Great Britain

The Rich Will Always Be With Us

Exhibit A: The Honourable Member for the 18th Century, Jacob Rees-Mogg AKA The Haunted Chimney, about whom the writer Ian Trevett had this to say: ‘He is famed for filibustering, where MPs block bills by talking for long enough to block the progress of a bill. In his long speech to filibuster the Sustainable Livestock Bill, […]

The Day The Earth Caught Fire…Is Now

Phew, what a scorcher! The second hottest day in history may become the hottest tonight as the temperature is still rising at currently just over 38C – no, I have no idea what that is in Fahrenheit, a system still clung to by papers like the Mail and Express. I’m not there, mercifully, as it’s […]

The Kipper: A Brief History

Kipper: A whole herring, a small, smelly, oily fish that has been split from tail to head along the dorsal ridge, gutted, salted or pickled, and smoked over oak woodchips to produce a slimy, emetic meat some people insist on eating for breakfast. Not to be confused with; UKipper: A far-right racist also known for its unpleasant […]

You Couldn’t Make It Up. But I Might Try.

I’m thinking of writing a new detective series very different from the present one. Let me explain why. Never live in a country that wants to be a world power. The power-hungry nation will focus its attention on everything except its residents. It will involve itself in the wars of those it wants something from, […]

Lit Up

Following on from the ‘Spitfire’ post, here’s another odd radio memory kicked off by Ian Luck, who knows far too much about this sort of thing. As the comments point out, it’s performed by chaps called Public Service Broadcasting. The above photo appears to have been taken in 1970 but I’m assured is recent. Got […]

Every Era Gets The Icons It Deserves

I read a quote somewhere that summed up the journey difference between the UK and the US; ‘When I went from my house to my old job across Texas I realised that the same journey in Europe would have taken me to two or three different countries.’ I love the fact that most of Europe […]

Us & Them

Paradoxically, Londoners work, live and play in Europe. ‘It’s not like this in Europe. The cafés are open, the wine is pouring, everybody’s laughing and gay, ha ha ha ha – not over here though.’ – Tony Hancock, A Sunday Afternoon At Home  Now that the last remaining shreds of logic have fled from every […]

Inconvenient Foods

As child obesity figures rise again McDonalds is once more in trouble. The junk food giant is accused of cheating its way to children with a McDonalds Monopoly game, while management tries to weasel its way out by saying it’s great for salads when everyone knows that lettuce is not what they’re selling. Do they […]

Forking Out In Britain

  There was a time within recent memory when you couldn’t get a meal or a drink in central London after 2pm. The walk from Westminster Bridge to Tower Bridge yielded not so much as a cup of tea. In Michael Palin’s delightful filmed childhood memoir ‘East of Ipswich’ a seaside lady points out, ‘Breakfast […]

An England That Might Have Been

‘We have chosen as targets the most beautiful places in England,’ said the German radio broadcasts on May 4th 1942. ‘Exeter was a jewel. We have destroyed it.’ Exeter was indeed an unusually beautiful Georgian city, because as its town planner said, ‘The character of the place depends less on its monuments than on the […]