Rare performance on Thursday 31 May

I’m very excited to be performing after nearly four years the album If? in it’s entirety on Thursday 31 May 2018 doors are at 7.30pm at the Finborough Arms, 118 Finborough Road,  London SW10 9ED (nearest tubes West Brompton 5 minutes / Earls Court – 7 minutes).

Mark with whom I co-wrote the album and is performing has had a long career in the music business as a manager and managed some of the finest artist I have known including John Cale and the wonderful BJ Cole. Richard an exceptionally talented and versatile violinist and future star in his own right has performed with Nigel Kennedy and does extensive work at Abbey Road along with his own excellent band The Lost Revellers.

This is a one off performance of the album If?  The album tells a story and it covers a period of my life which is now over.  It’s my most personal album and it’s only 30 minutes long.  Amazingly and finally I have some copies of the album for sale!  If anyone has bought one and wants one posted for free please let me know.

I asked John Crampton to headline the night.  Without a doubt he is perhaps the most underrated guitarist performing in the UK right now as well as a terrific blues proponent.  I was looking for Ry Cooder and Davey Graham and I got a little bit of them both in John Crampton.

The night is a night of the blues seeping into indigo it will be a little unusual.

Photo Lettie and John Crampton 31 May 2018

I think it’s going to be busy so get there early.  In the meantime I have some postcards of Earls Court when it hosted The Naval, Shipping and Fisheries Exhibition in Earls Court in 1905 with the Hiram Maxim Captive Flying Machine and  The Imperial Austrian Exhibition in 1906.  It’s amazing to think Earls Court where this gig is being held was host to such marvels xxx

A Fly by Night an Earls Court Exhibition 1904

A Fly by Night an Earls Court Exhibition 1904

Bulgarian Fountain Imperial Court Earls Court Exhibition

Bulgarian Fountain Imperial Court Earls Court Exhibition

Earls Court Exhibition Souvenir of the Russian Liliputians

Earls Court Exhibition Souvenir of the Russian Liliputians

Maxim's Flying Machine Earls Court 1904 Italian Exhibition oldest fairground ride in Europe

Maxim’s Flying Machine Earls Court 1904 Italian Exhibition oldest fairground ride in Europe

The Flying Machine, Earls Court Italian Exhibition 1904

The Flying Machine, Earls Court Italian Exhibition 1904

The Great Wheel, Earls Court London 1906

The Great Wheel, Earls Court London 1906

Topsy Turvy House Earls Court Exhibition 1906

Topsy Turvy House Earls Court Exhibition 1906

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From San Fran to Palm Springs

Music is the journey a part of a path I walk down.  It’s the more exciting part of my life and I hope to continue to do it in whatever way I can.  Last year was a difficult year.  It was like dominos but I’m an optimistic and I will always look forward.  But I was rather numbed and so I couldn’t do much music.

Palm Springs, California Stephen H Willard unmarked

Palm Springs, California Stephen H Willard unmarked

So I don’t want to talk about the frustrations of rehearsing since October 2017 for the gigs that never happened in February (because Peter Murphy who I was supporting never got his visa) but rather speak of the amazing sights and smells and delights of the West Coast of America where I was travelling to anyway.  I told Peter I was not going to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge just yet!

Lettie at dawn at Baker Beach, San Francisco February 2018

Lettie at dawn at Baker Beach, San Francisco February 2018. She told Peter she wasn’t going to throw herself off the bridge over the cancelled gigs. Blame it on Trump!

For me San Francisco has to be one of the most extraordinary cities I have ever had the pleasure of getting lost in.  My legs actually hurt.  I have never had pain from walking so far and for so long and over so many hills!

San Francisco February 2018

Lettie walking around San Francisco where there was the warmest weather in years in February 2018

In addition to aimless walking I met the owner of Lettie.com, Lettie Maguire, who gave me the most amazing tour and background to the city. I also met 86 year old Stan Shaff and his son.  Stan’s Audium piece is performed on every Friday and Saturday and consists of one sitting in the dark and listening to 176 speakers playing out of this world music and every day sounds.

