I couldn’t think of the word posh without thinking of the story of Eliza Doolittle who wanted to learn how to talk like a lady.
I’ve seen the classic film “My Fair Lady” with Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison more than once and I’ve seen a couple of amateur productions of it on the stage.
For those who don’t know it “My Fair Lady” is based on a play by George Bernard Shaw called “Pygmalion”. The play in turn was based on Greek mythology, the story of a sculptor who created a beautiful statue of a woman and fell in love with it.
In the film Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower girl, asks Henry Higgins, a professor of phonetics to give her lessons on how to speak properly so that she can get a job in a flower shop. Professor Higgins was not really interested until his friend Colonel Pickering bet him that he couldn’t turn her into a lady who could mix in high society and not be found out.
I have to admit that although I like the film and the story I never cared for the Henry Higgins character. I thought he was snobbish and bad mannered. He may have been qualified to teach Eliza to speak nicely but he certainly did not act like a gentleman. As I was only a teenager when I first saw the film I also wondered why on earth Eliza would fall in love with such a nasty man. Perhaps it was just Rex Harrison’s portrayal, the last time I saw it as a play the actor playing Professor Higgins, who was just an amateur in a small local repertory company, actually made me feel some sympathy for his character at the end when he realises he misses Eliza.
There are some great scenes though, not only the ones where Eliza is learning to talk posh. The scenes with her father Alfred P Doolittle are fun too. Mrs Higgins, the Professors mother, has a couple of good scenes as well.
Eliza succeeded in learning to speak like a lady and fooled everyone at a grand function . The way we speak can influence what people think of us as much as the way we look.
One of my favourite Bloggers, Life in the Boomer Lane, recently wrote about her trials with flies around the house.
This prompted me to remember how trigger happy mum used to be with fly spray. I honestly don’t know if the fly sprays of the sixties and seventies are exactly the same formula as those of today but their smell was way stronger it seemed. Certainly by the time mum got through with it we were nearly choking.
When we were children in the mid sixties fly spray was dispensed from a different type of container, aerosol cans were just coming on to the market I think.
In Australia the most well known brand was Mortein which was advertised on television with a catchy little jingle sung by “Louie the Fly”. Everyone knew it.
Louie the Fly, I’m Louie the Fly
Straight from rubbish tip to you.
Spreading disease, with the greatest of ease.
Straight from rubbish tip to you.
I’m bad and mean and mighty unclean.
Afraid of no-one, ‘cept the man with the can of Mortein.
Hate that word Mortein.
One spray and Louie the Fly,
Apple of his old mother’s eye was Louie,
Poor dead Louie, Louie the Fly a victim of Mortein.
Out of curiosity I looked up Mortein and learned some interesting bits of trivia about the advertising campaign.
Mortein was first developed in Australia in the 1870s by German immigrant J. Hagemann, the name being a combination of mort (French: “dead”) and ein (German: one). Mortein was manufactured by Samuel Taylor Pty Ltd from 1937. The company is now owned by the British company Reckitt Benckiser.
Louie first appeared in 1957, the year I was born. He was drawn and animated by Geoffrey Morgan-Pike.
The famous jingle was created in 1962 by none other than Bryce Courtenay during his time at advertising agency McCann Erickson.
Louie was voiced by Australian actor Ross Higgins. Australians will remember him from “The Naked Vicar Show” and especially for his character “Ted Bullpitt” in “Kingswood Country“which was a popular sitcom in the early eighties. It might not be considered very PC now but David and I found it hilarious although like most sitcoms the later series are not as funny as the early ones.
As an aside I remember seeing Ross Higgins advertising rival product Pea-Beu in the eighties. Pea-Beu also had a catchy jingle.
At the end of this post you can see an early Mortein jingle from the sixties and one of the many commercials Ross Higgins did for Pea-Beu from around 1980. I can still remember all the words to the Louie the Fly song. Only a year or so ago Mortein did an advertising campaign based on whether or not they should drop Louie.They didn’t and here is a piece about him on the Mortein website.
