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Category Archives: correspondence

‘Understanded of the people’?

The Prayer Book Society helps trainee priests with the ‘Shakespearey’ language. – For The Oldie

Failure to launch?

To Daunt’s in Marylebone, last night, where former pretty-boy and nightclub bouncer (and Amorist ‘Fiascos’ columnist) Anthony McGowan launched his latest literary venture, The Art of Failing. Subtitled Notes from the Underdog, the book chronicles a year in the life of West Hampstead’s shambolic would-be flâneur, by way of library mishaps, bad packed lunches, and [...]

Ex STATIC DRAGON

The HAC/Royal Artillery Communicator Course (2/11 – condensed) experienced something of a ‘cold start’ when several of the intake missed the first drill night following a break-down in, er, communications. But the troops rallied manfully, and by the first weekend of December, at Crowborough Camp and under the leadership of CSgt Booth and LCpl Magee [...]

I came, I saw, I conkered

A little bit of seasonal nostalgia. – For The Oldie

An unsigned note

Oldie readers will need no reminding that the heart of John le Carré’s ‘Circus’ – indeed, of his entire ouevre – is one George Smiley OBE. From Call for the Dead (in ’61) to the classic ‘Karla trilogy’, and on til (almost) the collapse of Communism, he battled foe and, sometimes, friend, quite often in [...]

Bollcks to the new-born king!

Troll(ing) the ancient Yuletide carol. – For The Spectator

Fools’ Charter

A trip to see all four surviving originals of the Magna Carta. – For The Spectator

Debriefed by Captain Underpants

A day out in darkest South Wimbledon, with David Gandy and Rich Hardcastle. – For The Spectator

15 years of laughing at ‘Art’

Critic (and diarist) ASH Smyth reflects on the pitfalls of modern art, the vagaries of friendship, and the comic role he’s always wanted.   ‘My friend Serge has bought a painting…’  1997. Ish . See ‘Art’, Yasmina Reza’s comedy of mannerism, for the first time (Wyndhams Theatre, London). Show has hit the West End running: [...]

If you build it they may come

An inter-cultural stroll around Colombo. – For theartsdesk