30 September 2014

The British Grenadiers

Nice Boys Finish Last

29 September 2014

Locals Only !


In the US, a double-barreled surname is more often than not a bitch-tell. That, along with short hair, a degree from a Seven Sisters college, and a career. Consider yourself warned.

26 September 2014

Cooking For Chaps: Stylish, No-Nonsense Meals For The Man About Town

The Chap, in collaboration with expert cook Clare Gabbett-Mulhallen, has written a cook book aimed at reviving the lost art of British cookery.

Cooking For Chaps trawls through great British recipes from the last 200 years to bring you the finest selection of meals to prepare for breakfast, elevenses, lunch, afternoon tea, high tea, dinner and supper. The traditional courses have all been observed, with the addition of helpful advice on pre-dinner cocktails, picnic foods and table manners relevant to the contemporary dinner table.

Recipes begin with breakfast, with particular emphasis on breakfast in bed – both the optimistic and pessimistic versions, depending on how successful an evening a chap might have had. Lunch recipes include the Harry Palmer omelette, as created by Len Deighton for the Ipcress File, while other fictional gourmands consulted include James Bond and Bertie Wooster, including Jeeves’s legendary hangover cure.

High Tea, that criminally neglected meal, allows one to serve a houseful of guests with a table laden with pre-cooked delights, but doesn’t allow them to outstay their welcome – ideal for prowling maiden aunts and irritating brothers-in-law. Supper, too, is reintroduced as an essential meal for those who have skipped dinner to attend cultural events where champagne is the only meal served.

Dinner itself obviously gets the most attention, with four courses covering every set of flavours, seasons and occasions. From Brown Windsor Soup to Battered Samphire, through various servings of venison, pheasant, kidneys and skate, to a delicious array of puddings that would not look out of place on the trolley at the Reform Club and which include Shirt-Sleeve Pudding (yes, cooked in a shirt-sleeve), rounding off with the long-neglected tradition of serving savouries with pudding. 

Cooking for Chaps sets out to re-educate men and women in the basic, fundamental art of British cookery. Published by Kyle Books, it is available from www.amazon.co.uk For further information about the book, visit cookingforchaps.com.

23 September 2014

September Gurls (Big Star)

17 September 2014

Robinson Jeffers Paterfamilias

Tor House, Carmel, California

16 September 2014

New Values (Iggy Pop)

A Woman's Place (Operation Hang Ten)

cute and deadly surf twins
"Bill closed his eyes. He felt his jaws ache from gritting his teeth. Where was Lulu? Right there was the jolt he needed. A woman’s place was in the oven. Girls belonged at home, barefoot and pregnant, their lives should revolve around some man. This was not work for them. They were created for the care and pleasure of man."

Patrick Morgan, Deadly Group Down Under (1970)

09 September 2014

The Last Domino (South Africa Border War)

Salisbury - Rhodesia (1971)

Waugh on Being a Catholic

"You have no idea how much nastier I’d be if I was not a Catholic. Without supernatural aid I would hardly be a human being.” 

 - Evelyn Waugh

The Old Gang (Simon Raven)

“All the time, Simon, everyone getting more and more pofaced and pedantic and goody-goody and “efficient”, more “technologically minded”, less and less capable of making or enjoying a joke, shit scared of doing anything that might affect their miserable dreary careers, forever passing the pisspot to somebody else and hoping he’d spill it, so that his enemies could kick him in the face while he was trying to mop up. And all so deadly serious, so earnest, so pi. Christ, how I longed for a breath of Darcy, or O., that lot, your lot, the old gang.

 ...But oh the boredom. And the nagging. After 1960 the whole thing changed completely. Don’t do this, you might kill someone; don’t do that, you might offend someone; don’t drink at lunchtime; get married, we don’t approve of bachelors; get children or the other NCOs will be jealous that you’re not buggered up with kids like they are; get a smaller car, that one will cause envy; wear a hat at the races, it’s the done thing; don’t wear a hat at the races, we don’t do the done thing anymore, it isn’t progressive and modern.”

06 September 2014

Gin Glorious Gin

From the publisher:

'A colourful and fascinating history of our favourite spirit told through the life and times of our capital city.

Gin Glorious Gin is a vibrant cultural history of London seen through the prism of its most iconic drink. Leading the reader through the underbelly of the Georgian city via the Gin Craze, detouring through the Empire (with a G&T in hand), to the emergence of cocktail bars in the West End, the story is brought right up to date with the resurgence of class in a glass - the Ginnaissance.

As gin has crossed paths with Londoners of all classes and professions over the past three hundred years it has become shorthand for metropolitan glamour and alcoholic squalor in equal measure. In and out of both legality and popularity, gin is a drink that has seen it all.

Gin Glorious Gin is quirky, informative, full of famous faces - from Dickens to Churchill, Hogarth to Dr Johnson - and introduces many previously unknown Londoners, hidden from history, who have shaped the city and its signature drink.'

05 September 2014

Home From the Hill (Hilary Hook)

03 September 2014

Cupcake Culture

There's a cupcake store down the street from where I live. The idea of a shop devoted just to cupcakes seems odd to me, but apparently it's quite popular. Every weekend when we're out at local restaurants and bars we notice a line out the door of about 30-40 people. People lining up to buy fucking cupcakes! Incredible. Outside there are groups of people sprawled about on benches and tables, languidly picking at cupcakes. Many of these individuals, it almost goes without saying, possess the body type that in a sane world would discourage them from ingesting more sugar. I do wonder, though, if the effect obtained from cupcake consumption equals that of cocktail overload? I doubt it. For one thing, the conversation, I imagine, is not as engaging, nor the imagination as stimulated. Just another scene from modern life that I shall never understand.

02 September 2014

Be Brave (The Strange Boys)