Palm Springs Weekend Cast Oscarcolour unknown date

Palm Springs Weekend Cast Oscarcolour unknown date

I then travelled to Palm Springs early at the weekend.  I suffered extreme culture shock or ‘car’ shock because without one you are stranded but thank god for my friends.  In fact, I was told it was even dangerous to walk.  The Tour de Palm Springs (which consisted of about 40 bicycles that I could see!) had started that week and unfortunately someone had run a pedestrian over.  The community is quite old and apparently despite the wide roads are at times not the safest drivers.  Here are some old postcards:

Greetings from Palm Springs California

The Palm Springs Plaza which is one of the picturesque shopping centres of America’s desert resort (Lower) The illuminated palms and world famous shops along Palm Canyon Drive make a spectacular sight at night

Greetings from Santos Catering and Restaurant published by Milton W. Jones

Greetings from SANTOS CATERING and RESTAURANT At your service on all occasions (Dexter Press NY)

Moorten Botanical Garden Photo Cactus Castle by Paul Pospesil (Dexter Press)

Moorten Botanical Garden Palm Springs Established 1938 – Showplace of desert lore with this resort city. Tree shaded nature trails welcome visitors among a thousand varieties of exotic cactus and other spectacular plants…Historic landmark “Desertland” is a residence of Patricia and “Cactus Slim” Moorten, desert plant specialists Photo:” Cactus Castle” in Palm Oasis

Palm Springs Spa and Mineral Springs Distributed by Mitock & Sons Mar 2 1968

Palm Springs Spa and Mineral Springs Indian Avenue and Tahquitz Drive Palm Springs – the most beautiful spa in the world. Utilizing the centuries of old famous hot natural mineral water springs of the Agua Caliente Indians

Red Skelton's Palm Springs Home

Red Skelton’s Palm Springs Home. This beautiful home faces the Fairways of the Famous Tamarisk Country Club

The beautiful home and swimming pool of Phil Harris and Alice Faye

The beautiful home of Phil Harris and Alice Faye which are so picturesquely situated on the grounds of the Thunderbird Country Club near Palm Springs.

The beautiful pool and luxurious buildings of the fabulous Shadow Mountain Club

Ariel Tramway Palm Springs California This picturesque pool adjoining the Racquet Club enjoys a fantastic view of the Mountains. Marlo Brando is seated on the springboard and Lucy Ball is sipping coffee with friends at the table on the right Color Photo by Gayle

Here is an article I found about Palm Springs and how it sprung up out of the desert not too far from Hollywood:

Whoopee Town from Picturegoer April 16 1955

Whoopee Town from Picturegoer April 16 1955

From Picturegoer April 16 1955

Whoopee Town from Picturegoer April 16 1955

I discovered more about it.  People would go there to get healthy and to cure TB.  The dry air being so good for the health.  Charlie Farrell and his wife Virginia Valli’s star’s of the silent era were no longer working so they decided to spend winters away from Hollywood and established The Raquet Club.  Later Lucille Ball settled there (along with other weekenders such as Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Red Skelton etc) with her Cuban husband Desi Arnaz who won a plot of land in a poker game.   To this day every other plot of land belongs to the American Indians who set up among other things casinos.  It means that the area is divided up and some plots are left empty.  It is fascinating to see this kind of urban development.  Also there is one swimming pool to every six people so I was very happy.    Apparently it uses up so much water from the Colorado river there are concerns for the future.  Palm Springs uses up more water than any other state in America.

I won’t bore you with all my tales suffice to say James ‘Gypsy’ Haake deserves a mention because at 86 years old he is the oldest cabaret artist in the world (was talent spotted by Mel Brooks in his fifties and when he’s in town always visits Oscar’s) and his show of impersonators was brilliant, funny and at times poignant.  I mean the guy who was Liza Minnelli was also Judy Garland and the performance was enough to make you cry!

Dan Gore's Carnival Cabaret Oscars Palm Springs

Dan Gore’s Carnival Cabaret Oscar’s Palm Springs

Palm Spring's New Hit Dinner Show!

Palm Spring’s New Hit Dinner Show with James GYPSY Haake

Other strange things and wonderful things.  Elvis’s Honeymoon Hideway (which is for sale sadly)…

Elvis Honeymoon Hideway.jpg

…and discovering what a Bear Convergence is but truthfully it was the company of friends who live in Palm Desert that made it the most memorable trip of recent years.

Southern California Sand Dunes color photo by Fred Clatworthy published Ferris H Scott, Santa Ana Calif

Southern California Sand Dunes color photo by Fred Clatworthy published Ferris H Scott, Santa Ana Calif

When I got home I watched a slew of Douglas Sirk films.  It couldn’t have been more appropriate and now I can’t stop dreaming about Rock Hudson.

