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Monthly Archives: March 2018


. The German army has the healthiest troops in the world. — The Nelson Evening Mail, July 13 1908 . In January 2001 a BBC documentary crew filmed the everyday goings on in a typical workplace. The skin of fantas melons smells of BO. There’s 25% off Rovic floors. Philip Hensher will read any old crap. [...]

“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 [...]


. The average salary of professors at Dublin University is £530. — The Nelson Evening Mail, March 14 1907 . Wherever there is a fire that ravages everything in its path, the protea is the first thing to regenerate. Clive James once voluntarily interviewed the Spice Girls. Manchester has become ‘Womanchester’. Cineworld has landed in [...]

Tripping hither, tripping thither

When I went to the bar as a very young man, it was often enough in the company of the Oxford University Gilbert & Sullivan Society. My relationship with G&S had started early, specifically the argument in Three Men in a Boat over which song Harris is trying to sing (I remain confused to this [...]


. A blind chameleon cannot change its colour. — The Nelson Evening Mail, July 17 1908 . Nobody ever thinks they’re stupid. All homes bear ethnic odours. Some bags look the same. There’s no point putting shackles on Quinton de Kock. You don’t get many Mini Eggs for a pound no more. The UK is [...]

I heard, this morning, in the nursing home…

‘Struggling every day in scorching heat. Staggering under the burden of more than he should carry. The heavy load cruelly rubs his back until it’s raw and bleeding. He has sores on his legs, too, so that every step is agony. He’s desperately thirsty, and oh so very, very tired. . This is his life [...]

An irony

South Africa is not on Zulu Time.