Happy New Year

Auld Lang Syne

  • Should old acquaintance be forgot,
  • and never brought to mind ?
  • Should old acquaintance be forgot,
  • and old lang syne ?

( CHORUS: For auld lang syne, my dear,  for auld lang syne,  we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,  for auld lang syne.)

  • And surely you’ll buy your pint cup !
  • and surely I’ll buy mine !
  • And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
  • for auld lang syne.


  • We two have run about the slopes,
  • and picked the daisies fine ;
  • But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
  • since auld lang syne.


  • We two have paddled in the stream,
  • from morning sun till dine† ;
  • But seas between us broad have roared
  • since auld lang syne.


  • And there’s a hand my trusty friend !
  • And give me a hand o’ thine !
  • And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
  • for auld lang syne.



New Year’s Day is observed on January 1, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar used in ancient Rome. With most countries using the Gregorian calendar as their main calendar, New Year’s Day is the closest thing to being the world’s only truly global public holiday, often celebrated with fireworks at the stroke of midnight as the new year starts. January 1 on the Julian calendar currently corresponds to January 14 on the Gregorian calendar, and it is on that date that followers of some of the Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate the New Year.


The Romans dedicated this day to Janus, the god of gates, doors, and beginnings. After Julius Caesar reformed the calendar in 46 BC and was subsequently murdered, the Roman Senate voted to deify him on the 1st January 42 BC in honour of his life and his institution of the new rationalised calendar. The month originally owes its name to the deity Janus, who had two faces, one looking forward and the other looking backward. This suggests that New Year’s celebrations are founded on pagan traditions. Some have suggested this occurred in 153 BC, when it was stipulated that the two annual consuls (after whose names the years were identified) entered into office on that day, though no consensus exists on the matter. Dates in March, coinciding with the spring equinox, or commemorating the Annunciation of Jesus, along with a variety of Christian feast dates were used throughout the Middle Ages, though calendars often continued to display the months in columns running from January to December.

New Years Honours List 2012

  • Helena Bonham Carter, the actress who won plaudits for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth in The King’s Speech, has been made a CBE in the New Year Honours list . For services to Drama.
  • Ronnie Corbett, the comedian and Entertainer who is also awarded a CBE For services to Entertainment and to Charity
  • Clive James, the Australian born entertainer and writer, is also made a CBE For services to Entertainment and Charity.
  • Television presenter Lorraine Kelly, is made an OBE for services to charity and the armed forces.
  • There was also an MBE for the actor David Harewood, whose credits include the 2006 film Blood Diamond, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
  • The impact of reality television is also recognised in this year’s honours list with a knighthood being awarded to Peter Bazalgette, the television executive who brought Big Brother to the UK. For services to Broadcasting.
  • Meanwhile there was a CBE for Paul Smith, the founder of Celador Entertainment, which created Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.
  • Steve Lillywhite, the record producer who worked with  U2, The Rolling Stones, Talking Heads and Liam Gallagher, has been awarded a CBE.
  • Poet & Playwright Dr Dannie Abse has been awarded a CBE For services to Poetry and Literature.
  • Former Formula One racing driver and World Champion Nigel Mansell, OBE. President, UK Youth. Has been awarded Awarded a CBE For services to Children and Young People.
  • Harold Dennis Bird, MBE. awarded an OBE For services to Cricket and to Charity.
  • Northern Ireland Golfer Darren Christopher Clarke has been awarded an OBE For services to Golf
  • Sports Broadcaster Stuart Hall has been awarded an OBE For his services to Broadcasting and Charity