It was David Baron‘s birthday in February (born on a leap year actually but celebrated on the 28th) so he released a song we found from the archives called ‘Save You‘.   You can buy it here.

I leave you with this video for ‘Save You’.  It was very emotional for me to create this film because it involved opening up old folders of photographs which was at times very upsetting.

I have travelled the world with Dolly inspired by Zena Dare’s The Lonely Doll.  It may sound juvenile and childlike but it gave for me a more interesting angle to thousands of photographs of just landscapes and things. This is in date order and encapsulates over 6 years.  These photographs are so precious to me and end up in Pioneertown, a place where Peter Murphy when he’s in town, plays.  As you can see she’s been slightly damaged along the way but there’s nothing I can do about that.  She’s getting older just like me.

Over and out.

xxx

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Happy Christmas…and roll on 2018

This is just to wish you a Happy Christmas and Best wishes for 2018.  I ran out of time this year but what a year it has been.  I can’t wait to turn my back on 2017.

I have written a lot of new material with my writing partner the supremely talented David Baron who is based in America in the last few months or so.  Even reworking some old songs.  I am also in the middle of recording the song for Sean Hughes (based on one of his poems) with Jude Rawlins doing vocals.  I’m very happy that I have been able to record so much in such a short space of time and it is true that in the run up to Christmas I burnt every candle at every end.

I hope that my album If? gets a proper launch next year.  BBC Introducing Cambridgeshire played ‘Walking’ today which is wonderful news.

I will continue to love the artists that have moved me and this year Nick Cave was one.  I went all the way to Rome to see him.

Nick Cave in Rome

Nick Cave at PalaLottomatica, Rome 8 November 2017

Picasso's Parade

Picasso’s Parade at Gallerie Nazionali Barberini Corsini Rome November 2017

Can’t wait till February when I’m supporting Peter Murphy again!

Dolly in Rome

Dolly in Rome (November 2017)

From Suffolk with love …over and out xxx

Lettie on Sizewell Beach

Lettie on Sizewell Beach December 2017

Unmarked card Ges gesche

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‘If?’ out now

My album is finally out.  It’s only 30 minutes long.  You can find my home made lo-fi films to all the songs on Youtube.

The first single from it is Walking…I was walking through Worlds End one day and saw this dance class taking place outside the Chelsea Theatre.  It was a beautiful day and it fitted along with a more up to date version of a day in my life as a secretary!

To buy the album CLICK HERE

I hope to have a proper launch sometime in February 2018 when I will perform with Richard Moore, a brilliant violinist and future star, if there’s any justice in this world, who plays on the album.

Unknown loose ephemera November

Unknown loose ephemera November

We are on the cusp of November, and before that Halloween so here are some interesting things I have found.  I went to the Bloomsbury Ephemera Fair this Sunday.  Halloween postcards are extremely rare and therefore expensive and largely American but I did find a couple.  The one below is German.

Pofttarte blank on the back

Pofttarte blank on the back

Unmarked Post Card (USA) Halloween

Unmarked Post Card (USA) Halloween (slightly embossed)

Lancashire Heritage Collectors Postcards published by Photographic Heritage LA-088 Witches Galore

Lancashire Heritage Collectors Postcards published by Photographic Heritage LA-088 Witches Galore

At the end of October is Thanksgiving which is one of the biggest holidays in America.

To Dear Mother Just a card to wish you many Happy Returns 24 Argyle Street Cambridge

To Dear Mother Just a card to wish you many Happy Returns 24 Argyle Street Cambridge

Unmarked Thanksgiving Day postcard

Unmarked Thanksgiving Day postcard

One of my recent highlights was seeing the Moscow State Circus.  What a fantastic show.  It was truly authentic with Russian dolls and Faberge eggs on sale.  The girls could have been stripping in some Las Vegas night club.  One of these performers did the most unbelievable umbrella act I have ever seen!  It was magnificent as well as kitsch.  A far, far cry from Cirque de Soleil.  It was so much better!

The incredible Moscow State Circus

The incredible Moscow State Circus 26 October 2017 at Eel Brook Common

In regards to the rocky ride I’ve been on since last October, the only other thing I wanted to mention was how my grief for Sean Hughes passing away went beyond what most people would consider normal for someone who was just a fan.

