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Saturday 7 February 2009

LGBT History Month: the 1960s BBC TV series Robinson Crusoe, Lee Payant and Gordon Heath

It’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans History Month.

If you grew up in Britain in the 1960s or 1970s then you probably remember the 13-part series Robinson Crusoe on BBC Television. This French production was shown many times between 1965 and the early 1980s, often during school holidays.

Featuring handsome Robert Hoffman, people remember the programme for the music, which was composed by Robert Mellin and Gian-Pero Reverberi, and for the distinctive dubbed English language narration. However most would be hard-pressed to name the actor who spoke those words and even fewer know of the love story behind the screen credit.

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Filed under: History,LGBT,TV & film — GS @ 6:14 am
Tuesday 10 April 2007

Posterior Vitreous Detachment — update

A surprising number of people have found my blog when searching for ‘posterior vitreous detachment’, after I wrote about what had happened to me. So I thought I would do an update. I’ll tell you up front that it is relatively good news.

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Filed under: Health — GS @ 12:33 pm
Tuesday 27 March 2007

Manchester and slavery

Manchester’s wealth was founded on the cotton industry and dependent on slave-grown cotton. But the city was also at the centre of the anti-slavery movement.

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Filed under: Bygone Manc,History,Manchester — GS @ 1:35 am
Sunday 18 March 2007

Posterior Vitreous Detachment

A week ago yesterday I awoke to find I had a large black ‘floater’ in my right eye. It was like a daddy-long-legs at a window. As I moved my eye, it leapt around — sometimes in the opposite direction. It was disturbing… But I wear contact lenses and I thought maybe I had a slight eye infection.

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Filed under: Health — GS @ 7:01 pm
Thursday 11 January 2007

Dealing with email spam

It surprises me the number of friends who tell me that they get 200 spam emails a day or something similar. I get very few.

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Filed under: Net & technology — GS @ 7:08 am
Saturday 28 October 2006

Noah’s Arc

My American friend Bill told me about Noah’s Arc, a series that is on the Logo network over there. It’s about four black gay friends.

We’d watched a couple of episodes and clips on the Logo website, but Bill doesn’t have the channel and I doubted the series would ever get a showing over here. However I had a gift voucher for Amazon so I bought Bill the three-disc DVD of series one and after watching them himself he sent the discs over to me. They were waiting here me when I got back to Manchester last Saturday.

So I’ve had a great week viewing it all: episodes, pilot and extras. I love this series.

You can watch the whole of the first four episodes of series one for free here.

And the first episode of series 2 here.

There are quite a few clips on YouTube including the pilot scenes they did to try and get a network interested.

I think Logo is missing a trick by not making this available to European viewers as pay-per-view. I wouldn’t have minded paying a dollar a show to watch it. Whereas, I doubt many people here are going to import it on DVD like I did. It’s a shame.


Filed under: LGBT,TV & film — GS @ 1:33 pm
Wednesday 23 August 2006

Birdlife

One of the things you notice when you come from Manchester city centre to a small village out in the country is the birdlife.

Sure we have magpies, pigeons, starlings and even parrots where I live in Manchester. But here there is just so much more variety and so many of them: swifts, swallows, thrushes, blackbirds, finches, wrens, occasionally geese and birds of prey and, unlike some parts of Britain, there is no shortage of sparrows here. All of these can be seen from the house. Recently I posted a video of a woodpecker that was outside my window.

When I lived here fulltime I had two cats and there were many others in the neighbourhood, with inevitable consequences. Now there are no cats and the birds are thriving. But it can still be harsh at times.

Last year I was watching a beautiful thrush hopping about on the lawn. An hour later I found it dead. It had either choked to death on something (a slug pellet from one of the other gardens?) or maybe it had just happened to drop dead for some reason.

I arrived to find the swallows nesting in the passageway between the houses, as they have done for decades. I could see three or four little beaks peeking over the edge of the nest and they were a few days from fledging. One year I got this great shot of them just after they left the nest.

Swallows just after leaving the nest

Sad to say, last week, I found all the chicks dead on the ground below. I don’t know what happened. There was no sign of any damage to the nest. But we did have workmen outside the house cutting up the pavement with one of those noisy saws. I wonder if that kept the parent birds away and when they returned the baby birds were dead, so the parents threw them out of the nest?

Nature can be tough. I’m starting to feel like the vet in The League of Gentlemen!


Filed under: Wildlife — GS @ 3:21 am
 
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