How Boxing Day Snuck Up On Us!

A story of accidental traditionalism . . . Just last week I wrote a how this year we decided to play down Christmas, partly because we live in a country where it’s not celebrated by most of our friends, and also because it has become more and more commercialized and this leads to public exploitation. So no Holly, […]

For Grown Up Photographers Only

Photography has come a long way since Nicéphore Niépce made the first photogravure etching in 1822 and thus created an industry. When I last visited his birthplace and museum in Chalon-sur-Saône nearly forty years ago it was possible to take a sheet of sensitised paper from a drawer, and develop it into a replica of that […]

Still At War With The Obvious?

Richard Marley, the legal owner, until 1987, of the of the Black Bear Commune, Siskiyou County, California that was founded in 1968, said before he died that ‘Life is like launching a boat into a smooth lake and sailing it to the centre, where it sinks.” He also said that had he known he was […]

Merkozy: easier to play politics than deal with the painful centimes

This weeks two-day European summit is the latest in an apparently everlasting series of make or break Eurozone meetings. Plus, it’s another chance for those two unlikely pals – a German Fraulein and a French gigolo, who also happen to be the French President and the German Chancellor – to have a poetic Press Release love-in: […]

How To Pass The Citizenship Test, [Part 3].

You must pass the “Life in the United Kingdom Test” to get your British citizenship, or to stay in Britain as a permanent resident. I’ve just watched a film called ‘The History Boys’. It’s based on a play of the same name written by Alan Bennet that was performed by The National Theatre.   Akthar, […]

Think Tank

The British were the first to deploy tanks in battle during the First World War, at the Battle of the Somme in 1916. The famous rhomboidal form factor of these Mk1 tanks was in direct response to the environment of the battlefield and nature of war at the time: trench warfare. Although the French introduced […]

The Return of The Skylon?

How Joe 90 does that sound? The Skylon! I thought “himself” must have been talking about something from the pen of Gerry Anderson, but no, he was looking through a box of his father’s books after visiting an exhibition, at the Southbank Centre, celebrating the 1951 Festival of Britain. Tony – my father-in-law – had […]

When George Bush Jnr. Cancelled My Breakfast . . .

Imagine this scene. You’re in your bedroom. Your eyes slowly open. Looking out you focus and attempt to take in your surroundings. Ah it’s O.K. you’re where you expected to be. The tip of your tongue scans the place where your bottom row of teeth meets your gums. Further back, between your tongue and the […]

A Spitfire, a Hurricane and a Lancaster

Last Sunday, there I am working away on the week’s blog posts for Blokes when I hear what is definitely no ordinary light aircraft tootling over the Downs to the Headcorn airfield below the Greensand Ridge (oh yes, we appreciate and love the view). Dashing outside, expecting something old and venerable, and calling to the […]

How Waughs Begin, (With apologies to A. J. P. Taylor).

Three generations after Crutwell died in a Lunatic Asylum and was buried six feet underground the Waughs are after his blood. As if it were yesterday his crime appears to stain them. I doubt, as some claim, that it is because they believe Crutwell fornicated with dogs that offends them most but rather that he […]