Perry Mason and the Case of the Moth eaten Mink

“Then never mind the gestures,” Mason told him. “We want two thick steaks medium rare, lots of lyonnaise potatoes, some buttered bread, with -” He glanced expectantly at Della Street. Della nodded. “Garlic,” Mason said. –A Perry Mason Mystery; The Case of the Moth-Eaten Mink, Erle Stanley Gardner   Erle …

The art of being unfashionable….

I enjoy being unfashionable. To such an extent that I have firmly embraced the deeply unfashionable, from Norman Wisdom films, virtually all monochrome films made in Britain after the war, GK Chesterton, JB Priestley, the terrible musicals of the 1960’s, including the wonderfully bad ‘Half A Sixpence’, Max Wall, Gilbert …

A very short (dull) history of Goodbye..

  Whilst sniffling with this wretched cold and waiting for the kettle to boil , I was thinking about Hamlet – in particular this odd phrase. “Now to my word; It is ‘Adieu, adieu! remember me.’ I have sworn ‘t”. Adieu is a contraction of the old French parting A …

The wonderful world of Bouts-Rimés…..

  I was trying to finish off an article this morning on codpieces. Please don`t ask why, all I can say is that it is paid work, of which I am grateful. Anyway, as usual I got distracted and came across this rather remarkable poem. It was written in 1747 …

How to cheat at chess…..

  Chess, a haven of peacefulness, a group of men and women with solemn expressions bidding to outsmart each other by being extraordinarily clever in moving their pieces around a small board. To the victor, a small trophy and the warm glow of being a smart arse? Certainly not, chess …

To be sent to Coventry……

  To be Sent To Coventry is to become a social outcast and be ignored by everybody. But why poor old Coventry?   During the English Civil War in the mid-1600s Coventry was a strong Parliamentarian town, and Royalist soldiers, captured during the early battles in the Midlands, would be …

Abolition and string trousers…

Today is the anniversary of the death of John Conrad (1921-1987) John Conrad, the fourth Earl Russell was the son of the great philosopher Bertrand Russell. Sadly it seems that the admirable qualities of the father were  not passed on to the son. During his infrequent visits to the House of …

Baden Powell and the “rascal organ”

  Robert Baden Powell (1857-1941) Before he became a household name as the heroic defender of Mafeking and founder of the Boy Scout movement. His main claim to fame was his definitive book on pig sticking and his penchant for skin tight riding breeches covered in pearl buttons. He also …

Mr Google`s Top Twenty literary quotes…

What do you think the 20 most searched literary quotes within Google would be? Prepare to be surprised (well I was) as there are only two quotes from the Bard of Avon, and not the the most obvious ones to boot plus the rather unexpected appearance of the one hit …

How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot!

  Poor old Pope: He was a hunchback,barely five feet tall, and he was a Catholic. On account of the latter  he sits forever on the naughty step of the (read Protestant) Tradition of English poetry. His revenge: being more epigrammatic than anybody ever (with the possible exception of Oscar …