This is a photo I took of a cement truck sculpture at the Mona art gallery. It’s one of the only pieces I actually liked there. Mona is more for people who enjoys today’s art and cultures. I thought this one clever and well made and quite an interesting choice. Mona is a little weird but the place is really popular with locals and tourists. I selected this photograph randomly just for something to post today.
Today I’ve been scanning some old magazines again and wanted to share this one with you.
This is the English Woman’s Weekly. Mum read this magazine for most of her adult life. It was always her favourite although she enjoyed others.
This issue is from 1950 and I find it interesting for several reasons. It is quite a small magazine, not so many pages as ones that were to come in the future and entirely in black and white except for the header on the front cover. Of course at this stage many things in Britain were still rationed but there are signs from the advertisements that the austerity era is coming to an end.
There are ads for appliances for the home like hot water heaters and wringers. Some of the everyday items advertised are still around today. Some of the home remedies don’t sound so hot though. I know what gripe water is but I don’t like the sound of Bile Beans.
Appliances for the home.
“Aah! Bisto!” gravy and Lux is a luxury advertised by a movie star. Cigarette ads are common.
bile beans, childrens powders and smelling salts dont sound good.
What I didn’t find amongst the advertisements were any for travel or holidays. In later years the magazine carried a lot of this type of advertising and had regular travel articles but as yet people can’t afford to travel for leisure very much.
Magazines are also a great way to see what people wore, what cosmetics they used and how they wore their hair. I’m sure many short of cash housewives found this advice useful.
There was always a lot of knitting in the Woman’s Weekly. I don’t recall ever seeing an issue that didn’t have at least one pattern in it. Often there were sewing patterns too. Sometimes there would be a printed pattern to enlarge and sometimes a coupon to send away for the pattern and fabric to make a dress, skirt or suit. There were also lots of patterns to make toys of all kinds, knitted, crocheted or sewn and mum would often save these as she enjoyed making toys and dolls clothes.
Mum also enjoyed the fiction in her magazines. Every week there would be a continuing serial or two and a couple of short stories. I have to admit that when thumbing through old magazines I often stop to read them too.
Serials were always popular.
Fiction in Woman’s Weekly.
Finally the regular feature writers. For many years the Woman’s Weekly “Agony Aunt” page was a feature near the back of the magazine. Here she is formally called Mrs Marryat but by the time I started reading this column, probably in the early or mid seventies she was referred to as Mary Marryat, a sign of changing times. I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoy reading the problem pages. The British ones especially often dealt with matters of etiquette as well as romantic or personal problems. It is important to know when you should wear gloves and what the duties of the Mother of the Bride are.
Another regular was “Man Who Sees” who was obviously a parson and there were articles about the Royal Family and film or theatre celebrities of course although nothing like the media circus we have today.
In this post we’ll talk about some of the entertainment venues we visited on Ovation of the Seas. We don’t tend to spend a lot of time in bars as we are not big drinkers nor did we want to go to all of the themed nights and entertainments but there were plenty of choices for those that did from game show type entertainments, to theatre performances, live bands and movies.
We did not take a lot of photos in the entertainment venues while performances were on but on our walks round the ship by day we were able to get a few so we can give you some idea how they look.
The Music Hall
On our first night at sea Naomi and I were keen to find something to do after dark. The ship’s newsletter had a list of what entertainment was on and we were pleased to see that there was an INXS cover band playing in the Music Hall, a small theatre/dance venue, so we decided that we would go and see them.
The band was excellent, they really sounded like INXS and we enjoyed them. Naomi has a story about this band so I will leave her to tell it. During the course of the voyage there was also a Queen cover band and an Elton John show but we did not see either of these.