I never knew Sean Hughes but it set off like a trigger, a train of memories and emotions that stretched far back to Glasgow and my university days when I went with my then boyfriend to try and interview him with a huge ghetto blaster so I could record it.  He was not keen.  But it did get in the student paper the non-interview. I continued to see him perform numerous times over the years taking my friends.

It was strange that it came two weeks after I had seen Phil Kay performing in London a fantastic show centred around his journey to Australia which had me in pieces especially the panting husky dog trying to cope with the climate of an Australian summer.  My friend and I accidentally found ourselves accompanying Phil to Kings Cross where he was getting the train.

Phil Kay Feels Friday nights at 10.30pm from 18 April

It was a long time since I had seen him and he started out kind of at the same time as Sean Hughes.  I used to live next door to him as a student in Glasgow.  He had a show called Phil Kay Feels which was hilarious a bit like Sean’s Show.  It was the 90s and everything was all a bit darker, less slick then before comedy became comfortable and sold out arenas.  Sometimes I feel like it reflects what’s happened to music.

Anyway, I have decided to turn one of Sean’s poems into a song which nobody will want to listen to except me.  It’s called The beautiful girl stops dancing from his book of poems ‘My Struggle to be decent and Poems of Sadness and Light’.  He signed the book:

Dear Leslie

Lots of Love

From Sean Hughes

It was …dedicated to all i walk among …that’s why I felt I could turn his words to a song.

It didn’t matter he got my name wrong.

I am dreading the winter.  I am so dreading it that I have booked a ticket to Rome for two nights only to see Nick Cave on the credit card.  I can’t wait.

Roma Arco di Setimio Severo (unmarked) Spedisci Qualita

Roma Arco di Setimio Severo (unmarked) Spedisci Qualita

As a footnote, I have to be a bit more resourceful with my ephemera collecting. it genuinely cheers me up no end when I discover not only a photograph like this one not on the internet but also discover something about someone who I have seen in films such as Hitchcock’s Spellbound (1945) and The Spiral Staircase (1946) but knew so little about.  This remarkable actress and singer Rhonda Fleming is 94 and still lives in California. Aside from her film career she does a huge amount of charity work .  And she never gave up on marriage marrying six times!  She is known as the ‘Queen of Technicolor’.  This really reminds me of the colours of this time of year.  Hail to this wonderful Queen and philanthropist.

Film Review by F. Maurice Speed 1953-54

Rhonda Fleming ‘Queen of Technicolor’ in Film Review by F. Maurice Speed 1953-54

If you love old films and old film music do check out www.mrdemillefm.com.  It’s addictive listening from Mr Cornwell who sure does know his stuff.

So Happy Halloween….

Lettie with the supremely talented animator Kevin Baldwin

Lettie with the supremely talented animator Kevin Baldwin

Happy Guy Fawkes Night…

Caught In The Act Neal Mistley

Caught In The Act Neal Mistley

Good luck…

March 20 1933 dear Madie I am so sorry I am a day late wishing you many happy returns...

March 20 1933 dear Madie I am so sorry I am a day late wishing you many happy returns…

And the fashion predictions for this season are…

Norman Linton slimosizes 40-60 HIPS Autumn - Winter 1966

Norman Linton slimosizes 40-60 HIPS Autumn – Winter 1966

Here’s Ladder from If?

Until December…

xxx

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If? Coming Soon!

Theme from A Summer Place Music by Max Steiner 1959

Theme from A Summer Place Music by Max Steiner 1959

I will start releasing ‘If?’ in the next few weeks. I will accompany each of the songs with a video.  I have also been doing some writing and vocals for my writing partner in America, David Baron.  One was specifically written in the light of recent tragic events.

Estrella Soler Espana unmarked

Estrella Soler Espana unmarked

These films were filmed everywhere; at work, at my last home, in Spain, Mexico, Italy, Berlin, London and Suffolk.  Also there is some mysterious 16mm home films I got transferred.  I’m always hoping I’m going to find an old Chaplin film that no one has ever seen and make a fortune!

On the back 'Floating Ball Trick'

On the back ‘Floating Ball Trick’

In regards to the stuff I’ve found here’s a photograph I can’t find anywhere.  I try to post only original images that I’ve scanned. Nadia Gray was in La Dolce Vita amongst other things and originally was from Romania.  I think it captures a coquettishness!  Perhaps it captures some of an ‘if’ possibility!

