The Colour of Magic

I have recently watched the entertaining Television adaptation of the Colour of Magic again. It is based on the first two Discworld novels, The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett. It follows the exploits of, a cowardly, incompetent and cynical wizard named Rincewind (David Jason) who is expelled from Unseen University after spending 40 years failing to learn even the most basic magic. Rincewind is then coerced by the Patrician (Jeremy Irons) to act as a local guide for Twoflower, (Sean Astin) a property insurance salesman and the Discworld’s first tourist, who is visiting Ankh-Morpork, in order to see The Discworld’s many wonders including the Wyrmburg and The Temple of Bel Shamharoth. Twoflower is traveling with his luggage, which is made from sapient pearwood and can run on its own legs. However Rincewind and Twoflower are forced to flee Ankh Morpork after the owner of the Broken Drum inn, burns it to the ground following a misunderstanding.

Twoflower is captured and taken to the Wyrmburg where he encounters Liessa, Greicha and Lio!rt and many dragons. Rincewind finds Kring, a sentient sword which belongs to Hrun the Barbarian and is also taken to the Wyrmburg where he later fights Lio!rt, one of Greicha’s sons. Luckily the pair manage to escape the Wyrmburg but soon find themselves in even greater peril when they are washed rimwards to the kingdom of Krull, which lies on the very rim of the disc, and are taken prisoner. They discover that the astronomers and “astrozoologists” of Krull have been trying to determine the sex of Great A’Tuin, and are on the verge of launching a space vehicle to carry a pair of “cosmochelonians” on a new mission over the rim of the disc. Unaware of this, Rincewind and Twoflower disguise themselves as two cosmonauts and ‘escape’ to the spacecraft, and launch, it off the rim.

Elsewhere The power-hungry wizard Ymper Trymon (Tim Curry) assassinates several faculty members of the Unseen University in a bid to become Archchancellor. However he is thwarted by the incumbent Archchancellor, Galder Weatherwax. Meanwhile the Octavo, is growing increasingly restless as Rincewind moves away from Ankh-Morpork and into greater danger. This prompts the Archchancellor to use the Rite of AshkEnte to consult Death about the Octavo. Unfortunately Trymon then throws Weatherwax from the Tower of Art and becomes Archchancellor in his place.

As The red star grows steadily larger, the worried people of Ankh-Morpork mob the Wizards in the Unseen University. Trymon learns from Death that all eight spells of the Octavo must be said together at the solstice to save the disc from destruction. However this cannot happen because one of the eight spells is in Rincewind’s head. So he dispatches a group of mercenaries, led by Herrena, to capture Rincewind and retrieve the eighth spell. Luckily Rincewind and Twoflower encounter Cohen the Barbarian, who rescues Rincewind, Twoflower and Bethan, a human sacrifice in a druid ritual. A subsequent battle between the wizards and Rincewind leaves Twoflower in a coma; however Rincewind rescues him from Death’s door, and Cohen in turn rescues Rincewind and Twoflower from Herrena and the mercenaries.

They return to Ankh-Morpork, to find the populace panicking and rioting because the star is now larger than the disc’s own sun. So Trymon assembles the senior wizards of the University, and orders them to unchain the Octavo. However Trymon steals it and imprisons the wizards.  Luckily Rincewind intervenes and confronts the evil Trymon whilst trying to save Discworld with the eight spells from the Octavo.

Cozy Powell

The late great English rock drummer, Cozy Powell (Colin Flooks) was born 29 December 1947 He made his name with many major rock bands like The Jeff Beck Group, Rainbow, Whitesnake and Black Sabbath. Cozy Powell was born in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, England, and started playing drums at age 12 in the school orchestra, thereafter playing along in his spare time to popular singles of the day. The first band he was in, called the Corals, played each week at the youth club in Cirencester. At age 15 he had already worked out an impressive drum solo. The stage name ‘Cozy’ was borrowed from the jazz drummer Cozy Cole.The semi-professional circuit was next, with semi-pro outfit The Sorcerers, a vocal harmony pop band. The late nights and usual on-the-road exploits began to affect his education, and Powell left to take an office job in order to finance the purchase of his first set of Premier drums. The Sorcerers performed in the German club scene of the 1960s. By 1968 the band had returned to England, basing themselves around Birmingham. Powell struck up friendships with fellow musicians like Robert Plant and John Bonham(both at the time unknowns in Listen), future Slade vocalist Noddy Holder, bassist Dave Pegg and a young Tony Iommi. The Sorcerers now became Youngblood, and a series of singles were released in late 1968–69. The group then linked up with the Move bassist/singer Ace Kefford to form The Ace Kefford Stand. Five recorded tracks are available on the Ace Kefford album ‘Ace The Face’ released by Sanctuary Records in 2003. Powell also began session work. Powell with fellow Sorcerers Dave and Denny Ball formed Big Bertha.powell also played with swamp rocker Tony Joe White at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970. Powell then landed the then highly prestigious drumming job with Jeff Beck’s group in April 1970. Their first project was to record an album of Motown covers in the USA. This was never finished and remains unreleased. After the recording of two albums, Rough and Ready (October 1971) and Jeff Beck Group (July 1972), the band fell apart. ln 1972′

