31 May 2010

A Tribute To Our Troops: Rhodesian Forces

Coming to a Western country near you...

30 May 2010

California Girlz

29 May 2010

Stand by the JAMS

Chatwin OCBD

28 May 2010

Wind From The Carolinas (Robert Wilder)

Wind from the Carolinas is a novel by Robert Wilder based on the true history of a family throughout the 1800s. It is the story of the Camerons, an aristocratic Tory clan who fled the South in the wake of the American Revolution to rebuild their baronial plantations and recapture their lost fortune in the turbulent, windswept Bahama islands.

27 May 2010

Harbour Island Bahamas

25 May 2010

Von Bülow Style

In London I lived across the street and frequently spotted him peddling a bicycle through Onslow Gardens and along the Brompton Road. He wore a brown trilby, light mac, and brown brogues. I've not seen the film--in fact have no desire to do so--and have no opinion on the matter. But I will say, anyone who is the target of slippery Ivy League-trained American lawyers can not be an altogether bad chap. I raise my glass of wine to the rakes, cads, and corsairs of the modern world.

24 May 2010

Confessions of a Young WASP

23 May 2010

The Runagates Club (John Buchan)

"A London dining-club is a curious organism, for it combines great tenacity of life with a chameleon-like tendency to change its colour. A club which begins as a haunt of roysterers may end as a blameless academic fraternity; another, which at the start is a meeting-place of the intelligent, becomes in the progress of time a select coterie of sportsmen. So it has been with the institution of which I am the chronicler. It has changed its name and is now the Thursday Club, and the number of permissible members has been increased. Its dinners are admirable; conversation at its board is dignified and a little serious; it has enlarged its interests, and would not now refuse a Lord Chancellor or a Bishop.

But in its infancy it was different. Founded just after the close of the War by a few people who had been leading queer lives and wanted to keep together, it was a gathering of youngish men who met only for reminiscences and relaxation. It was officially limited to fifteen members--fifteen, because a dozen was dull, thirteen was unlucky, and fourteen had in those days an unpleasing flavour of President Wilson and his points. At first, until Burminster took it in hand, the food and wine were execrable; hence the name of the Runagates Club, given it by Lamancha from the verse in the 68th Psalm: "He letteth the runagates continue in scarceness."

But all defects in the fare were atoned for by the talk, which, like that of Praed's Vicar,

"slipped from politics to puns,
And passed from Mahomet to Moses."

You could never tell what topic would engage the company, and no topic was left unadorned, for I do not suppose there has ever been a group with such varied experiences and attainments. Each man was in his own way an expert, but, while knowledge might be specialised, the life of each had been preposterously varied. The War had flattened out grooves and set every man adventuring. So the lawyer and the financier were also soldiers; the Greek scholar had captained a Bedawin tribe; the traveller had dabbled in secret service; the journalist had commanded a battalion; the historian had been mate on a novel kind of tramp; the ornithologist had watched more perilous things than birds; the politician had handled a rougher humanity than an English electorate. Some of the members, like Lord Lamancha, Sir Edward Leithen and Sir Arthur Warcliff, were familiar to the public; others were known only to narrow circles; but at the Runagates Club they were of one family and totem, like old schoolfellows.

Good talk is not for reproduction in cold print. But at those early dinners there were reminiscences which may well be rescued from oblivion, for all were story-tellers on occasion. Indeed, it became the fashion once a month for a member to entertain the company with a more or less complete narrative. From these I have made a selection which I now set forth."

Preface to The Runagates Club, John Buchan (1928)

Christ Church Beagles 1937

22 May 2010

Famous Rugby Jerseys

19 May 2010


The shock of stock market volatility in recent weeks has led to brief periods of detachment and absent-mindedness, much more so than usual. A result of which, errors have been committed. I reveal one here. In the accompanying photographic image (at port), young Digby, a Hermann's Tortoise (Testudo hermanni hercegovinensis) from the mountains of eastern Croatia, is shown leaving the scene of a spilled cocktail in great haste. Normally he is a cheerful enough fellow, friendly, tranquil, and dignant, if at times given to an aristocratic haughtiness that is typical of his race, who likes nothing more than to sunbathe by the pool whilst tucking into Caesar salad. But in this case, the look on his face is one of extreme displeasure and one can only imagine his mood.