Nadia Gray from Film Review F Maurice Speed 1952.1953

Nadia Gray from Film Review F Maurice Speed 1952.1953

My big trip away so far since Spring was to Liverpool.  I stayed at the Adelphi Hotel the most haunted hotel in Great Britain!

Britannia Adelphi Hotel Lobby Postcard

Britannia Adelphi Hotel Lobby Postcard

I was taking photos in the lobby but I didn’t realise it was until this man came up to me, a Narcotics Anonymous Conference.  The strangest thing happened you see.  This little boy came up to me in this room and kept pointing.  He couldn’t speak very well but it was as though he saw someone there.

When his Dad appeared and I told him this he said that his boy sees his grandmother all the time (he was born 3 days after she passed away).

Side room off the lobby of the Adelphi Hotel

Side room off the lobby of the Adelphi Hotel where little boy saw something

There was something about this hotel and I spoke to an employee and he said they all hear voices and whispers.  It used to be very upmarket and grand and was in Bob Dylan’s film Don’t Look Back.  Roy Rogers and even his horse Trigger stayed there. It’s glory days are quite hard to imagine now!  I love hotels because I used to work in them as a chambermaid.  There’s something so decadent and otherworldly about them.  I was very sorry to hear of the passing of Jean Moreau who was in Bunuel’s film Diary of a Chambermaid.  Not only was she one of my favourite actresses but all the films she appeared in are up there in my top films ever including Lift to the Scaffold and the wonderful Jules et Jim.

Lettie at the Adelphi Hotel

Lettie post gig 3am at the Adelphi Hotel May 2017 trying to catch out a ghost on her camera

Adelphi Hotel Dining Room

Adelphi Hotel Dining Room May 2017

I was there was to see John Cale.

John Cale in Liverpool 26 May 2017

John Cale in Liverpool 26 May 2017

It was a huge deal to meet him afterwards although I couldn’t make any words make sense and mumbled ‘Songs for Drella’ (one of my favourite albums) which was not that cool.  The gig was to honour the Velvet Underground & Nico.  There were lots of great performers that night.  They included The Kills, Nadine Shah, Clinic and Gruff Rhys all of whom I know but couldn’t tell who was on when perhaps because I was too far back. I had to go back to Clarence Dock the next day and took some photographs.  The sheer scale of these buildings was extraordinary.

Down by the docks Liverpool

Down by the docks Liverpool

Old Tabacco factory Liverpool May 2017

Old Tabacco factory Liverpool May 2017

Clarence Dock Liverpool May 2017

Clarence Dock Liverpool May 2017

Back streets of Liverpool

The Old Docks of Liverpool May 2017

Lettie down by Clarence Dock May 2017

Lettie down by Clarence Dock May 2017

 

Liverpool tunnels

Liverpool tunnels

I went down the Williamson Tunnels as soon as I arrived.  A man who couldn’t stop digging tunnels under Liverpool in the early 19th century.  I was taken on a tour all by myself with a hard hat! The entrance is in Edge Hill underneath student halls of residence.

Merseyside Valentine's Post Card G2750

Merseyside Valentine’s Post Card G2750

Apart from tunnels, Liverpool is all about the docks and ships.  You feel it as you walk around.  The ships that brought great wealth, part of an empire that is almost impossible to comprehend….

 

The terrible past as horrifically laid out in the International Slavery Museum.  Freed slaves and sailors actually did settle in Liverpool at the end of the 18th century.  It was the oldest black community in Europe.

Later the ships carried hopes and dreams across to America…

Holidays before planes….

Cunard from the Merseyside Maritime Museum Liverpool May 2017

Cunard from the Merseyside Maritime Museum Liverpool May 2017

Cunard White Star 'Queen Elizabeth'jpeg

Cunard White Star ‘Queen Elizabeth’

Programme for to-day Cunard

Programme for to-day Cunard

Unmarked photograph

Unmarked photograph

I have been thinking about summer holidays and I do wonder whether the weather in Bournemouth was ever this hot because if it is going to be scorchio in August I’m getting out my bikini and heading to the coast!

From Bournemouth the premier resort in the country

From Bournemouth the premier resort in the country

From Bournemouth no publisher the premier resort in the country

From Bournemouth no publisher the premier resort in the country

From Bournemouth Enterintainment section the premier resort in the country

From Bournemouth Entertainment section the premier resort in the country

From Bournemouth Enterintainment the premier resort in the country

I do miss Italy and the sight of the volcanos. This is a postcard (below) that is actually a record but I don’t have a record player.  I think it’s some traditional song from Naples.

