#r2bcheerful39 – Taking Mum to Paris

Last year we were fortunate enough to travel to travel to Europe for a few weeks. Although we mainly spent time in the UK we did get a chance to travel to Paris for a few days and enjoy the sites. As it was a family affair, I can strictly say that I was taking mum to Paris (albeit the mother of my children!)

And what better way to celebrate this then an image of Gustav Eiffel’s famous iron tower?

180117_r2bCheerful-39Paris
Built as a temporary structure for the 1889 World’s Fair this remains the tallest building in Paris and is the most visited paid monument in the world, over 125 years later. Looking up at this icon how can one fail to have a reason to be cheerful?

~ Richard

#r2bcheerful17 – Porridge Oats

I don’t know that porridge (aka oatmeal in US parlance) would necessarily be one of my top 65 reasons to be cheerful. It’s not that I don’t enjoy this healthy breakfast staple, it’s just that it’s a bit “meh,” as the kids would say.

Recently, my daughter was in hospital and this formed part of the standard institutional breakfast.  Perhaps being served this is an indication of recovery, who knows? Either way, Ian and the Blockheads thought sufficiently highly of this ancient grain to include it in the list and who am I to argue, especially as it has cholesterol lowering properties too!

170405_r2bCheerful-17PorridgeOats

~Richard

#r2bcheerful35 – Health Service glasses

It’s been a long time since I lived in the UK and when I was there my eyesight was better than it is now so I didn’t need glasses for reading. However, it was nice to know the National Health Service (NHS) offered free glasses, at least to the young, old, and less well off members of British society. I checked on their website and it still seems to be the same, so that’s good. When the NHS was established, on 5 July 1948, during Ian’s childhood, it was surely a reason to be cheerful, as it is today, to be able to get your eyes checked out and glasses if you needed them courtesy of the good old “Health Service.”

170205_r2bcheerful_glasses
Yes, I know these aren’t NHS glasses, but to be honest they’re not too dissimilar from the old black-framed ones that used to be issued when we were kids.

 

~Richard

#r2bcheerful24 – Going on forty

Ian was born in 1942, so when he and the Blockheads wrote this song in 1979, he was the grand old age of 37 years old. Given he was at the height of his musical career at this point, after a fairly late start, I would think it fairly obvious that “going on forty” was a reason to be cheerful for him.

It’s been a long time since I was 40, but I was on a number hunt over the last couple of weeks for my photo site and did happen upon this great 40lb dumbbell in the gym which I offer as an interpretive image.

170124_r2bcheerful24_40
~Richard

#r2bcheerful53 – Something nice to study

I don’t know about you, but I love learning new things, even as I get older. There’s something fulfilling about adding to my knowledge and skill set and it keeps my mind and body healthy.

Although I am quite happy using the laptop to scour the web for useful pieces of information I must admit that I do love a good, old-fashioned book to leaf through once in a while. There’s something fundamental about the tactile nature of the interaction and also the randomness of flicking through the pages of textbooks, or browsing whole collections in a library, or (even better) a secondhand bookstore with the added element of surprise around every corner…

As far as I am concerned having something nice to study is a great reason to be cheerful!

170118_r2bcheerful53-Study.jpg

~Richard

#r2bcheerful8 – Jump back in the alley

This may seem an odd reason to be cheerful but I have had a few years to think about this and here’s my theory: When Ian and the Blockheads were writing the song back in Italy following the cancelled gig they were probably bouncing ideas off each other. The fourth reason to be cheerful they chose was the phrase “good golly Miss Molly” from the Little Richard song of the same name. It seems quite logical to me that “jump back in the alley” is another reference to Little Richard’s song, “Long Tall Sally”. In this case the phrase could mean listening to the song, or perhaps the fun that Uncle John is having in the original song!

Either way, they are both a good reason to be cheerful!

170117_r2bcheerful8-Alley.jpg

~Richard

#r2bcheerful58 – Coming out of chokey

If you are sane enough to be naughty (see #r2bcheerful23) you may end up enjoying some time at Her Majesty’s Pleasure in the chokey (prison). Getting out of chokey would then be a real Reason to be Cheerful!

This image is of one of the spur corridors at the now disused Easter State Penitentiary in the heart of Philadelphia. This is indeed a cold, grim place and one that any inmate would have been glad to get out of prior to its final closure in 1971…

170115_r2bcheerful25-Choky.jpg

~Richard

#r2bcheerful25 – No Electric Shocks

My understanding is this phrase was the inspiration for Ian writing Reasons to be Cheerful (Part 3). During a tour in Italy in 1979 one of the band’s roadies, Charley, was nearly electrocuted during a soundcheck at one of the venues because of poor electrical wiring at the gig. Thankfully, he survived but the show was cancelled and this song was written in the hotel that same evening.

Anyhow, we all know that although essential for modern living, electricity is dangerous unless treated with respect.

This sign is from an old disused rail bridge near to my home, and warns of the dangers. Not having an electric shock is always a reason to be cheerful!

170114_r2bcheerful25-NoElectricShocks.jpg

~Richard

#r2bcheerful28 – A Little Drop of Claret

At the end of the day, or perhaps with an appropriate lunch or dinner, a little drop of claret goes down well. Claret, of course, in the quintessentially British term for red wines produced in the Bordeaux region of France, using a blend of grapes from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and rarely Carménère. The term is believed to derive from the French word “clairet” which was a dark rosé imported into Britain from the 12th century until the 18th century. Claret now really means a dry, dark red Bordeaux and is generally associated with the English upper class.

So, in Ian’s lyrics he was probably referring to the ability to get hold of “a little drop of claret” as something of a treat for most people and therefore a true “Reason to be Cheerful

170112_r2bcheerful28-Claret.jpg

I also thought it would be fun to use one of our Tipsy Wine Glasses for today’s image, a recent xmas gift from our friends in California.

Cheers!

~Richard

#r2bcheerful33 – Sitting on a Potty

I know we don’t want to get all lavatorial here, but there is something a little bit comforting about sitting on the potty, don’t you think? And as for using the rare Meyer Sniffen Co. Vortex Special from the 1920s, well – job well done, so to speak! And certainly a Reason to be Cheerful!

170111_r2bcheerful33-Potty.jpg

~Richard

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