An American reader puts down his copy of The Razor’s Edge by Somerset Maugham and, after taking a sip or two from a glass of Riesling, writes to remind me Continue reading Serious Money
Last weekend BBC Radio 4 broadcast Air-Force One a play about the events immediately after John F Kennedy’s assassination on 22nd November, 1963. If you are my age you will remember where you were when you heard the news. Continue reading Nombre de Vingt-Quatre
Last week veteran BBC cricket commentator, Jonathan Agnew, was reprimanded for not wearing a tie when making a broadcast from the pavilion at Lord’s. This prompted Times journalist and P G Wodehouse Society member, Patrick Kidd, to recall a Wodehouse short story in which Lord Plumpton thinks he is being stung by wasps. His companion tells him;
” No wasps around here, not in the pavilion at Lord’s. You can’t get in unless you are a member.” Continue reading All About You and Heaven
The reconstructed Berliner Schloss, referred to a couple of days ago in the post headed Athens 1931, is run by an organisation called the Humboldt Forum. Hence the Humboldt Box, that houses the exhibition about the project. It will have our Neil MacGregor as a Gründungsintendantenor or founding director. Continue reading Bricks, Money and ‘Phones
I lived in a large house, well really a castle, in Ireland as a child. It had one telephone placed under the stairs, made of Bakelite, with a circular label like a now defunct tax disc that read DUNLEER 5. This was useful if you forgot your number. Continue reading Kentucky Calling
What happened in Athens in 1931? The drachma was introduced? The Greek government defaulted on a debt to Barings Bank? The Greek monarchy was restored? The Greek monarchy was abolished? Continue reading Athens , 1931
“Drink Time! In the Company of Patrick Leigh Fermor” is a memoir by Dolores Payás describing her visits to his house in Greece near the village of Kardamili in Mani in the last two years of his life. It bursts with her affection and admiration for him and is an admirable coda to his life.
But what to drink while reading it? Continue reading Drink Time!
Not O blast, try saying ob-last, preferrably with a Russian accent. Oblasts are provinces or administrative districts in Russia; there are 46 of them. This is a fairly useless bit of information, even for playing Scrabble, as who would want to squander two S tiles. Continue reading Oblast
When I went to work in the City, nearly 40 years ago, there was a dispensation on Fridays; staff could wear tweed suits and brown shoes to segue to the weekend. My office was only a few years old and had air conditioning; unusual those days. Unless someone actually fell to the floor with a seizure, it was forbidden to loosen a tie or remove a coat. Continue reading Friday
I bought “Wake Up, Sir”, by Jonathan Ames, lured by “hilarious” being quoted five times across the top of the cover and this quote from The New York Times Book Review; “A Wodehouse novel for the recovery era”. What could possibly go wrong? Continue reading Wake Up, Sir!