To bite the dust…..

Somewhat surprisingly the phrase did not originate from Hollywood Cowboy films but from the Greek Homer over two thousand years ago. It took many years for the phrase to make the transition into English. In 1720 Alexander Pope(1688-1744) the poet and champion of the heroic couplet translated Homer`s words as …

Flying into Everest…….

  In 1932, a manager of a woman`s clothes shop in Yorkshire set his sights on a place in history by attempting the first ever solo ascent of Mount Everest. His name was Maurice Wilson and he had a rather cunning plan. He would conquer Mount Everest by crash landing …

Beards and beef tea………

  When Matthew Robinson inherited the title of Lord Rokeby in 1793 he was already 81 years of age, As an ex Member of parliament he had strong views on just about everything. He was a fervent believer in the health giving properties of fresh air and exercise. He walked …

The Six foot high club…..

  East Thistle Street in Edinburgh was the site of perhaps one of the most peculiar clubs ever to open its doors in Scotland; namely the Six foot high club. Opening in 1826, membership was only granted to people who were six foot or over. Admittance rules were strict. Each …

Terpander and the grape….

    The ancient Greeks adored Terpander. He was without doubt the most popular musician and lyricist of his time. Originally from Antissa, on the coast of Lesbos he had settled in Sparta, where he completely transformed the whole Greek musical system. He  added more strings to the lyre, changing …

Manners maketh man………

  As prosperity grew in 12th century England there was a renewed focus on etiquette and manners. This was a time of cultural renewal which was based on classical models. Along with the elaboration of monastic rules of behaviour (‘customaries’) and the development of ‘household ordinances and serving manuals’, there …

A brief history of trousers..(part one)

  When Marcus Tullius Cicero, the philosopher and lawyer, was defending the former Gaul governor Fonteius from accusations of extortion, he cited the wearing of trousers as a sign of the “innate aggressiveness” of the Gauls—and an extenuating circumstance for his client: Are you then hesitating, O judges, when all …