Naughty Lord Palmerston…….

Despite his ill-fitting false teeth and appalling bad breath, Britain’s prime minister was seemingly irresistible to women during the Crimean War. “Lord Cupid” as he was known in Parliament, fathered seven illegitimate children and once tried to bonk one of Queen Victoria`s ladies-in-waiting while he was visiting Windsor Castle. (He …

The rather odd history of OMG…….

OMG, as anyone under the age of twenty-one (and practically everyone else, at this point) knows, stands for “oh my god!” The acronym is commonly used in text messaging but it predates the era of the ubiquitous mobile phones. In fact, it predates the era of phones mobile or otherwise. …

Why is bellybutton fluff blue?…..

You will no doubt be heartened to hear that a number of scientific surveys have been undertaken regarding bellybutton fluff . What follows are my learned findings: They have all found that the fluff is generally blue in colour and is more prevalent in the navels of certain types of …

A La Recherche du Temps Perdu……

  The novel as a flotation tank. Except that it feels more like that you are suspended in a take away Chicken Korma than floating in water, and far from sensory deprivation, it is a sensory inundation that the experience winds up being all about. Your host: Marcel, a fictitious …

The curious history of ketchup……

  The word ketchup comes from the Chinese dialect Hokkien, Ke-tsiap, the name of a sauce derived from fermented fish. Now popularly known as “ketchup” or “catsup”. The sauce was appealing to the traders and sailors for a number of reasons, one of which was that it was well-preserved and …

The closet Classicist…..

  I thought that I would share this interesting nugget about Karl Marx. According to E.M Butler on page 144 of his The Tyranny of Greece over Germany (1935)…….. Our favourite anti-capitalist was a bit of a closet classicist. “Living in Trier, under the shadow of the Porta Nigra, Marx …

Matching meals and a folly…

  Gerald Hugh Tyrwhitt-Wilson, the 14th Baron Berners, was a gifted composer , novelist, painter and devisor of practical jokes.. When he was a young boy, he learned that birds learn to fly when they are pushed from the nest. So he attempted to “teach” his mother’s dog to fly. …

Unlucky…….

Just when everything seems to be going to plan, the fickle finger of fate appears and a potential celebration turns into commiseration. It does say much for the doughty souls involved in racing that to paraphrase Kipling , win or lose they do “treat those imposters the same” Although there …

Beckett, Cretins and Christians

I was thinking about Max Wall (as you do) earlier today, and I came across a magnificent clip on Youtube showing the great man playing Vladamir in Waiting for Godot.. Estragon: That’s the idea, let’s abuse each other. They turn, move apart, turn again and face each other. Vladimir: Moron! …