Song of the Day-Fred Partington’s Daughter

There is a song by Del Amitri called ‘Fred Partington’s Daughter’. I am Fred Partington’s daughter, but  I don’t think the song is about me. I, at this point, refuse to mention if any of the things in the song resemble any part of my former life – ha ha ha, though having said that I did spend a good deal of my early years working in bars, so I could spent the rest of my time writing songs, as did many of my musician and artist friends, but I am scarless.

del amitri

Sad to say Fred Partington’s Daughter came to a sticky ending in this song and I am still very much alive and kicking. It is a B-side, but just uncanny in many ways. I do believe  one of the things that  seriously committed Del Amitri fans did was to  look in their local phone books to find a Fred Partington. I like the song.

I thought maybe one day I could write and sing a song with Justin Currie, the singer, when his is slightly older and greyer – though he may be too much too busy sing a song with  Fred Partington’s daughter.  Actually I may be much too busy to sing with him….. ha ha ha! No seriously though…would that not be a funny way to meet?

Pret a Manger have gone all ‘Semi Skimmed’!

Three months  of blogging every day and I have not yet had a nutritional rant…amazing. I am not going to bore you with all the research about the benefits of not stripping the fat from  good milk, or for that matter the benefits of eating unpasturised (ask the French)  real organic  whole milk. All I am going to bore you with now is how many London coffee chains you can NOT get organic whole milk in your cappuccino or breakfast bowl of granola. Pret a Manger used to be one of  only two cafe chains I knew of, the other being AMT you were reliant on common sense and good taste, as they did organic whole milk and skimmed  (for the wimps who believed the hype ).  Every Italian knows if you want a really good cappuccino, it has to be made with whole milk. In real terms, in a third of a pint  of cappuccino it is an extra 38 calories if you have full fat, not semi skimmed…shock… horreur!  I know that Pret realise the health benefits of whole milk or they would not have used it in their cafes for long. SO WHY THE CHANGE OF HEART? I am deeply disappointed.

Whole milk is the healthy option, if you are going to drink milk at all. We have all been brainwashed. But then who do we believe? Milk is a very contentious topic, and I did spend many years thinking it was the spawn of the devil and not touching it at all. Having read ‘the untold story of milk’ by Ron Schmid, I feel I may have had a point. Milk has changed beyond all recognition since we created industrial accomodation, and connerbations of people who did not have the space for grazing animals. Suddenly instead of feeding cattle grass and letting them bask in the sun  much of the time, many spend most of their lives inside, hooked up to machines, being fed grain, producing dirty milk that then has to be pasturised, thus killing most of the goodness. It also seems that  there is much  research that suggests that low fat milk is possibly increasing illness. Another contentious, but revealing book  well worth reading is  ‘Trick and Treat” by Barry Groves, that discusses  how ‘healthy eating’ is making us all ill. He is   calling into the question of taking the fat out of milk, and other food sources.  It is quite possible that taking out the fat can make milk more dangerous for your health. One theory in ‘trick or treat’ is that the fat in milk is there for a purpose…don’t mess about with food.  Many tests seem to suggest that women who consumed 4 or more servings of high fat dairy foods were half as likely to develop this and that, and that low fat dairy has none of the protective effects that dairy has if you leave the fat alone.

Rumour has it the Royal family still only drink  raw whole unpasturised milk…maybe why they all live to such a ripe old age.

Have Pret a Manger  lost their  nutritional backbone or just cow-towed ( ha ha ) to a majority of their public who possibly do not know any better? Why not just do half whole, half skimmed for the ninnys rather than ditch the whole milk?  I was always under the impression Pret were flying the flag for a better type of nutrition. Their sales are up, they now  sell 50,000 pots of porridge a week, are planning a further 30 store openings and creating more than 700 jobs, 500 of those in the UK. It is opening a store in France and its first store in Chigago is, as far as the Sun newspaper quotes is doing very well thank you ( and I was only reading the Sun in Pret this morning choking on my last ever bowl of granola because they can only offer me tampered with milk )

SO WHAT HAPPENED TO PRET? ‘We have been around for 25 years, we know what we are doing’ says Mr Schlee, the boss. Well here is one customer that is walking, as you have taken the thing I loved about Pret and thrown it out and you did not even ask.

SONG OF THE DAY Enough is Enough -Babs and Donna

One of those songs I love to hate but enough is blinking enough today, and it has been raining all day on my first day off for 2 weeks. I think the lyrics of this song are the silliest I have ever heard…its raining, it’s pouring…. my love life is boring me to tears, after all these years………ha ha ha, and as for what you are supposed to do on the dance floor while the little lament is going on at the beginning of the song before it goes into the four on the floor I do not know.

