, her return to mainstream popular music. I remember seeing Dusty on TOTP in the U.K. performing ‘a love like yours’, looking great, slim, very little of the trademark eyes,but DEFINATELY DUSTY !! We (the fans) had no idea that this was six months after the scheduled release date or of the unbelievable pain and torment she had been through…..Its show time girl get out there and give it to ’em, and she did.

Unfortunately the record Company didnt live up to their word of going all out to promote the album and the critics were (most of them) less the enthusiastic about the  product. Me, personally, with the exception of one track (thats the kinda love I’ve got for you) I loved the album and still do. She performed the ballad ,’I’d rather leave while I’m in love’ (ironically) with such finesse and emotion,  as she did with the iconic “Sandra”, a beautiful song written by Barry Manilow that some critics called “an exercise is bathos”, Oh go take a funny run, it was and still is fabulous. My daughter, Natalie, rates this track very highly also, its the line……”she was doing the dishes when a glass fell and broke on a tile, she cut her wrists, quite by mistake, it was real touch and go for a while”, Natalie has inherited her fathers love of the pathos and drama tracks although she will be the first to deny it !! There were some great tracks written by Patti LaBelle, Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash, very NOW and attracting a whole new  younger fan base, way to go girl.

A year later it was announced that our girl was coming back to the U.K. with a string of tour dates culminating at the Theatre Royal for three nights, I think, a venue fit for any, if not all the Queens that London could produce !! The concerts coincided with the release of another album (soon to be underpromoted and dished as the last one), Living without your love…the highlights of this album were few I must admit, but the fabulous, “I’m coming home again’ written by Carole Bayer Sager (again with this Lady!) was perfect both from a title point of view and keeping the “big ballady things” fanbase, more than happy. I loved it, lets get out there and wring every ounce of emotion and drama out of the fans, as well as Dusty herself.!!!  I remember seeing Dusty at the Royal Albert Hall later that week not only singing this, but emoting herself into a coma with ‘Quiet please theres a Lady on stage’. “for all those women out there who gave too much of themselves and maybe some of them not enough”. That for me was THE highlight in Dustys career, knocking her performance of ‘The end of the World 15 years earlier, from the top spot of pushing all the right buttons, as only she could. Incidentally she wore purple both times, she loved the colour purple (good name for a film that !!). How do you remember all that Tony, I hear you ask,well……..spot the Gay man !!  Our girl was back with a bang and about bloody time too Dusty, get yer face on slip on the high heels and don’t take any prisoners !!

Watch this space, I’m going for lunch now, then I need to iron my purple shirt !!

Life enrichment !! or maybe not…???

Some weeks ago I heard that someone was not happy about socialising with people that could not or did not enrich their life !! My immediate reaction was  Get her (as my Mum used to say) “Catch me I’m the last bus !”

I have given it much thought actually, which may come as a suprise to the people who REALLY know me and you know what, I think in theory its all well and good but meanwhile back in the real world, not so much hey.

We are all here for a purpose, to be our selves, and one Mans treasure etc. etc. If we merely just accept people for who they are and then maybe, JUST MAYBE  they will not appear to be such an embarresment to our sensitive souls and then MAYBE we should just get over ourselves and have a close look in the mirror and our circle of friends and not make so many people irritable  along the way, our World would be a much more harmonious place. After all its very rarely that one finds a diamond on a pig farm !!

You all have a lovely day and if you’re in Cape Town, enjoy the sun. I’m just popping out to brown a few of my bits as we speak…….maybe that will enrich someones life, if only briefly !! xx

GOING GREEN ???

Last week at the convention centre (CTICC) there was a very interesting exhibition/display/awareness exercise, quite simply called…Green Expo ! Paul and I are always interested in whats new in Town particularly if its going to help us all preserve our fast dwindling natural resources. Well…this was the place to be, for sure.

I have for a long time wondered why we here in the Mother City don’t utilise our natural resources. Lets face it we have more than enough surrounding us every single day of our lives here. The wind (God bless her !!), the sun and, of course the sea. All extremely usable to help sustain our rapidly growing population. Not least of all cutting Eskom (National Electricity Provider ) out of the monopoly they have on us poor unsuspecting punters. We (the populus) have endured a  TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY % increase in prices over the past five years. Now this is all well and good if ones income is on a similar scale, fat chance I hear you  mutter.!! Monopolies always bug me, no,more than that dahlings, they irritate the holy be jezzus out of me !! I remember the time (OMG here we go again, tangent time) I lived in Spain and exactly the same thing happened there with both the phone (Telefonica) Company and the electricity Company (Sevillana or is that a dance??). They just do exactly what they want with our hard earned cash and appear a) not to care, or b) not be accountable to anyone…..nice work if you can get it but, come on enough already, lets make a plan here !!

Where was I ? Oh yes, with all our natural resources here in South Africa we should be able to be a lot more self sufficient than we currently are. Thats were this Expo comes (finally we get there)..a number of companies were there all out to impress the importance of ‘going green’, and succeeding, in my view. From a ‘this’ll make you think’  point of view and as a matter of interest, I wonder if our President has ‘gone green’ in his new Estate he’s having built in Guateng (almost all of the province apparently), because surely all the electric fences and bomb shelters and defence bunkers will eat up the power, not to mention the pools, bedrooms, jaccuzis,helipads and countless function rooms…..and so it goes !!

It would be a really good example if he were to take up the gauntlett ,fly the flag and show not only the Country, but the World, that he gives a shit about ecology……we live in hopes !! ..And  meanwhile back in the real world, I think that every new development, both private and commercial should be encouraged to include this concept in their plans, its so simple and so obvious but maybe, just maybe the backhander principles are not so readily available in the “green’ business, maybe by definition there are more than just profits and jobs for the boys at play with eco minded business, lets hope.

Also, on a lighter note, but equally as impressive and important. I was chatting to wonderful young lady by the name of Nikki Seegers, she represents Live Eco Trending Lightly (great name don’t you think?). They have an enormous range of products, ideas,services all under the umberella of www.liveeco.co.za, do yourself a favour and have a look at what they’re doing and what they have to say, love it Nikki.

I am always interested in gardening projects and ideas, in particular those that help us recycle and preserve our natural resources at home. I spoke to a very knowlegable young man,Bevan Thomas from a Company called Plants on line www.plants-online.co.za, they are doing wonderful things with locally grown indeginous plants, have a look at their website and let me know what you think.

Its Sunday today (as you are aware, I hope) and so….we are meeting up with some new friends (I hope too) at the Cape Quarter for ‘a little light lunch’…where have I heard that one before??   Cheers, Salud, Prost etc, we  will be eating as well, I promise.!! See you all on the other side..xx