Napoli Mergellina Harbour Funiculi Funicula di Turco Denza canta Corrado Lojacono

Napoli Mergellina Harbour Funiculi Funicula di Turco Denza canta Corrado Lojacono

I do hope that the music has an onward journey.   It seems to me that sometimes songs take years and I am very happy that a film called The Victorians are using ‘Hang On’.

x x x

 

'Reconciliation' Catholic Cathedral Liverpool

‘Reconciliation’ Catholic Cathedral Liverpool

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April’s sun

I dipped my toe into 2006. An old back up  CD with all my personal stuff from the old company I worked for: A collection of photos, songs and postcards.   I had never looked back until now at that CD.

It’s strange at times because I have kept everything.  I’m a paper girl, with loads of harddrives and memory sticks scattered all over the place, an old fashioned luddite and ephemerist (or hoarder depending on how you look at it!).  I noticed the estate agent at the end of the road doesn’t appear to even have a printer let alone a computer.  It’s all laptops and clouds. However, I feel unsure about all this.  Everything feels very unsafe hanging up there on a cloud no matter what people say.  During my recent difficult period letters and things that I found were vital.  A paper trail, hidden pieces of paper all buried in the house saved me.  In my obsessive way I could even find out how much the European Lottery Guild or ELG conned my aunt out of thousands of pounds!  Anyway, here’s some stuff on a theme of April….

Cover of Blighty The National Humorous Weekly April 24 1954

Cover of Blighty The National Humorous Weekly April 24 1954

 

Storyville 40 April May 1972 cover photo Fats Waller is courtesy of Roy Cooke

Storyville 40 April May 1972 cover photo Fats Waller is courtesy of Roy Cooke (Storyville was a Jazz magazine that ran from 1965 -2003) featuring jazz history and discography.

True Story Cover April 1953 No 365Jean Simmons

True Story Cover April 1953 No 365 Jean Simmons cover who co-stars with Victor Mature and Robert Newton in Gabriel Pascal’s screen adaption of Bernard Shaw’s ‘Androcles and the Lion’ for R.K.O (Printed by Ben Johnson and Co., Ltd,. York.

After 12 years I’m finally having to say goodbye to what I would call my home which was in no way perfect but it was my home filled with memories which stretch back to 2005 before I even had my music break which was 2008 when I went to America to work with supremely talented David Baron who is releasing his first solo album Anthem of Stars on Hear & Now Recordings. Two tracks are now available here on Amazon.   I couldn’t have done it if I had had to pay the full price of rent in London. So for that I am so happy.  I went to America several times  I released 3 albums and I travelled more than I had ever dreamed I could do.  I was free.

I’m sad that my aunt died but she was very old, she never had to leave this house and she had me.  She had a very fruitful film extras career in her 80s including playing David Walliams grandmother on the Royal Variety Show, Harry Potter and numerous other films besides and we got on well.  To my astonishment she even has an IMDb page. !

As she was once

However, if mourning her death was one thing what followed was a nightmare.  I am indebted to my boss during this hard time.  I have been unable to do any music. I have managed to ensure that I won’t be made homeless.  I have found somewhere close by to live……

Unmarked unknown postcard

Unmarked unknown postcard

 

On top of this I developed what they called the 100 day cough, the Adenovirus which travelled from Australia and is related to the hooping cough virus. Despite numerous visits to the nurse and finally the doctor all he could say was ‘that’s a very fruity chest’ and tell me I had another four weeks to go. Even the Queen had it at Christmas and she’s never ill.  I picked it up off someone on the plane coming back from Mexico.

From True Story April 1953 'Our Glorious Queen Part IV

But this hardly bears a mention whilst tragic events take place all over the world.  I turned the News off at the end of my bed about a year ago.  I was on a loop and I couldn’t get out of it.  I’m always listening.  Always worrying.

But I am also a warrior.

