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Category Archives: correspondence

’5 Living Presidents’? ASH Smyth demands a recount

A list of all the living presidents, as at 5:57pm, December 1st, 2018 – for reasons that, I think, should be self-evident. – For Queen Mob’s Tea House

Portrait of a ‘lady’ – Constance Markievicz, by Sarah Purser

Tonight, the Irish journalist Mary Kenny has a play on at the Irish Cultural Centre. Entitled Dearest Old Darling, it’s based on letters sent between the Dublin feminist, socialist, communist, Sinn Fein MP (elect, but never sitting) Constance Markievicz – née Gore-Booth – and her sister Eva. My great-great-great-aunt, Sarah Purser, portraitist, landscape artist, and [...]

Did The English Patient send me to Afghanistan?

Two nights from now, by way of (ahem) a birthday present, I will be attending a live-orchestra screening of The English Patient at the Albert Hall. I had invited an old friend, a raven-haired young lady (named in Debrett’s) of impossibly romantic tendency, who first exposed me to the film in, I’d say, about 1998 [...]

Up diddly up, down diddly down

Itchin’ for a Twitch Inn, at the Heritage weekend. – For The Oldie

Brue meets gel

About the Bruegels on my bedroom wall. – For The Oldie

Sehr Gutenberg

On movable type, the Internet, and almost every damn thing in between. – For The Oldie

Spies like us?

A less-than-Smiley response to John le Carré. – For The Oldie

Creation-ism

This weekend I will be joining a local choral society for their performance of Haydn’s The Creation – and what better way to welcome Spring now that it’s finally arrived. An avowed and much-loved masterpiece from its earliest performances – Vienna, 1798 – ‘whose appeal [I read from A Peter Brown's DECCA sleeve-notes] was irresistible [...]

A moment of indexision

On Bram Stoker, #indexday, and the weird and wonderful history of the hapax legomenon. – For The Spectator

“Festooned with Saxons” – or; How great-grandfather won the Triple Crown

‘If success does not throw the Irishmen off their balance, they may go on winning and winning until the height of a season’s ambition may be attained.’ — Athletic News and Cyclists’ Journal, 3 February 1896 . When it comes to the 6 Nations, in recent years the fixtures guys have done well making sure [...]