18 May 2010

Brooks Brothers Crew 1931

On the Marble Cliffs (Ernst Jünger)

The Barclay

14 May 2010

Brideshead Revisited: Always Summer

"If only it could be like this always--always alone, always summer, the fruit always ripe, and Aloysius always in a good temper."

Viyella Wallah: Cool When it's Hot and Warm When it's Not

Africa Addio (Farewell Africa)

Warning: Graphic images

Summer Spectators

13 May 2010

The English Gentleman: The Gentleman and his Wardrobe

His Suits

Those people who have a suit for every day of the week and even, one is reluctantly led to believe, more expansive wardrobes, are parvenus of the worst sort. A gentleman generally has two suits. There is one for formal occasions like funerals and another for less formal occasions like going up to London. They are made by one of a select band of exclusive tailors and last him many years until his wife judges they are too threadbare. Then they are either handed down to the gardener or given to a good cause like the Distressed Gentlefolk's Aid Association. By this time, with any luck, his tailor has been paid and he buys two more. The criterion of a gentleman's suit is that it should fit well round the shoulders and that the cuff buttons undo so that he can turn them back when he is washing his hands.

Other Wardrobe

Although the number of suits he owns is on the meagre side, he has an assortment of other garments which are essential to him and which seldom find a place in the wardrobes of others. He has, for example, a jacket for every occasion. If he is a hunting gentleman he will have a hunting jacket. He will also have a hacking jacket, a shooting jacket and a gardening jacket which no self-respecting gardener would ever be seen in and they invariably have horn or leather buttons, several of which will be missing. He has a dinner jacket with trousers to match which must under no circumstances be called a 'dinner suit'. If he has evening tails he apologises for them, saying that they belonged to his grandfather, which is almost certainly true. A gentleman will sometimes wear a white waistcoat with his dinner jacket, particularly if he cannot find a black one and not mind being whispered about by non-gents, for it is perfectly permissible. He will not, however, wear a black waistcoat with tail, which is the prerogative of hotel waiters. A gentleman will also have a morning coat which he wears with rather dashing light-coloured trousers unlike those dark striped ones which are rented out by dress-hire firms.

The English Gentleman, Douglas Sutherland (1978)

Night Flights

The Blizzard (Akira Kurosawa)




12 May 2010

Hunt or be Hunted: German Hunters ca 1921

Thanks to TF in Frankfurt

Sotherboy: Bruce Chatwin at Sotheby's

Long before he became a celebrated traveller, novelist and controversialist, Bruce Chatwin was a 'Sotherboy' – a precocious young art expert for the famous auction house. Fifty years later, his colleagues recall Chatwin's Bond Street days with affection.

By Christian House

The Independent, Sunday, 16 November 2008

On a crisp winter morning 50 years ago Bruce Chatwin stepped off New Bond Street and into the galleries of Sotheby's for the first time. He was an 18-year-old, dough-faced boy straight from Marlborough College. The following eight years spent at the auction house were to prove pivotal. They would inform his unique prose style, introduce key themes to his work, provide him with a wife and create a lasting fascination with the allure of objects.

The world into which Chatwin entered that morning was experiencing a dramatic change. That season the art market had shifted up a gear, much as it did in September this year when Sotheby's hosted the groundbreaking Damien Hirst auction. In October 1958, the company staged the first black-tie evening auction of Impressionist paintings ever held in London. The Goldschmidt sale changed forever the way in which art was marketed, auctioned and desired by a new global audience. Bond Street was awash with reporters, their bulbs flashing on a dizzying array of dinner-jacketed bidders.

Read on...

Copyright 2009 Independent News and Media Limited

Sweet Toast of Mine

11 May 2010

A Field Guide to L.A. Preppies

A field guide to L.A. preppies

The ’80s fashion statement is back. And in some parts of Southern California, it never went away. Where to find the look and the scene, with a West Coast sensibility.

