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Category Archives: Journalism

‘Understanded of the people’?

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

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. Our Eastern allies have just spent £2,000,000 in equipping a Government steel works. — The Nelson Evening Mail, September 8 1908 . Ben Stokes is the sixth Englishman to have his name on the honours boards at Lord’s for both batting and bowling. The smell of hot food is not very common on building sites. Annalise was [...]

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 [...]

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. Miss Mary Elsen, of Chicago, is suing Dr. Charles Weser, a local doctor, for 60 breaches of promise during a four years’ courtship. — The Nelson Evening Mail, June 22 1912 . Soldiers are quite fond of children. Chopsticks are the reason the Chinese never invented custard. The senior members of the House of Commons are not [...]

An honest pisstake

Pissing Figures: 1280–2014 by Jean-Claude Lebensztejn (transl. Jeff Nagy) David Zwirner Books, 168pp, £11.95 . From a Cimabue cherub to Szydlowski/-lowska’s Lenin, simply everyone is pissing. In pen and ink, paint on canvas, plaster, wood, stone, polymer, block prints, engraving, chamber pots, aquatints, dishware, film, manuscripts, inlay, public statuary, trick-photography, and in a Japanese video [...]

I came, I saw, I conkered

A little bit of seasonal nostalgia. – For The Oldie

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. The typewriter is more largely used in Mexico than in France. — The Nelson Evening Mail, August 2 1906 . In 1943 a British pilot made an emergency landing on the Italian island of Lampedusa, only to have it surrender to him. Kelo trees live for up to 3,500 years, and remain standing for another 700. [...]

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. On the body of a man who committed suicide in the canal at New Gravel Lane, Stepney, a hospital card was found marked “delusions”.’ — The Nelson Evening Mail, January 6 1909 . The new Norwegian Bible translation is by no means a rush job. Gieves & Hawkes is the cheapest Top 10 London tailor. [...]

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 [...]