Thanks for the memories, Blowers

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Thanks for the memories, Blowers

Post by skully on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 02:11

Blofeld to retire

"LEGENDARY cricket commentator Henry Blofeld is retiring from the BBC’s Test Match Special team after nearly half a century — sparking an outpouring of emotional tributes.

Known affectionately as “Blowers”, Blofeld, 77, has charmed followers of the program with his old-world approach to the job, with observations on London buses and pigeons as important as the action on the field.

Blofeld’s final stint will be the Lord’s Test between England and West Indies starting on September 7."


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Well played, you dear old thing.
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Re: Thanks for the memories, Blowers

Post by lardbucket on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 08:05

I'm not so sure that this is a sad day .... it may be curmudgeonly but his belated retirement makes this more of more of a haemorrhoidectomy than an orchidectomy, in my view.

Going back many years ago he was less irritating than entertaining, I guess; but that's a long time ago.

He could play in his day.


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Re: Thanks for the memories, Blowers

Post by furriner on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 16:18

^^ Yeah wot he said.

Although he came across as a very nice guy, so I'll raise a glass to him.
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Re: Thanks for the memories, Blowers

Post by tricycle on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 17:41

Very long post, but my favourite story from him.

Spoiler:
I was watching Nottinghamshire play Gloucestershire, and I’d had a little bit of a drink at Trent Bridge at the end of the day’s cricket, so I caught a taxi back to the hotel. I had a bath, which is something I occasionally do, changed and put on a clean shirt and took a book down to dinner. I had an extremely good dinner with a very, very good bottle of wine. I remember it very well and I was rather surprised to find it there. So by the time I got to bed, I was ‘very nicely thank-you’, I suppose.

My trouble started because, ever since my keepers allowed me to, I have discarded pyjamas and I’ve always slept in the raw –I found it easier that way. So I got into bed and fell asleep, which was absolutely splendid, but I woke up soon afterwards at about a quarter to two to answer the call of nature.

Well, whereas most of us would flick on the switch at the side of the bed and negotiate our way into the bathroom that way, I thought all these high-rise buildings are exactly the same, the bathroom’s in exactly the same place, look, no hands, I’ll do it in the dark!

I got out of bed and I turned right and turned left and I found the handle of the door, turned it and went out. To my amazement the light was on, which rather surprised me. Then I looked and saw there was a wall about six feet in front of me. I thought, that’s strange, there’s no loo at all. Then I heard a great clunk behind me . . . you’ve guessed it, the door of my room had slammed shut and there I was, stark bollock naked on the ninth floor of this hotel in Nottingham.

It’s quite a predicament. I really didn’t know what to do. I was befuddled with sleep and my sense of judgement was gravely impaired. I wandered aimlessly up and down the corridor hoping for a staircase, but I couldn’t find one. There was a lift, but I was rather apprehensive of the lift. Suddenly I saw, in a little nook outside a door, a tea tray; there was a pot on it and underneath the cup was a paper doily, folded into quarters.

I opened it out and held it in front of me and, without trying to show off in any way, it just about did duty. Really, in circumstances like that, there’s not very much else one can do. I thought, it’s nearly two o’clock in the morning; the night porter might get the thrill of a lifetime but he’s a man, it should be all right. So I summoned the lift, which came up and I got into it. There were nine bedroom floors, I was on the top one, then it had buttons with the letters REST for the restaurant, BAR for the bar, and REC for reception.

With great care and precision, because my life depended upon it, I pressed the bottom button with REC on it. That was fine. The lift doors shut and we went down the first nine floors. Then quite suddenly the lift stopped. I thought this was rather strange. I looked up at the lights and it wasn’t REC, it was REST. I stood there shivering and the lift doors opened and to my horror, positively surging towards me, I saw eight ladies in long dresses and eight men in dinner jackets. And there I was! People thought it was terribly funny and came running to have a look –they were almost charging fifty pence a time –until eventually a funny little man came up and said, ‘You look in a spot of bother!’

I said, ‘How very swift of you to spot it.’Then I told him, ‘The man I’m really after is the night porter,’and I realised as soon as I’d said it that I could have rephrased it to advantage.

