Saturday, 14 July 2012

Manhattans, Mikado and Mass

What the....!!!! I hear the one or two followers of this blog spluttering into their gruel....the fellah's gone totally mad, what on earth can connect those three things?

Not a lot really except that, I (along with Mrs L) have just returned from an overnight stay in Cardiff to see an open air version of Gilbert & Sullivan's Mikado.

The production was great and highly entertaining just didn't hit the spot.


Konnichiwa or How d'you do? but never howdy pardner

Because the producer had decided, in his wisdom, to bring the production a little up to date so that some numbers, such as, "Here's a how-de-do" (which, I believe should be spelt and pronounced as "Here's a how d'you do but now I am getting pedantic) had been vulgarised into a hillbilly format complete with fiddle type music and holding one's braces dance routines. There was more of the same.

It did nothing to improve (how could it) on G & S's music and lyrics but it did a great deal to detract and diminish.

So, (by now you will have seen my exocet trail) I was minded of the Novus Ordo and how, it is good and proper but it just fails to hit the spot; it's all that 'bringing it up to date' c**p that really does not wash.

First link.

And then, the notable Fr Z has recently devoted some time to debating the merits of Manhattan cocktails over Dry Martinis - stay with me and all will become clear.

Due to our pre booked hotel making a fist of our reservation and, in fact, losing it (Oh yeah?) we were offered a damp mattress in a doss house as compensation.

'No way' was our retort. We want a five star hotel complete with all the trimmings plus we want a free meal for four, a series of taxis to ferry us to the show and back to our new hotel and yet back again the following morning.

Our wishes were granted; in fact, the somewhat worried looking Manager actually stated that we could have whatever we wanted.

We settled for the above and when, late that night we checked in to the Cardiff Hilton, we fell into the bar (exhaustion, you understand) and ordered drinkie poos for 4.

Now, never having tried a Manhattan I decided that my time had come and asked the barman for the same. He looked puzzled and asked me for the formula.....ummm.....whisky and sweet Martini was my response. He looked dubious and went off to Google it. Turns out I was correct and within a very few minutes a large cocktail glass, big enough for two goldfish to live in quite comfortably, was at my elbow (but not for long).

I sipped this exotic looking drink and was hooked - pure ambrosia!

However, the dear barman, in an attempt to please had added a stick with three glace cherries impaled on it so that, instead of looking fairly cool and man of the worldish, I appeared much like a second hand car salesman of uncertain gender. All it lacked was a paper umbrella.

Never mind. I agree with Fr Zuhlsdorf.......Manhattans are great.

It took several people to restrain me from ordering a second which is just as well because I think two of those concoctions might have played with my brain, or what is left of it.
 I settled for a goodnight glass of Murphy's (there was no Guinness on offer) and went to bed.

So, there you have it. Global warming is getting a grip, Iran is moving closer to a nuclear strike, Europe is in meltdown, Obama is gaining ground as Romney weakens (remember I told you not to give up on Santorum?) and Al Qaeda look likely to rule in Afghanistan - never mind - Manhattans are fantastic.

And so is the Tridentine Latin Mass (and you don't get a hangover).


  1. Hillbilly, um, music can make even the sturdiest man despair of salvation.

  2. Manhattans – yes! I must have missed Fr. Z’s piece on them but I have been a devotee of them for decades. However, this being Wisconsin - noted for being the biggest consumer of brandy among the 50 States – I use brandy. As I don’t like it too sweet, I use half and half of sweet and dry vermouth plus a dash of bitters. Nectar! Yes, none of your maraschino cherries, either! If more ‘bulk’ is needed, try almond-stuffed green olives or cocktail onions.

    Americanizing G & S…??? Horrors! Someone once gave me a CD of The Pirates of Penzance performed by an American cast. It just didn’t sound right – those accents, you see.