Part of article about Rock Hudson from Picturegoer Film Annual 1956-57

Part of article about Rock Hudson from Picturegoer Film Annual 1956-57

Here is some ephemera I have found around my room and I can see I have been hoarding.  I work in a private house and I noticed a letter to Rutger Hauer on the hallway table where the post is displayed.  An agent who must have been a real big time lives upstairs.  Occasionally I see letters for Peter O’Toole as well which is all the more strange since he passed away a long time ago!    Suddenly the memories came flooding back and I found this…

Rutger Hauer sent to Lettie who joined the Rutger Hauer fan club some years ago

Rutger Hauer’s office sent this photograph to Lettie who joined the Rutger Hauer fan club some years ago

I joined the Rutger Hauer Fan Club because of the Guinness Adverts and got sent this really quite nice photograph!   I’m still a big fan and saw him recently in one of his earliest roles in a very good film called Turkish Delight (1973).  It is the most successful Dutch film ever made but virtually unknown here.  A classic 70s film if you like that era which I do.  There were no happy endings in the 70s…!

Back to music,  I went to Mexico in February and this was shot on an airplane runway.   I actually liked it in colour but I think in black and white suits the mood. I believe finally ‘If?’ will be out very soon.  I have some promo copies already.  It’s quite down tempo, personal, and it really started so long ago that the songs perhaps are definitely part of my life then than they are perhaps now.  I can’t wait to finish off all the videos.  I will drip feed them out.  I think the next video I will put up will be called ‘If?’ the title of the album which was filmed in the Aquarium lift at the Berlin Radisson Blu Hotel last year.

Lettie in Mexico February 2017

Lettie in Mexico February 2017

I’m glad it’s finished and at 35 minutes it’s short too!

The most I guess upbeat track Volcano produced by David Kosten was inspired by my trip to Sicily and Mount Etna which erupted the other day.  She vents her anger every so often just like I do sadly.

View from the top of Taormina with a view of Etna to the right May 2013

View from the top of Taormina with a view of Etna to the right May 2013

I won on the Grand National  on One for Arthur; the second successful bet I have done in the last six months.

Unmarked and unknown photograph

I had just watched another depressing 70s film with James Caan in it called The Gambler (1974) so I don’t want to get into the habit….

Raphael Tuck & Sons Gem Easter Series No 3 3637

Raphael Tuck & Sons Gem Easter Series No 3 3637 April 14 1911 Dear Jill Just a card to wish you a very happy Easter I know that I should not have time to write to you before. Love to you and to your mother, Maud

Postcard Bonnes Paques

Postcard Bonnes Paques Le Coq dit bonjour a Vignette

Avec un baiser 16 Avril 1911

Avec un baiser 16 Avril 1911

Date unknown from Claire in Germany 'On Friday I'm going to see Zulu finally I hope its just German subtitles and not dubbing ..Happy Easter

Date unknown from Claire in Germany ‘On Friday I’m going to see Zulu finally I hope its just German subtitles and not dubbing ..Happy Easter

The weather is so nice I am definitely up for a game of Miniature Golf…

Miniature Golf in Central Gardens Bournemouth The Photographic Greeting Card Co 1968

Miniature Golf in Central Gardens Bournemouth The Photographic Greeting Card Co 1968 from Lettie’s collection which she believes to be the largest collection of Miniature Golf postcards in the world! (Only because nobody else collects them!)

 

H A P P Y    E A S T E R !

x x x

Miss Zena Dare postcard

Miss Zena Dare on the back ‘with fond love from Uncle Arthur’ April 22 1905

Yosemite National Park, California date unknown produced by 5 Associates, San Francisco California

Yosemite National Park, California date unknown produced by 5 Associates, San Francisco California

Lettie's lyrics to 'Goodbye'

Lettie’s lyrics to ‘Goodbye’ just found from the album  ‘Age of Solo’ 2008

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Kiss me under the mistletoe

So another year slowly ebbs its way through the last days of December.  I do love this time of year.  I’m a December baby.  On my Birthday I went to the gym for a swim and couldn’t get through the barrier.  I looked up and the lady at the desk in a dead pan voice goes ‘Happy Birthday’. Strange because that was it and then she let me through!  My gym is creepy.  It knows me too well.

But this December there has been tragedies ensuing all over the world.  I used to watch the news because I had TV at the end of my bed.  I moved it six months ago.  I still watch the news but it seems to me the balance of the world is tipping.

from-film-review-by-f-maurice-speed-macdonald-1951-52

From Film Review By F Maurice Speed (Macdonald) 1951-52

Looking back on the year singing with John Cooper Clarke and Hugh Cornwell at the London Forum on November 29 was my musical highlight.

