Peter O`Sullivan and the Iron Duke of Aintree……

  When the late, great racing commentator, Sir Peter O`Sullivan passed away in July last year, there were many column inches devoted to what his most memorable commentaries were. Shergar destroying the opposition when winning his Derby, Grundy beating Bustino in the race of the century or his unforgettable description …

Churchill, China, Elegabalus and the Pea

  Winston Churchill  once famously said “All the essentials of life are a mere four: hot baths, cold champagne, old brandy, and new peas”.   Peas first appeared on earth, according to Norse legend, as a sign of displeasure from the god Thor. He was angry at the lack of …

What the f*** is a Pathetic fallacy

This a phrase coined by the chaetophobic (more about this in a later blog) critic and essayist John Ruskin , to call attention to the tendency on the part of second-rate poets (surely not me) to attribute to nature the emotions and motivations of human beings…….. clouds seem sullen,  leaves …

Clues and Labyrinths…

  “How vainly men themselves amaze…………” Old meanings are confusing enough without shoving two into a line, yet that is exactly what Andrew Marvell did without a flicker of compunction in the opening line of The Garden. The modern reader would be almost excused for thinking that narcissistic men are …

Role and Rolls….

  Some fellow ( I can`t remember his name) once said  “All the world is a stage and all the men and women merely players” Which rather clumsily segues into this:   To act upon this stage you need, of course, a script, and that script was once given to …

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 …