By Adam Tschorn, Los Angeles Times

April 25, 2010

It's all but official: Preppy is back. But can Los Angeles — the laid-back land of mañana and margaritas, ever rise to the level of a prep paradise? It may surprise you, but it already has.

You wouldn't know it from the definitive text on the topic. When "The Official Preppy Handbook" was published in 1980, it didn't just give the West Coast the short end of the lacrosse stick, it practically smacked the City of Angels upside the head with the milky white sole of a Sperry Top-Sider. The few references to L.A. were more like admonitions. As a ski area, Mammoth Mountain was maligned for being "too close to L.A.," and the chapter on vacations deemed Los Angeles "strictly slumming material."

Which was understandable given what passed for preppy at the time: an insular WASP tribe clustered around New England, with wardrobe and social habits bizarre enough to warrant the satirical field guide that sprang from the minds of the handbook's Lisa Birnbach and co-authors John Roberts, Carol McD. Wallace and Mason Wiley.

Now with Birnbach soon to publish a sequel, we must recognize that the prep diaspora has continued unabated, and today the full trappings of a prep-centric lifestyle are just as likely to be found on Catalina as on the Cape, and the prototypical prep might just as easily hail from Manhattan Beach as Manhattan.

To that end, we've compiled a shortlist of L.A. locales and labels that today's Binks, Bunnys, Bitsys and Biffs might find worthy of a soft, well-mannered golf clap.

Read on...

Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times

10 May 2010


Squash: Father vs. Son

09 May 2010

Robinson Jeffers

"There is no reason for amazement: surely one always knew that cultures decay, and life's end is death."

- Excerpt from The Purse-Seine, Robinson Jeffers

08 May 2010

Night Flights

The Rake: The Modern Voice of Classic Men's Elegance

If you are in need of reading material for your holiday in the Bahamas this summer, check out the journal The Rake. The focus here is on classic men's style and it claims to promote a "renaissance in gentlemanly sophistication and style." But it is much more than that. Recent issues also include pieces on literature, art, music, and design. The current magazine features a profile of the Hollywood actor George Hamilton, an essay on signet rings, and a stimulating account of the White colonists in Kenya before the war. The Rake is written for men by men. No preening metrosexuals, douchebags, or fashion-obsessed adolescent boys. Adults only, please. Luckily for me they do permit non-gentlemen to subscribe and it has been just over a year since I sent in my initial donation. I find every issue a delight. When I carry my collection of back issues to the beach or pool in my bespoke tote bag, I am so captivated by the inspiring content within that I barely take notice of the sizzling bikini-clad hotties surrounding me. The Rake is that good.

07 May 2010

The Marlboroughs

06 May 2010

Night Flights

The Day of the Jackal (1973)

The film The Day of the Jackal (1973) is one of my favourites and remains an inspiration to this day. If you are planning to assassinate a senior political figure who is betraying your country, it is best to wear the proper clothes--including a cravat-- whilst doing so, to memorialise the occasion.

Kometenmelodie 2 (Kraftwerk)

L is for Labour

04 May 2010

Bertie Wooster: Floor Plan

Night Flights

Tartan Tuesday

Reds Don't Surf !

03 May 2010

Belgian Shoe Delight

"These dainty shoes can be a shock when initially tried on; they seem slightly camp, but even the butchest of men could not fail to be impressed by how comfortable they are. While slipping on a pair in delicious chocolate-suede, I attempted to glean from the shop's manager, who his customers might be. Of course, he was far too discreet to divulge, though I did surmise that they do include some of the most powerful individuals on the planet. Being a little down at heel myself, I chose to have rubber soles added to the bottoms of my pair to increase longevity--such luxury does not come cheap."

Mr Classic, Jeremy Hackett (2006)


02 May 2010

California Poolside

Spanish Sailing

Don Juan de Bourbon (l), Juan Carlos (c) and Bernardo Arnoso (r) sailing in a small yacht.

Henry Darger: In the Realms of the Unreal, or, The Story of the Vivian Girls

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

01 May 2010

Living in the Sunlight, Loving in the Moonlight (Bratislava Hot Serenaders)

Featuring Henry de Winter aus Berlin und Bobby.