James’ Shamelessly Nostalgic A-Z Of Cartoon Characters That He Liked As A Child – Part 1: Athos and Aramis

James Proclaims (4)

It’s Easter Sunday, a day of not inconsiderable religious significance for some people, which I absolutely respect, though I am not especially of a religious persuasion myself. It also is a day on which we’re encouraged to eat lots of chocolate, so long as that chocolate comes in the shape of an egg,  and this is something that I’m more than happy to get on board with. I’ll certainly be having my fill of egg-shaped chocolate today.

Easter Sunday is not always on the 1st April – given that the need for it to specifically happen on a Sunday precludes it from occurring on a consistent calendar date. I imagine there are other factors, which also determine when Easter occurs, because it’s sometimes in March and sometimes in April and sometimes it’s right at the start of April, but other times it’s at the end of April. I don’t know what those factors are. Perhaps I’ll look them up, or maybe I’ll continue in my ignorance. As long as I get to eat lots of chocolate I’m basically fine with it happening whenever it happens.

What does always occur on the 1st April is the much loved April Fools Day celebration, where we all go out of our way to make our family and friends look a bit stupid, while hoping that they don’t make us look a bit stupid in return. If you are going to embark on a little ‘fool-mockery’ today then be sure to observe the key rule – humiliating people is a morning activity only. If you catch someone out with a witty fabrication in the afternoon then tradition dictates that it is you who is the fool, not them. Even if they still clearly are fools for falling for such an obvious prank…

This year, April 1st is also the day on which I down my usual blogging tools and pick up my specially commissioned alphabetised tools in order to take part in the, now traditional, A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year (as you’ll know if you bothered to read this explanatory post) I’ll mostly be blogging about cartoon characters that I liked in my youth. Which brings us neatly on to my first cartoon character (or in this case characters) of choice. Today, being the first day of the challenge is is all about the letter ‘A’:

A

‘A’ is for Athos and also for Aramis.

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They were two of the fabled ‘three musketeers’ from Alexandre Dumas’ classic novel ‘The Three Musketeers’. Which I’ve never read. But I have seen numerous adaptations which, as we all know, is exactly the same as reading the book.

And my favourite adaptation, beyond a shadow of a doubt, was the brilliant 80’s cartoon Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds, in which all the protagonists were portrayed as animals (and mostly, but not exclusively, as dogs).

I was never quite sure why they were called ‘muskehounds’ in the title and theme tune and then referred to as musketeers in the cartoon itself. But no matter, it’s a tiny criticism of what was one of the seminal cartoons of my youth.

Another criticism might be that the characters of Porthos and Athos seemed, in the cartoon, to have been mixed up – ‘Porthos the muskehound’ largely had the character traits of  ‘Athos the musketeer’ from the book and vice versa. It never bothered me too much, but it does seem a strange mistake to have made.

However, let’s not dwell on that now. Instead, let’s all sing along with the fantastic theme tune.

All together now:

One for all and all for one
Muskehounds are always ready
One for all and all for one
Helping everybody…

James Complains About Eggs-tremely Early Easter Eggs

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By anyone’s standards, Christmas is well and truly over for another year. I, alas, had to go back to work on the 3rd January, which seemed a little early given that it was very much within the 12 days of Christmas. I’m not sure it should really be legal to make people work while Christmas University Challenge is still being broadcast.

I watched that particular show avidly. Mrs Proclaims and I are fans of the main show anyway, although I find it perplexingly difficult to get the questions right. I find for the ‘celebrity’ Christmas edition though, they make the questions a bit easier so I’m able to feel artificially cleverer during the festive period.

It was with great pride that I saw my adopted town of Reading make it through to the final of the Christmas edition. It was with subsequent shame that I saw them fail to score a single point in said final. Technically I am both a current student and alumnus of Reading University (‘alumnus’ having already obtained a ‘professional’ accreditation from said institution and ‘current’ as I’m stumbling through my MA part time and at the slowest pace permissible) so the pride and shame of their success and ensuing failure was keenly felt. Continue reading James Complains About Eggs-tremely Early Easter Eggs