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John Cooper Clarke and Lettie backstage after gig at London Forum Tuesday November 29 2016

I was very nervous as I only had the soundcheck to rehearse but thankfully it happened during the only week where I haven’t been under the weather in the last two months.  I am so happy that Johnny Remember Me made the BBC 6 playlist.

Last week I went to see Roland Gift who was astounding as ever.  I took this shot after the gig. I love the colours and light.  The night comprised of comedians, Roland Gift performing but also of a meat raffle.  It was great despite the fact I was ill.  It was good to catch up with Dave Barbarossa again who was playing drums.  My pictures were too dark to give Roland justice and Dave always hides behind a symbol.  But what a great band and the keyboardist was playing bass as well as lead lines – astoundingly good.  Over a year ago now Dave and I wrote a song called Hypnotise Me which I really hope we get to record next year.

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After Roland Gift gig at Tufnell Park The Dome 15 December 2016 where Dave Barbarossa played

 

I rushed to get some interesting postcards and Ephemera Fair in Bloomsbury for Christmas and only managed to catch the fair by about 30 minutes.  I was looking for a magazine that said December on it.  I was reading it (and I never really normally go for such magazines as  Woman and Home) and on my way home was horrified by what I found inside.

 

Woman and Home The Magazine of Delightful Suggestions December 1926.jpg

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The lucky stencil Plate from Woman and Home December 1926 The Magazine of Delightful Suggestions

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Lucky Stencil From Woman and Home December 1926

from-woman-and-home-the-magazine-of-delightful-suggestions-december-1926

From Woman and Home The Magazine of Delightful Suggestions December 1926

It seems so amazing to me that in 1926  Hitler was on the ascent and perhaps even thought of as a rather glamorous figure by the english press. How horrifying to have decorated your home in the Swastika and to think this magazine is called ‘The Magazine of Delightful Suggestions’ I guess it’s only with hindsight that we can look at it like this.

Anyway, on that unsavoury note I just wanted to say a Very Happy Christmas and Best wishes for the New Year.

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Aristophot Real Photo Co Ltd London 1909 ‘Best wishes from Mary’

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To my dear wife wishing you the best of everything for Xmas Love Bert

23-dec-1908-dear-lydia-alice-and-will-of-6-gossage-road-plumstead-london-wishing-love-to-their-mother

23 Dec 1908 Dear Lydia Alice and Will of 6 Gossage Road Plumstead London wishing love to their mother

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Raphael Tuck & Sons Christmas Postcard series 1800. Phototyped Austria To Miss Eva Ashling 25 Longfield Road Dover

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With Loving Christmas Wishes from Daddy Master Harry Benton

 

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For Albert from Grandmother no date or markings (she almost looks a bit sinister this girl on the right!)

with-loving-wishes-for-happy-xmas-from-your-friend-undated

With loving Wishes for happy Xmas from your friend undated

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Unused post card printed in Germany

My new album will be out next year called ‘If?’.  It was mastered recently by Tim Young. I’m still working on the films for every song.

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Nearly 110 years ago and this was posted on 31 December.  It would have arrived on 31 December.  The post must have been so fast in those days!  Everything seems to be getting worse – the trains, the post…I’m wondering how to get back from Suffolk on December 29 since the whole railway network seems to be at a standstill.

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Dated Dec 31 2 on 1906 Waterville ME Miss Emma Raullard Skowhegan ME

I love this postcard and it’s message.

to-kate-i-wish-i-could-meet-you-at-this-time-from-johnny-undated-unmarked-series-no-e39-printed-in-saxony

To Kate I wish I could meet you at this time From Johnny undated unmarked Series No E39 Printed in Saxony

Many of these postcards have been distributed to my friends so I feel like they all end up in a good place.  This was sent to my friend Louise a very talented songwriter and singer.

dear-annie-i-have-managed-to-get-an-l-do-you-think-we-should-shine-like-these-if-we-ever-had-our-photos-on-pc-i-dont-love-e-24-feb-1905-huddersfield

In return she sent me this.  I should get my hair done but it’s just the money…

carousel-room-raymond-of-london-brompton-road-produced-by-john-milner-studios

Carousel Room Raymond of London Brompton Road Produced by John Milner Studios

Thank you so much for listening have a great Christmas and Happy New Year…

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Lettie at a friend’s Christmas Party December 2016

xxx

 

 

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