ThinlizzyPowell drummed for two tracks (“Hey Sandy” and “Martha”) on Harvey Andrews’ album Writer of Songs. By late 1972 he had joined up with the Ball brothers and singer Frank Aiello to form Bedlam, whose eponymous album was recorded for Chrysalis and released in August 1973. Eventually Powell abandoned Bedlam to record two singles including “Dance with the Devil”, which reached #3 in the UK singles chart during January 1974. The song was his only solo hit in the United States, peaking at #49. The track featured Suzi Quatro on bass. Powell’s second hit during 1974 was with “The Man in Black”, which reached a respectable #18.Arrows front man Alan Merrill, also a RAK records artist, played electric bass on ‘”The Man In Black’” and the b-side ‘”After Dark.” Jeff Beck’s studio producer was Mickie Most and Powell soon found himself drafted into sessions for artists signed to Most’s RAK label, including Julie Felix, Hot Chocolate, Donovan and Suzi Quatro. To cash in on his chart success the drummer formed Cozy Powell’s Hammer in April 1974. The line-up included Bernie Marsden (guitar), Clive Chamen (bass), Don Airey (keyboards) and Frank Aiello (Bedlam) on vocals. Clive Chamen was replaced on bass by Neil Murray in the band in early 1975 for the RAK Rocks Britain Tour. “Na Na Na” was a UK #10 hit, and another single “Le Souk” was recorded but never released

In 1975 he joined Rainbow. Powell and Ritchie Blackmore were the only constants in the band’s line-up over the next five years, as Blackmore evolved the sound of the band from a neo-classical hard rock to a more commercial AOR sound. Rainbow’s 1979 Down to Earth LP (from which singles “Since You Been Gone” and “All Night Long” are taken) proved to be the band’s most successful album thus far; however, Powell was concerned over the overtly commercial sound. Powell decided to leave Rainbow, although not before they headlined the first ever Monsters of Rock show at Castle Donington, England on 16 August 1980. The festival was Powell’s last show with the band. After Powell left Rainbow he worked with vocalist Graham Bonnet (he too an ex-Rainbow member) on Bonnet’s new project calledGraham Bonnet & The Hooligans, their most notable single being the UK top 10 single “Night Games” (1981), also on Bonnet’s soloLine Up album. For the rest of the 1980s, Powell assumed short-term journeyman roles with a number of major bands — Michael Schenker Group from 1981 to 1982, and Whitesnake from 1982 to 1985. In 1985 he started recording with Phenomena for their first album, which was released in 1986, when he joined up with Keith Emerson and Greg Lake as a member of Emerson, Lake & Powell. Powell worked with Gary Moore in 1989, followed by stints with Black Sabbath from 1988 to 1991, and again in 1994–1995. Between late 1992 and early 1993, Powell put together an occasional touring band using the old band name ‘Cozy Powell’s Hammer’ featuring himself on drums, Neil Murray on bass, Mario Parga on guitar and Tony Martin on vocals and occasional rhythm guitar/synth module. The band performed throughout Europe and appeared on German television. Powell along with Neil Murray were members of Brian May’s band, playing on the Back to the Light and Another World albums. Cozy played with May opening for Guns N’ Roses on the second American leg of their Use Your Illusion tour in 1993. The duo also served a spell with blues guitarist Peter Green in the mid-nineties. Cozy’s last recording session was for Colin Blunstone’s The Light Inside, alongside Don Airey, which was released shortly after Cozy’s death. Prior to his death in 1998, Cozy had pulled out of a tour with Swedish guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen due to an injury and was preparing to tour with Brian May. The final solo album by Cozy Powell Especially for You was released in 1998 after his death, and featured American vocalist John West, Neil Murray, Lonnie Park, Michael Casswell and others. Powell had a fascination with fast cars and motorbikes, and raced for Hitachi on the UK saloon car circuit for a few months. He made headlines, when he appeared on the BBC children’s programme Record Breakers, where he set a world record for the most drums played in under one minute, live on television.

Powell sadly died on 5 April 1998 following a car accident while driving his Saab 9000 at 104 mph (167 km/h) in bad weather on the M4 motorway near Bristol.Powell was dating a married woman who phoned him on 5 April 1998 and asked him to come quickly to her house which was approximately 35 miles away. As he was making the drive to her house she phoned him again and asked “Where are you?” He informed her he was on his way and then she heard him say “Oh shit!” followed by a loud bang.Powell was ejected through the windshield and died at the scene . at the time of the crash Powell’s blood-alcohol reading was over the legal limit, and he was not wearing a seatbelt, in addition to talking with his girlfriend on his mobile phone. The official investigation also found evidence of a slow puncture in a rear tyre. It was suggested, that this could well have caused a sudden collapse of the tyre with a consequent loss of control of the car.He was living at Lambourn in Berkshire at the time and had returned to the studio shortly before his death to record with Fleetwood Mac co-founder Peter Green. At the time of death Cozy had recently had to pull out of tour rehearsals with Yngwie Malmsteen, having suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident. During his career Powell had been the drummer on at least 66 albums with minor contributions on many other recordings. Many rock drummers have cited him as a major influence.