He said, ‘The night porter’s over there. I’ll go and get him. Keep the lift door open.’Well, that was a button at the top, so I had to do a very delicate operation, with one hand up pressing the button and the other one holding the doily, and to everyone’s immense disappointment, I got it more or less right.

Then the night porter came and he thought I was a very suspicious character, but because I’d pressed the bottom button for reception, we went down together in the lift. People were running from floor to floor, so we had the whole thing again at the bar floor, and then at the bottom. Eventually, I got back to my room and the relief was tremendous. The next morning I went to see the manager of the hotel to apologise, a chap called David Waite, I think his name was. I went into his office and said how sorry I was and he said he had heard what had happened. He said he wanted to ask me one particular question which rather puzzled him.

He said, ‘I wondered why you held your doily where you did. You know, most people are recognisable by their faces!’

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Re: Thanks for the memories, Blowers

Post by lardbucket on Sun 25 Jun 2017, 01:20

tricycle wrote:Very long post, but my favourite story from him.

Spoiler:
I was watching Nottinghamshire play Gloucestershire, and I’d had a little bit of a drink at Trent Bridge at the end of the day’s cricket, so I caught a taxi back to the hotel. I had a bath, which is something I occasionally do, changed and put on a clean shirt and took a book down to dinner. I had an extremely good dinner with a very, very good bottle of wine. I remember it very well and I was rather surprised to find it there. So by the time I got to bed, I was ‘very nicely thank-you’, I suppose.

My trouble started because, ever since my keepers allowed me to, I have discarded pyjamas and I’ve always slept in the raw –I found it easier that way. So I got into bed and fell asleep, which was absolutely splendid, but I woke up soon afterwards at about a quarter to two to answer the call of nature.

Well, whereas most of us would flick on the switch at the side of the bed and negotiate our way into the bathroom that way, I thought all these high-rise buildings are exactly the same, the bathroom’s in exactly the same place, look, no hands, I’ll do it in the dark!

I got out of bed and I turned right and turned left and I found the handle of the door, turned it and went out. To my amazement the light was on, which rather surprised me. Then I looked and saw there was a wall about six feet in front of me. I thought, that’s strange, there’s no loo at all. Then I heard a great clunk behind me . . . you’ve guessed it, the door of my room had slammed shut and there I was, stark bollock naked on the ninth floor of this hotel in Nottingham.

It’s quite a predicament. I really didn’t know what to do. I was befuddled with sleep and my sense of judgement was gravely impaired. I wandered aimlessly up and down the corridor hoping for a staircase, but I couldn’t find one. There was a lift, but I was rather apprehensive of the lift. Suddenly I saw, in a little nook outside a door, a tea tray; there was a pot on it and underneath the cup was a paper doily, folded into quarters.

I opened it out and held it in front of me and, without trying to show off in any way, it just about did duty. Really, in circumstances like that, there’s not very much else one can do. I thought, it’s nearly two o’clock in the morning; the night porter might get the thrill of a lifetime but he’s a man, it should be all right. So I summoned the lift, which came up and I got into it. There were nine bedroom floors, I was on the top one, then it had buttons with the letters REST for the restaurant, BAR for the bar, and REC for reception.

With great care and precision, because my life depended upon it, I pressed the bottom button with REC on it. That was fine. The lift doors shut and we went down the first nine floors. Then quite suddenly the lift stopped. I thought this was rather strange. I looked up at the lights and it wasn’t REC, it was REST. I stood there shivering and the lift doors opened and to my horror, positively surging towards me, I saw eight ladies in long dresses and eight men in dinner jackets. And there I was! People thought it was terribly funny and came running to have a look –they were almost charging fifty pence a time –until eventually a funny little man came up and said, ‘You look in a spot of bother!’

I said, ‘How very swift of you to spot it.’Then I told him, ‘The man I’m really after is the night porter,’and I realised as soon as I’d said it that I could have rephrased it to advantage.

He said, ‘The night porter’s over there. I’ll go and get him. Keep the lift door open.’Well, that was a button at the top, so I had to do a very delicate operation, with one hand up pressing the button and the other one holding the doily, and to everyone’s immense disappointment, I got it more or less right.

