Hanging Dean Martin

On the 25th of December, 1995, entertainer Dean Martin died at his Beverly Hills home. He was 78 years of age.

Why is Dean Martin’s death a significant memory for me? Because along with Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas”, Dean Martin’s “Christmas Album” was the soundtrack in the family home over the Festive season, ( with a smattering of Burl Ives, but let’s keep that just between us, ok).

I’ve shared previously that my youngest daughter collects Bing Crosby Dolls. My eldest collects Dean Martin ones. (Yeah, the apples don’t fall far from the tree….). She retains some memories of Xmas crooning and brings out Deano each December, although probably more as a hommage to her grandparents rather than the entertainer. Her Pop would sashay around the house, drink in hand, crooning along with Martin, though he preferred Resches Pilsner or a red. Her paternal grandmother didn’t sing, though she did her bit to ensure whiskey share prices never plummeted.

One of my next projects is to frame some of the old vinyls I have gathered over the last 45 years in their decorative sleeves. Not many – just half a dozen or so. They have all been transferred to CD as well as those stick things, yet I’ve been unable to part with them. Good music has always filled a hole and I can’t let go of them yet.

Why cant my kids just collect Beanie Babies ?

When I was in the process of splitting assets many, many years ago was it property or shares that caused arguements? Nope – it was the record collection. ( And my paintings but I’m not bitter and have let that go. Kind of * thinking how good it would feel to throw a brick or two around right now. Besides, I snuck James Taylor into my pile by switching with Jonathon Livingston Seagull. So there).

Framing records is a thing apparently. My youngest has been on trend for years. I’m not sure I’m ready to have Dean Martin looking down at me from the lounge room wall just yet…..


Cait’s Bing. Who else?









A Sunday Soiree

This canny old girl was thrilled with some bargains picked up at the local markets last weekend. Three DVDs and two books for the princely sum of $3.40. Thrilling! That I followed this with marinated mushrooms on toast for breakfast and went out for tea is an entirely different matter…

This weekend I sat up late by myself to watch one one of the movies. My selection of the 1943 effort was deliberate. Everybody else in my house retires early when I treat myself to a movie that does not contain a dragon, car crash, transformer nor Nicholas Cage. And that’s okay because it means I don’t need to share whatever it is I’m consuming at the time.

Heaven Can Wait is a delightful flick starring Don Ameche and beautiful Gene Tierney. There is a lovely scene early in the piece where Tierney, betrothed to Ameche’s lawyer cousin, attends a function to meet the fiancés family. Indeed, said function is quite the soirée with guests seated around the lounge room listening to one of the matrons singing to entertain the guests. This is when Tierney gets the sneezes, bumps into Ameche, and they elope.

I share this because I attended my first soirée yesterday. Did you know that these events are regaining in popularity? In the previous century listening to music with friends meant sitting around in bean bags eating dips and Lollygobbleblissbombs. Maturity and a growing inability to get up off the floor led to more comfortable seating arrangements and by then our cooking skills and eating habits had improved considerably.

Wendy Murray and John Reeves

Yesterday, some talented musicians entertained with a little jazz that included a Farsi prayer and a Spanish love song, which was accompanied by High Tea in a friend’s lounge room. It was an extremely pleasant way to lose a Sunday afternoon.

This morning I’m off to buy a more soirée suitable outfit, just in case of further invitations. And shoes, of course. And is there a Soirée specific cookbook, I wonder? ( My pinwheels were very last minute and so very ‘70’s).

So pleased the DVDs were such a bargain.

Lili Marlene and the Things You Learn.

Easing into yet another heatwave and a long weekend celebrating Australia Day. I’m not touching upon Australia Day this year : it’s gotten way too combative way too early in the year.

The shades are drawn and the pantry and fridge are full so there is no need to leave the comfort of the ceiling fans. Yesterday I collected a book, Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (AKA J K Rowling), the fourth in the Cormoran Strike detective series, from the Library and I was counting on the 600 plus pages for occupation. Three chapters in and about done. Have read the ending so know exactly what’s going to happen, and to where books five and six are leading.

So focussing on some projects instead.

Firstly, an Airfix Kit I started two years ago. I finished my first Kit of a Spitfire when I was 17 and had a boyfriend interested in aircraft. One of those shared interest things and it seemed a better option than pulling car engines apart. I did all the construction and all the fiddley bits, he listened to music and painted the end result. That was a pattern that never really changed so sayonara sweetheart…..

So now I’m working on a larger, more in-depth model of a Halifax. What’s more important on a personal level is that the nose art on the model is the same as that on the Halifax my father flew in during WW2.

How did this come about? No idea, though I have been on the trail for some time now.

What I have learned does put some things into a better perspective. My Dad was an old song and dance man, and if he wasn’t bursting into song he would be on his harmonica. ( May I share with you how embarrassing it is to have your father pull out his mouth organ at your wedding ?) Although the war was rarely mentioned in a house full of women he was extremely proud that he “used to earn extra beer money from singing in the pubs around London.”

I have memories that one of his favourite songs was Lili Marlene, made famous by both Marlene Dietrich and Vera Lynn. I don’t know which was his preferred version though as he moved into his late 70’s he and Vera would do duets on the record player.

Underneath the lantern. By the barrack gate. Darling I remember. The way you used to wait ‘Twas there that you whispered tenderly. That you loved me. You’d always be. My Lili of the lamplight. My own Lili Marlene.

So back to the nose art on the Halifax which I have only recently learned from the grandson of a gentleman from the other side of my world features……taa daa…. Lili of the Lamplight.

Each of the figures on the plane represent a crew member, the figure with the walking stick being the pilot as at 28 years of age he was considered “old”. I’m working on identifying the other figures.

Heatwave or not I have enough to keep me out of trouble. Damn!