Thanks for the Beautiful Flowers

So not only have I been given the gift of  bringing joy into people’s lives, ( oh yes, I know I can bring many other things that are not so lovely too) I get flowers as well! It seems like Christmas all over. I just have to say that having something you can share as a gift is a  wonderful thing, and we all have one. Sometimes we know what it is straight away, and sometimes it takes a little longer to find. We are all searching and in the end I think the seach for happiness is about what we can give to the world, our community. I  think I was late 30’s before I found what I had that I was supposed to share. That’s why we are all here, to share our gifts, to bake cakes, shine people’s cars, write books for people, do their sums, teach them songs, look after their  distressed children. We all have a gift, some are small and perfectly wrapped, some come in great big boxes with loads of stuffing, some come wrapped in an old bits of newspaper but inside  there are jewels so precious.

Everyone has a gift to share. Thanks for mine. Thanks for letting me share it.


last nights sharing session we sung ‘something stupid’ made famous by Nancy and Frank, and continued by Robbie and Nicole. This version owes all to the lovely basses in the Bishopsgate Singers…you rock!

Ode to the Goldfinch

Wow! There is a goldfinch nesting in our little London garden. It is so exciting.  Mr P says it is very rare  in a London garden, especially so near to the house. The thing is the goldfinch has made her nest in the middle of a clump of black bamboo which is about 15 foot tall, the nest is about 10 foot from the ground, so it really bends in the wind. Lots of photo opportunities coming up in the next few days….The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has a lovely website –  and today’s post is  in celebration of  the Goldfinch . RSPB -The Goldfinch

This week I have seen loads of goldfinches, outside the flat, here in good old London, town and boy are they singing at the moment and now I know why…we only spotted the nest this morning. There are sometimes the odd goldfinches around, but have definately seen more this week than for ages. I am probably a bit of a ‘twitcher’ on the quiet -though I spot them and Mr P usually identifies them….. so today, as a celebration of the beginning of British summer time my


THE GOLDFINCH – by the goldfinch

just click  to hear its beautiful song  Goldfinch


So there I am with some special 8 year olds today..trying to find out what they are into as far as singing is concerned…’I wanna sing my music not yours’ so what was their music, the music an 8 year old was calling theirs?

Of course it depends on the kids and whether they have older siblings, younger parents, background,  etc……’N Dubz’, they say, (a London hip hip group) …’I won’t be able to play it today’ I say ‘…need to check out if the language is ok for school and we might be able to sing it, but some of the words really are not really that good for children’…I explain. We sing  Jessie J’s ‘Price Tag’ as I  know the lyrics are fine  and a bit thoughtful.  I go home and listen to the first song they have on their list  and the words are , ‘girls I  f+++  with them’ mmm wonder what I can change that to. ha ha. The whole song is too grown up lyrically…’two little boys’ it ain’t. By no means anything like as bad as some of the baaad aaasss rapping we can be  exposed to, but I wonder if they know how many little kids listen to their music and if it would have any affect on their lyrical content….and I am talking about lots of bands not just Ndubz….just interested thats all.

Loads and loads of primary aged kids are listening to hip hop and rap, much of it is ‘good time rock n’roll’,  I mean, it was good enough for Rex Harrison, but some of it  is not lyrics I would want teenagers to spent too much time listening too let alone little kids. I wonder if these artists are aware how many 8-10 year olds are taking their music to their heart. I am not being preechy here…or maybe I am….ah well.

SONG OF THE DAY Michael Jackson -Will You Be There

I heard a choir of kids sing this yesterday and it just came alive! Kids love Michael Jackson songs . I have never ever met a kid and I have met  and taught thousands who did not love Michael Jackson and his  songs. He had a pure heart, and kids know that.

‘No Glissandos Today,Tony Grey’

Tony Grey

If you are confused, a glissando on the piano is when the pianist moves their thumb from the top piano keys to the bottom making a long shimmy of a sound, very cabaret,  and a bit naff if overused There is definately a time and a place for a ‘gliss'( as they are called in the business).  What is funny is I had not though of Tony Grey as being a ‘glissando’ kinda guy. Here is a video so you can all do one later ( in the privacy of your own homes mind!) it.

I have a couple of other pianist friends who learned classical piano – as soon as they play anything up tempo and ‘poppy’ out comes the glissando every couple of lines ’til you just want to go over and chop their thumbs off ( you know who you are!)  So Tony was warned by 300 children in unison that there would be ‘no glissandos today Tony Grey’, just in case he got the urge to. I am sure there is a t-shirt slogan in there somewhere ‘born to gliss’.

SONG OF THE DAY –True Colours written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly          ( they wrote ‘I drove all night,’ ‘eternal flame’ , ‘I’ll stand by you’, ‘like a virgin’- among others) performed by the Gay Men’s Chorus of  Los Angeles and their friends and families…….I needed a hanky again when I watched this video!

I am in love with True Colours today as I saw the most beautiful set of kids from the local school for deaf children. We all cried as they were so expressive as they signed the song for us, which was amazing.

So here it is  True Colours, well worth learning to sign it too!