Then the night porter came and he thought I was a very suspicious character, but because I’d pressed the bottom button for reception, we went down together in the lift. People were running from floor to floor, so we had the whole thing again at the bar floor, and then at the bottom. Eventually, I got back to my room and the relief was tremendous. The next morning I went to see the manager of the hotel to apologise, a chap called David Waite, I think his name was. I went into his office and said how sorry I was and he said he had heard what had happened. He said he wanted to ask me one particular question which rather puzzled him.

He said, ‘I wondered why you held your doily where you did. You know, most people are recognisable by their faces!’

nice story

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Re: Thanks for the memories, Blowers

Post by PeterCS on Sun 25 Jun 2017, 02:00

I wish him a happy retirement, but not a favourite commentator of mine.

Was presumably originally taken on by the BBC as an ersatz "Jonners", at a time the latter looked on the point of bowing out altogether (though he carried on longer than expected, on the radio). Jovial Eton duffer image, what-ho! and all that.

But he had none of Johnston's rather Peter-Pan charm or (slightly innocent) grace. By comparison, it too often seemed an act of jolly-old-bean self-promoting bullfroggery, an (in fact) less affable epigon of the older man, riding on BJ's Eton coattails so to speak.

He quite often gave me the impression of being *gratuitously* ungenerous. A bit like Boycott in that respect: but Boyks' insensitivity was at least based in some measure on a frank/cloddish assessment of (lack of) cricket ability. "This team is roobish!"

With Blofeld, there seemed something crueller, waspish, about it. One example:

Now, nobody would claim Ashley Giles was a great spin bowler. But the "trundling up like a wheely bin" - expressed not on a forum/platform/valve like Flaming Bails, but professionally on air, and repeatedly - carried a failry obvious "load of garbage" connotation with it which, if Blofeld didn't realise at first, will have been pointed out to him. But he seemed to relish in repeating it, even after Gilo's retirement. Just one example of that less affable attitude I mentioned. Maybe skills-wise Giles had no room to be deeply offended by the repeated mocking, but all the same, he was.

And he never seemed to be an astute reader of the play, even before - no fault of his own, naturally - the eyesight began to fail and he could barely identify anyone (bar buses or seagulls?), make out what was happening, roaring HE'S OUT!! HE'S OUT!! when he wasn't, or vice versa, missing the trick. Making a bit of a balls of commentary.

Well before that, he seemed to respond, unreliably, to what was going on out there. Little insight or wisdom to add, personal anecdotes apart. Far from conjuring the scene, or anticipating next moves.

His use of the language was hardly more articulate than average, no word pictures, let alone poetry. (Admittedly, there are worse, a couple far worse, but that is hardly a commendation!)


So, all in all .... I wish him (genuinely, and in spite of all that!) a happy retirement!
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Re: Thanks for the memories, Blowers

Post by Red on Sun 25 Jun 2017, 05:12

PeterCS wrote:I wish him a happy retirement, but not a favourite commentator of mine.

Was presumably originally taken on by the BBC as an ersatz "Jonners", at a time the latter looked on the point of bowing out altogether (though he carried on longer than expected, on the radio). Jovial Eton duffer image, what-ho! and all that.

But he had none of Johnston's rather Peter-Pan charm or (slightly innocent) grace. By comparison, it too often seemed an act of jolly-old-bean self-promoting bullfroggery, an (in fact) less affable epigon of the older man, riding on BJ's Eton coattails so to speak.

He quite often gave me the impression of being *gratuitously* ungenerous. A bit like Boycott in that respect: but Boyks' insensitivity was at least based in some measure on a frank/cloddish assessment of (lack of) cricket ability. "This team is roobish!"

With Blofeld, there seemed something crueller, waspish, about it. One example:

Now, nobody would claim Ashley Giles was a great spin bowler. But the "trundling up like a wheely bin" - expressed not on a forum/platform/valve like Flaming Bails, but professionally on air, and repeatedly - carried a failry obvious "load of garbage" connotation with it which, if Blofeld didn't realise at first, will have been pointed out to him. But he seemed to relish in repeating it, even after Gilo's retirement. Just one example of that less affable attitude I mentioned. Maybe skills-wise Giles had no room to be deeply offended by the repeated mocking, but all the same, he was.

