Items 21 to 30 of 114 total

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Question: What do the following all have in common: "Top Hat"; "Follow the Fleet"; "Swing Time"; "Royal Wedding"; "Easter Parade"; "Funny Face"?

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Well, this has been quite an eventful week and one that certainly demonstrates the decision-making benefits to be gained on a walking holiday in Snowdonia! The Welsh mountain air clearly does wonders for solving a dilemma. Here at Evergreen, though, we’re steering clear of the political hullabaloo of the past few days to focus specifically on today, Friday 21st April, which is a particularly noteworthy date because it is Her Majesty The Queen’s birthday.

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A few years ago I visited a local senior school to talk to the Media Studies students about This England and Evergreen. While I was there, we also looked at the subject of national identity and I was especially interested to find out from the students what England and Britain meant to them. It was an enlightening afternoon for me: hearing the thoughts of the next generation and discovering their views. Among the many comments, one of the students said he was proud of the fact that an island of Britain's size had such an important role in the world - as one of the eighth most powerful nations. Another added that, in geographical terms, Britain might only be a small country, but it certainly had an impressive history and reputation. Wise words indeed!

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Visitors to the Gloucestershire village of Bibury last weekend could have been forgiven for thinking that they were watching the enactment of some curious local custom. On Saturday afternoon, the streets of this picturesque place, which William Morris described as “the most beautiful village in England”, were filled with a convoy of cars. There were a hundred of them in total, all different makes and models, and they had one thing in common: they were all yellow.

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Here we are then in the glorious month of April and, as tradition tells us, it is time to listen out for the cuckoo serenading us with his spring song. (Do let me know when you hear one.) I must confess I can hardly believe that we are already a quarter of the way through 2017. Of course, as your handy Evergreen Diary will tell you, the fourth month of the year brings us the Easter celebration, St. George’s Day, ANZAC Day and The Queen’s birthday to name but a few noteworthy dates. Speaking of which, I trust that you weren’t caught out by the April Fool over the weekend (read Stephen's blog for more on that subject). We featured a story in Evergreen's spring 2014 issue about a little-known place called Rumgovia, situated high in the Etceteras range of mountains, which was famous for its treacle mines. As you might expect, its national day was 1st April!

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The other night I switched on the television and came across a piece of iconic viewing from the 1960s: The Prisoner. Do you remember it? Starring the blue-eyed Patrick McGoohan the series was typical of its time. It was quirky, eccentric and surreal, and viewers were constantly intrigued by its bizarre storyline. For those who didn’t see it, McGoohan was a former secret agent who had been kidnapped and taken to a mysterious, but idyllic-looking place called “The Village”, where all his attempts to escape failed. He was only ever referred to as Number Six – despite his repeated protestations of “I am not a number, but a free man.” Although it was a bit before my time, I have enjoyed the series on DVD because – rather like that other superb 1960s programme The Avengers - it is so wonderfully British in its stylish and witty approach to the realms of espionage, science-fiction and fantasy.

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It can’t have escaped your notice that the cameras have been firmly fixed on Evergreen and This England’s hometown of Cheltenham this week, with the annual Gold Cup Festival. Although our office is some distance from the racecourse at Prestbury Park, I’m convinced that we can still hear the famous Cheltenham roar, which heralds the first race at the start of the festival, and the thunder of horses’ hooves. If we trained our binoculars on the horizon we might also be able to see hats thrown in the air in celebration, or torn betting slips cascading like confetti in despair.

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We know from the correspondence we receive, just how much Evergreen readers enjoy rediscovering books, songs and poems from the past. Our “Hey, Diddle Diddle!” feature, which looks at the origins of some of our best-known nursery rhymes, always uncovers some surprising stories. Little Jack Horner and the frog who went a-wooing are the two rhymes that we delve into in the current issue (click here for subscriptions), and the history that lies behind these seemingly childish and innocent verses is fascinating.

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When was the last time you went to the theatre? Which show did you see? Did you enjoy it? Were there any particularly memorable performances? And, finally, how did the audience behave? I ask these questions for a couple of reasons, as will become apparent in this blog.

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Ladies and gentlemen, the red carpet has been rolled out and it's time to step into your finest frocks and don your tuxedos because this Sunday, 26th February, sees the 89th Academy Awards - better known as the Oscars. Yes, this is the time of year when the stars come out to shine at their brightest, although, dare I say it, not necessarily their best! Somewhere over that glorious Technicolor rainbow, accompanied by the roar of the MGM lion and the 20th-Century Fox fanfare, the leading performers are preparing themselves for Hollywood's greatest night of the year. Once the cameras start rolling they will be polished and preened to perfection, posing like a parade of peacocks as they pause for the greedily snapping photographers and the headline-hungry reporters lining the red carpet. I love the way the stars have perfected that dazzling, megawatt smile that remains firmly in place even when the precious statuette doesn't come into their beautifully manicured grasp. But just take note of how enthusiastically they applaud the victorious nominee. Is this a method of positively channelling their despair? In 1965, when the Oscars were first televised in colour, Bob Hope memorably quipped: "For the first time, you can actually see the losers turn green."

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