Christina Rosetti

English poet Christina Georgina Rosetti sadly died in Bloomsbury on 29 December 1894. Born5 December 1830, She wrote a variety of romantic, devotional, and children’s poems, including Goblin Market, Remember, and the words of the Christmas carol “In the Bleak Midwinter”. Rossetti was educated at home by her mother, who had her study religious works, classics, fairy tales and novels. Rossetti enjoyed the works of Keats, Scott, Ann Radcliffe and Matthew Lewis. The influence of the work of Dante Alighieri, Petrarch and other Italian writers had a deep impact on Rossetti’s later writing. The family homes in Bloomsbury at 38 and later 50 Charlotte Street were within easy reach of Madam Tussauds, London Zoo and the newly opened Regent’s Park, which she visited regularly, Rossetti was very much a London child, and, it seems, a happy one.

ln the 1840s, her family faced severe financial difficulties due to the deterioration of her father’s physical and mental health. He had Bronchitis, possibly tuberculosis, and faced losing his sight. He gave up his teaching post at King’s College and though he lived another 11 years, he suffered from depression and was never physically well again. So Rossetti’s mother began teaching and Maria became a live-in governess. At this time her brother William was working for the Excise Office and Gabriel was at art school, leading Christina’s life at home to become one of increasing isolation. When she was 14, Rossetti suffered a nervous breakdown and left school. Bouts of depression and related illness followed. She, became deeply interested in theAnglo-Catholic movement that developed in the Church of England. Religious devotion came to play a major role in Rossetti’s life

In her late teens, Rossetti became engaged to the painter James Collinson. like her brothers Dante and William, he was one of the founding members of the avant-garde artistic group, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. The engagement was broken in 1850 when he reverted to Catholicism. Later she became involved with the linguist Charles Cayley, but declined to marry him, also for religious reasons. The third offer came from the painter John Brett, whom she also refused. Rossetti sat for several of Dante Rossetti’s most famous paintings. In 1848, she was the model for the Virgin Mary in his first completed oil painting, The Girlhood of Mary Virgin, which was the first work to be inscribed with the initials ‘PRB’, ( Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood).The following year she modelled again for his depiction of the Annunciation, Ecce Ancilla Domini. A line from her poem “Who shall deliver me?” inspired the famous painting by Fernand Khnopff called “I lock my door upon myself”. In 1849 she became seriously ill again, suffering from depression and also had a major religious crisis.

Rossetti began writing down and dating her poems from 1842, and From 1847 she began experimenting with verse forms such as sonnets, hymns and ballads; drawing narratives from the Bible, folk tales and the lives of the saints. Her early pieces often feature meditations on death and loss. She published her first two poems (“Death’s Chill Between” and “Heart’s Chill Between”), which appeared in the Athenaeum, in 1848 when she was 18. Under the pen-name “Ellen Alleyne”, she contributed to the literary magazine, The Germ, published by the Pre-Raphaelites from January – April 1850 and edited by her brother William. Her most famous collection, Goblin Market and Other Poems, appeared in 1862, when she was 31. It received widespread praise, establishing her as the main female poet of the time. Hopkins, Swinburne and Tennyson lauded her work.Rossetti was hailed as a successor to Elizabeth Barrett Browning. one of Rossetti’s best known works Goblin Market Is about the misadventures of two sisters’ when they encounter goblins.

Rossetti was a volunteer worker from 1859 to 1870 at the St. Mary Magdalene “house of charity” in Highgate, a refuge for former prostitutes and it is suggested Goblin Market may have been inspired by the “fallen women” she came to know.There are parallels with Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner given both poems’ religious themes of temptation, sin and redemption by vicarious suffering. Swinburne in 1883 dedicated his collection A Century of Roundels to Rossetti as she had adopted his roundelform in a number of poems, as exampled by her Wife to Husband She was ambivalent about women’s suffrage, but many scholars have identified feminist themes in her poetry. She was opposed to slavery (in the American South), cruelty to animals (in the prevalent practice of animal experimentation), and the exploitation of girls in under-age prostitution.

Rossetti maintained a very large circle of friends and correspondents and continued to write and publish for the rest of her life, primarily focusing on devotional writing and children’s poetry. In 1892, Rossetti wrote The Face of the Deep, a book of devotional prose, and oversaw the production of a new and enlarged edition ofSing-Song, published in 1893.ln the later decades of her life, Rossetti suffered from Graves Disease, diagnosed in 1872 suffering a nearly fatal attack in the early 1870s. ln 1893, she developed breast cancer and though the tumour was removed, she suffered a recurrence in September 1894. She was buried inHighgate Cemetery and the place where she died, in Torrington Square, is marked with a stone table