And he never seemed to be an astute reader of the play, even before - no fault of his own, naturally - the eyesight began to fail and he could barely identify anyone (bar buses or seagulls?), make out what was happening, roaring HE'S OUT!! HE'S OUT!! when he wasn't, or vice versa, missing the trick. Making a bit of a balls of commentary.

Well before that, he seemed to respond, unreliably, to what was going on out there. Little insight or wisdom to add, personal anecdotes apart. Far from conjuring the scene, or anticipating next moves.

His use of the language was hardly more articulate than average, no word pictures, let alone poetry. (Admittedly, there are worse, a couple far worse, but that is hardly a commendation!)


So, all in all .... I wish him (genuinely, and in spite of all that!) a happy retirement!

LOL, but probably not far off the mark.

I saw him when I was a kid, scoring in one of those old-fashioned score-books at a SS match at the MCG one day. He looked a tad incongruous, but one certainly couldn't question his passion for the game.

He sounded a bit bumbling and babbling and at times overly pretentious but his leaving the box is another transitioning from the halcyon days of the post Packer cricket commentary with the recent demise of Benaud, Greig, etc.

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Re: Thanks for the memories, Blowers

Post by lardbucket on Sun 25 Jun 2017, 07:03

He shouldn't really be mentioned in the same breath as Benaud, Lawry, Arlott, Johnston, Cozier.

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Re: Thanks for the memories, Blowers

Post by taipan on Sun 25 Jun 2017, 07:20

TBH I found him a bit irritating. Something just seemed a bit off. Maybe a self parody?
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Re: Thanks for the memories, Blowers

Post by WideWally on Mon 03 Jul 2017, 07:03

I guess this would be the appropriate thread.

Rita reckons this drink is delicious but I won't be trying it.

https://www.lifestylefood.com.au/recipes/26220/cumin-digestive-tea?ref=BP_LINKLIST_lifestyle-daily_LIF_cumin-digestive-tea-recipe_030717
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Re: Thanks for the memories, Blowers

Post by lardbucket on Mon 03 Jul 2017, 08:39

try the similarly spiced cider

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Re: Thanks for the memories, Blowers

Post by PeterCS on Mon 03 Jul 2017, 11:23

I saw the post was by Wally, the link was cumin-digestive-tea, and feared we were going a dodgy sort of route.

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Re: Thanks for the memories, Blowers

Post by Brass Monkey on Sun 16 Jul 2017, 17:50

He was a f*cking caricature for years and years. Hammed the f*ck out of it. If I wanted to know what was actually going on in a cricket match, I wouldn't be tuning in to hear that wobbly-kneed, plum-mouthed procrastinatory, ersatz Rowley Birken schtick.

It was played out BEFORE I started watching cricket.

F*ck you, Blowers. F*ck. You.
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Re: Thanks for the memories, Blowers

Post by PeterCS on Mon 17 Jul 2017, 12:47

But come on, Danny - get off that fence for once ....

:o)
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Re: Thanks for the memories, Blowers

Post by beamer on Mon 17 Jul 2017, 20:32

TMS will definitely lose a lot of its character with his departure, whether or not his commentary is your cup of tea (or glass of vintage red wine perhaps?)

The remaining line-up of commentators is pretty good, Aggers has been the voice of summer for many years now and with the younger additions settling in it's in safer hands than I thought it might be a few years ago when the last of the "old guard" departs, but it is about more than just describing the play, it's about cakes, buses, pigeons, double entendres and the ability to make rain breaks as entertaining as when there's action on the field. If it was just a straightforward cricket report it wouldn't be the national institution it is.

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Re: Thanks for the memories, Blowers

Post by Basil on Tue 18 Jul 2017, 13:33

Good luck to Blowers in his retirement but not my favourite commentator by a country mile.
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Re: Thanks for the memories, Blowers

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