More film highlights for 2012

  • If like me, you are getting a bit fed up with all these reality TV shows (Apparently Celebrity Big Brother starts again on January 5th on Channel 5- Oh Joy!) You might like Director Gary Ross’s  The Hunger Games which is out on March 23rd, and is based  on Suzanne Collins’s novels, where 24 young people fight to the death on live TV in a sort of post-apocalyptic X Factor. Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson star, and three sequels are in the pipeline, so someone must have confidence in it. Sounds a bit like Running Man starring Arnold Schwarzennegger
  • Next year there are also loads of Comic-book adaptations coming to the big screen too. First up is director Joss Whedon’s  comic book adaptation The Avengers. Based on the Marvel Comic it is out on April 27th, and features loads of Marvel superheroes including Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Captain America (Chris Evans). The Amazing Spider-Man is also out on July 6th and stars Andrew Garfield as Spider-man/Peter Parker and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacey. Just as eagerly awaited will be The Dark Knight Rises which is out on July 20th, and is directed by Christopher Nolan, and stars Christian Bale as Batman, and  Tom Hardy as the villain Bane, and the cast also includes Marion Cotillard and Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, if it is as good as the last two Batman films it will definitely be worth seeing.
  • Ridley Scott makes his return to science-fiction thirty years after making Blade Runner, with Prometheus which is out on June 1st, and stars Guy Pearce, Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron.
  • Steven Spielberg’s biopic of Abraham Lincoln, is due out at the end of the year, and has the asset of Honest Abe lookalike Daniel Day-Lewis in the lead.
  • Offbeat director Tim Burton’s latest film Frankenweenie is also out on October 5th, and features a dead dog which is brought back to life with unintended consequences.
  • Sam Mendes directs the latest exciting James Bond thriller Skyfall, which is out on October 26th and stars Daniel Craig as James Bond and Javier Bardem as the villain
  • Baz Luhrmann’s version of The Great Gatsby is also out, and should be great to look at if Moulin Rouge and Australia are anything to go by. Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan are ideally cast as Gatsby and Daisy.
  • If like me, you are a huge Tolkien fan , you’ll be glad to know that Director Peter Jackson’s latest film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.is released on December 14. It stars Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, Benedict Cumberbatch, from the TV series Sherlock is providing the voice of Smaug and Richard Armitage, plays dwarf leader Thorin Oakenshield. In addition, Andy Serkis, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Sir Ian McKellen and Christopher Lee all reprise their roles from The Lord Of The Rings; I can hardly wait

Films to look forward to in 2012

  • Steven Spielberg’s latest film is the unashamedly sentimental War Horse, and is out on January 13, it is described as a classic family film that will wow audiences, but may not garner much acclaim from critics.
  • Clint Eastwood, directs the film J. Edgar, which is out on January 20th, and is a biopic of the former FBI chief J.Edgar Hoover. With Leonardo DiCaprio, playing the role of Hoover.
  • The Descendants  is described as a superb  comedy-drama is out on January 27th. Directed by Alexander Payne it is an Oscar contender in at least three categories: BestPicture, Actor (George Clooney) and Supporting Actress (Shailene Woodley).
  • Another dramatic highlight in 2012 will be Roman Polanski’s Carnage which is out onFebruary 3rd, and features excellent performances by Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly.
  • Daniel Radcliffe begins his post-Potter film career with The Woman In Black,  a chilling thriller, which is out February 10th, and is  based on a stage play by James Watkins, an under-rated British talent who made a striking directorial debut with Eden Lake.
  • The entertaining comic thriller One For The Money is out on February 24th and is the first movie to be made out of Janet Evanovich’s long series of comic thrillers.

Bo Diddley – The Rock that Roll was built on

Often referred to as “The Originator” because of his key role in the transition from the blues to rock & roll, The late great Ellas Otha Bates A.K.A American Rhythm & Blues Legend Bo Diddley was born on this day 30 December, 1928 in McComb, Mississippi.

He lived in Mississippi Until 1934, when he and his family moved to Chicago. whilst In Chicago, he became an active member of his local Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he studied the trombone and the violin, becoming proficient enough on the latter for the musical director to invite him to join the orchestra, with which he performed until the age of 18. He was more impressed, however, by the pulsating, rhythmic music he heard at a local Pentecostal Church, as well as an interest in the guitar.

Inspired by a concert where he saw John Lee Hooker perform he played music on street corners with friends, including Jerome Green in a band called The Hipsters (later The Langley Avenue Jive Cats). During the summer of 1943–44, he played for tips at the Maxwell Street market in a band with Earl Hooker, and By 1951 he was playing on the street with backing from Roosevelt Jackson (on washtub bass) and Jody Williams (whom he had taught to play the guitar). Williams later played lead guitar on “Who Do You Love?” (1956). In 1951 he landed a regular spot at the 708 Club on Chicago’s South Side, with a repertoire influenced by Louis Jordan, John Lee Hooker, and Muddy Waters, and later adopted the stage name “Bo Diddley”.

