Elegant Basil……

  Rugby international Basil Maclear was capped eleven times for Ireland between 1905 and 1907. He was known as a snappy dresser and a man about town. It seemed that his sartorial elegance followed him onto the rugby pitch. He used to play with a pair of expensive white calfskin …

Poor Effie…..

  In 1848  the art critic John Ruskin, he of The Seven Lamps of Architecture – married Euphemia ”Effie” Gray a beautiful 19-year-old. The marriage was never consummated, and after six increasingly unhappy years, Effie fell in love with her husband’s protégé, Millais and set about having the marriage annulled. Ruskin`s reason for …

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 …

Ulysses and Trams…..

  Of all the many books inspired by Ulysses, one of the oddest is surely The Bloomsday Trams: Dublin’s Tramway Fleet of James Joyce’s Ulysses, by a David Foley. The author modestly admits in his introduction that he ‘was unprepared for how difficult this task was to become’ although he …

The euphemism……

Is the euphemism dying out? Growing up in the 1960’s there was an entire sub-lexicon of phraseology to cover this. It was the Golden age of euphemisms. Nobody died of pneumonia, diphtheria or tuberculosis, they were peaky, then poorly, then passed over. Some adults had to be watched because they could turn …