On October 25th 1911 the union of my mother and my father was blessed by the birth of a daughter, my elder sister Pearl. According to my mother, she squawked and bawled throughout the early years of her life, and produced enough snot, shite and wind to create a small Scottish mountain. (She didn’t actually produce one, she just produced the atmosphere and materials, but we lived a long way from Scotland, so my mother poured most of it down the scullery sink before it had a chance to set). As far as I can remember, she never ruddy stopped squawking and bawling until the day she died, and she put that off for long enough, just so that she could fit in an extra few months of squawking and bawling, along with the whingeing and mithering that she added to her repertoire during her adult life. Particularly after my mother died and she thought that she had a right to her Chinese tea caddy which had been left to me. Cheeky Cow. I accused her of pinching it once, but it turned out that my Raymond had taken it down to the pub for his friend Albert to value, what with him fancying himself as a bit of an Arthur Negus and all. Anyway, I skinned him alive when he got back, and to top it all, Albert had said it was worthless. Which goes to show how much Albert ruddy knows.
Any road, whilst we are on the subject of people being accused of stealing things, back in 1911 the Mona Lisa went missing from that French art gallery where they keep it, and guess who they had in for questioning. Only Pablo ruddy Picasso that’s all! They probably thought that he had pinched it to help him learn how to draw properly or something like that, only it didn’t ruddy work because he ended up painting women with their eyes in the middle of their cheeks and noses sticking out of the side of their heads and suchlike. Anyway, it turns out he never had it anyway, it had been pinched by the art gallery caretaker who just thought it looked nice and had it hanging up on his wall for the next couple of years. His boss nearly skinned him alive when he found out. They had been searching high and low for the ruddy thing. And another thing, I don’t think much to that Picasso’s cars either. Our Michael drives one, and he got my headscarf all taffled up in that roll up bit of the seatbelt and nearly strangled himself. But that’s another story.
Doris’s Pop Pick of 1911: “Any Old Iron” by Harry Champion (again). Not many people know that Harry was a popular music hall singer in the days before he invented the spark plug and was able to rest on his laurels, looking dapper from his napper to his feet.