While we were at the airport in Sydney getting our luggage Vanda met a friend of hers and they started chatting. I was watching all the other passengers as I usually do. I wonder where they are going or where they have been. I even make up stories about them in my head sometimes to pass the time away. Airports can be boring if you have a long wait for your flight. While we were at the Hobart airport I saw a married couple obviously going on holiday. The man had on one of the best Hawaiian shirts I have ever seen plus the straw hat etc. I half expected to see him turn up on the ship but he didn’t. Back to Sydney and I noticed some young guys collecting a large amount of luggage. I was sure they had musical instruments. I could see what looked like keyboards and guitars as well as sound equipment. One guy had long curly hair and sunglasses. He was standing back a bit and looked really cool. They must be a rock band I said to Vanda when she introduced her friend. Look at them I said they have got guitars and stuff. I wondered where they were heading and then said as a joke. Wouldn’t it be funny if they were on the ship? I didn’t expect they would be as you usually get some pretty ordinary entertainment and nothing like them. Well I was very surprised to see that we were going to have an INXS tribute band on board so I said let’s go see what they are like. We can leave if we don’t like them. We had to sit in the upstairs part as it was very crowded. We could not see the band from where we were on the second level. I said to Vanda I really have to go and see if it’s that band from the airport. I looked over the balcony and thought the singer looked like the cool guy at the airport but he was a bit far away to see properly. I said to Vanda “It looks like those guys but I am not 100% sure.” Well, half way through a song during the instrumental break up comes this guy and sits down at the table right next to us. He spoke to us too but I was too surprised to answer him. I got my answer though. It was the same band. Who would have thought and how cool was that. Sadly they got off at Darwin but they were really really good.
We also visited the Royal Casino which was on the same deck as the theatre. We do enjoy playing the “pokies” but we are sensible about it and always have a budget. The ones on Royal Caribbean ships are different from the ones we play on at home. American style machines are harder to win on, you have fewer choices in how you play and of course they are in US currency so we had to be mindful of the exchange rate. I did OK though. I had a few small wins, enough to keep playing for some time without going over my limit. Winning money is great of course but I don’t gamble expecting to win. I just enjoy setting off the feature on the machine to see what it does. For me what I spend is the price of entertainment the same as for a movie or some other event.
I love casinos and having a bit of a gamble. I don’t go to the tables as I am not so good at cards so I stick to the slot machines. I love to play on the slots so I couldn’t wait to visit Ovation’s casino. It was nice and big and there were plenty of machines. I was pleased to find plenty of Aussie machines there as I prefer the pay lines on them to that of the American machines. I think the Aussie ones are easier to win on although I know everything is to chance here. I met some nice people while I was playing to chat with. One older gentleman had won over $500 bucks while I was chatting with him. I ended up losing but I won it all back later in Singapore at the casino there. That was way cool as I was able to blow it at the shops.
This was the largest entertainment venue, a theatre that spanned two levels. It is used for both live performances and movies.
One night we decided to go and see “The Greatest Showman”, a film supposedly about P.T Barnum. We thought this might be OK as it was a period film but it turned out to be not our sort of thing at all. We probably should have realised that it was a musical. I don’t mind musicals but I felt that in this case the music swamped the story, what there was of it. I did not like the way the scenes jumped around and while I do accept artistic licence in a film I had been expecting it to be a biographical film and this was anything but. Both of us felt that the music and costumes were not appropriate to the era the film was set in. Had we been at home I would have googled the reviews of the film before we went and tried to watch a trailer. As it is we were trapped in a very crowded venue in the dark so we didn’t feel we could comfortably leave. We would have if we could have.
Most of the movies being shown were fairly recent ones so I’m sure other people enjoyed them. I probably would have watched “The Darkest Hour” at home on TV but not on the pool deck, it didn’t seem quite the place to be watching a film about Dunkirk.