In late 1954, he teamed up with harmonica player Billy Boy Arnold, drummer Clifton James, and bass player Roosevelt Jackson, and recorded demos of “I’m A Man” and “Bo Diddley”. They re-recorded the songs at Chess Studios with a backing ensemble comprising Otis Spann (piano), Lester Davenport (harmonica), Frank Kirkland (drums), and Jerome Green (maracas). The record was released in March 1955, and the A-side, “Bo Diddley”, became a #1 R&B hit.

He enjoyed continuing success during the 1950’s and 60’s and had many hit records, including “Pretty Thing” (1956), “Say Man” (1959), and “You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover” (1962). He released a string of albums whose titles, including Bo Diddley Is a Gunslinger and Have Guitar, Will Travel, bolstered by his self-invented legend. Between 1958 and 1963, Checker Records released 11 full-length albums by Bo Diddley. Although he broke through as a crossover artist with white audiences (appearing at the Alan Freed concerts, for example), he rarely tailored his compositions to teenage concerns.

Over the decades, Bo Diddley’s venues ranged from intimate clubs to stadiums. On March 25, 1972, he played with The Grateful Dead at the Academy of Music in New York City. The Grateful Dead released part of this concert as Volume 30 of the band’s Dick’s Picks concert album series. Also in the early 1970s, the soundtrack for the ground-breaking animated film Fritz The Cat contained his song “Bo Diddley”, in which a crow idly finger-pops along to the track.

He was responsible for introducing a more insistent, driving rhythm and hard-edged guitar sound to a wide-ranging catalog of songs, and was also known for his technical innovations, including his trademark rectangular guitar.

Later in his career He appeared as an opening act for The Clash in their 1979 US tour; in Legends of Guitar (filmed live in Spain, 1991) with B.B. King, Les Paul, Albert Collins, George Benson, among others, and joined The Rolling Stones as a guest on their 1994 concert broadcast of Voodoo Lounge, performing “Who Do You Love?” with the band.   He sadly died on June 2nd 2008, and  was posthumously awarded a Doctor of Fine Arts degree by the University of Florida for his influence on American popular music and in its “People in America” radio series about influential people in American history, he was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation and a Grammy Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

He was a one of a kind musician and Bo Diddley’s influence was so widespread that it is hard to imagine what rock and roll would have sounded like without him. He influenced a host of other artists including Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix, The Velvet Underground, The Who, The Clash, The Yardbirds, Eric Clapton and was also a big influence on The Rolling Stones, he is also sometimes referred to as the rock that the roll was built on.

Marvel Superhero Graphic Novel Collection

Described as THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION FOR ANY MARVEL FAN. Hachette have published a fortnightly collection of the definitive collector’s series of graphic novels, featuring Many of Marvel’s greatest superheroes and favourite characters including Wolverine, Hulk, Captain America, Spider-Man, Iron Man, The Avengers, The Ultimates and The Uncanny X-Men.

Each book has been specially selected by experts so you can immerse yourself in the world of Marvel, and includes such stories as “The Amazing Spider-man – Doming Home”,”Uncanny X-Men – Dark Phoenix”,”Iron Man – Extremis”,”The Ultimates – Superhuman”,”Amazing Spider Man – Birth of Venom” and “Thor Reborn”.

Each book also includes special bonus content such as exclusive interviews with the authors and illustrators, character timelines, artist’s gallery and sketches, fact files and further reading recommendations.

The series Features the very best stories by some of Marvel’s most esteemed Authors including Chris Claremont, Frank Miller, Brian Michael Bendis, Alan Moore, Mark Millar, Grant Morrison and many more. The Marvel Universe is also brought to life in breath-taking style thanks to the incredible illustrative talents of top artists such as Alan Davis, John Byrne, Frank Quitely, Mark Bagley, Bryan Hitch, Olivier Coipel and Todd McFarlane.

Each book is a complete graphic novel showing the epic adventures of Marvel’s best known superheroes in a complete story arc, and To keep you up to date, key events leading up to the story are also explained in the bonus material. In addition The Illustrations on The spine of each book also build into a fantastic Marvel Landscape which was originally done by Marvel Artist Gabriele Dell’Otto.

The first introductory edition costs £2.99, the next £5.99 and each subsequent edition costs £9.99 every fortnight thereafter. Thus Cynics might say that the first few editions are being sold cheap in order to get you hooked on the series, and that if you buy them all at full price you’ll end up unwittingly spending a fortune over the months. Still the books look to be of a very high quality and will probably become highly prized collectibles in years to come, and the illustrations also look fantastic.