If you are a fan of the PT Barnum picture or the music you will not like what I have to say about it. It had to be one of the worst pictures I have ever seen. I am not a fan of musicals and I would not have gone if I had realised that. While I had been taking some film of the ship I met two men who had told me they were going to go and see it. They thought it would be quite good. I suggested to Vanda that we go too. I couldn’t stand the music to be honest. Much too millennial for me. I soon recognised it as the awful music they played every single day in Windjammers. Why does everyone have to sound as if they were churned out of the Idol machine? They all have such dreadful whiney voices. The film was very obviously not shot on location either. The scenery was all very computerised looking. No one looked like they were really where they were. Last of all the fire scene and resulting injuries to the man who went back to save his girlfriend! How farfetched was that? They hardly had any burns and as for smoke inhalation? Give me a break! They could all still sing! The worst picture I have seen in a long time.
I did like the idea of the big screen outside and if you want a top spot to relax at night by the pool grab a deck chair lay back and enjoy a movie and a drink from the pool bar.
This is a multipurpose room which we’ll talk more about later. We saw a show there called “Pixels” which was quite clever technically although dance is not really my thing. The show combined singers, dancers and aerialists against a background of computer graphics
I did like this area. It was nicely decorated and very spacious. This is very good venue for all sorts of entertainment. I think they could have given up some space for the poor library. Maybe they could have had more books and games then. We had a lot of trouble finding a place where we could sit with a game or something. Vanda wanted to write and I wanted to draw and colour. I had to go to Windjammers to find a table where I could use my pencils or play a game of Scattergories. I was very thankful for Windjammers and the fact I had taken my own stuff for my entertainment. The ship does not supply much at all by the way of games, books or things like that. You really must take your own along. The 270 Lounge got used for quiz games, lectures and shows. I didn’t go to see much of it as it didn’t interest me very much. I am not into lectures or docos. I spent much of my time just enjoying the ocean. I will say that the entertainment areas were all nicely decorated, comfortable and easy to get around. There is also the robotic bar that I really loved. Two robots serve you your drinks. They looked a bit like funny animals and they were very clever. I enjoyed watching them. We’ll probably talk about them later but to me they were entertainment also.
So there are just a few things you can do on a cruise ship in the evening. In another post we’ll share photos of the bars including the Robot Bar which we both thought was a lot of fun .
I went shopping at The Northgate Shopping Centre and met people I was not expecting to meet. They explained they were collecting for charity so I gave them some money and asked if I could take their photos. I must say Mr Vader was very keen for a photo to be taken and jumped straight into his best pose. Batman was ready for a chat and promised to keep the others in line despite the fact they were not from Gotham City.
A friend of mine, knowing that Naomi and I love old stuff, gave me a heap of old magazines recently. Most are women’s magazines, a few really old ones from the 1940’s or earlier and some from the 50’s. There are also some from the 60’s 70’s and 80’s which don’t feel such a long time ago to me. A few are old copies of Life and some that many Australians will remember Pix and the Australasian Post. I spent an afternoon sorting these out from the old craft and gardening magazines which are probably headed for the Op Shop and of course I could not resist reading a bit here and there.
It is fascinating to see the old advertisements in magazines, what people bought and how it was marketed. In the really old ones you see ads for strange sounding health remedies and cigarette ads that promote them as healthy. In the Australian ones there are ads for products and stores now long gone except in my memory.
I also enjoy reading the letters from readers especially the “Agony Aunts”. I always did like to read those when I was young. In the teenage section of an Australian Women’s Weekly from the sixties there is a discussion about whether it is appropriate for parents to accompany their children to job interviews. A student writes about how she has made a plan to save money to buy things she wants. Another reader tells how she met pop star Normie Rowe.
A mother writes about the difficulties of getting her children to help around the house and what can be done about it.
The other thing that I enjoy about old magazines are the beautiful graphics. Although there are photographs of course there was a lot more artwork and a lot of it is very nice.
I have to confess I even read the fiction.
These are just a few samples from half a dozen magazines I grabbed out of the box. I may do another post later showing some of the older ones and other bits and pieces that I found interesting.