28 February 2012

Waugh Study

Tartan Tuesday

27 February 2012

N. Tuczek

26 February 2012

Afrikaner Blood

25 February 2012

Wilfred Thesiger: A Charmed Existence

I met Wilfred Thesiger for the first time in June 1964 at his mother's top-storey flat in Chelsea. He was then aged fifty-four. He was sunburnt, tall, with broad shoulders and with deep-set grey eyes. As we shook hands I noticed the exceptional length of his fingers. He wore an obviously well-cut, rather loose-fitting dark suit. I remember clearly that he smelt of brilliantine and mothballs. He spoke quietly, with an air of understated authority. His voice was high-pitched and nasal; even by the standards of that time, his rarified pronunciation seemed oddly affected. He had a distinctive habit of emphasising prepositions in phrases such as 'All this was utterly meaningless to me'. He moved slowly and deliberately, with long ponderous strides; yet he gave somehow the impression he was also capable of lightning fast reactions. Later, I heard that he had been a source of inspiration for Ian Fleming's fictional hero James Bond. Whether or not this was true, Thesiger, like Bond, was larger than life; and, like Bond, he appeared to have led a charmed existence.

Wilfred Thesiger: The Life of the Great Explorer, Alexander Maitland (2007)

24 February 2012

Laguna Sunset

Hussar Style

23 February 2012

Moskau (Rammstein)

In The Garden: Peregrine Worsthorne

22 February 2012

The Raider Wolf: Officers' Mess

21 February 2012


20 February 2012

Brooks Brothers Style

un-buttoned end of day

Gaziano & Girling TG73

18 February 2012

17 February 2012

Flashman On Ambition

'So I told him I had ambitions, too–to live as I please, love as I please and never grow old. He didn’t think much of that , I fancy; he told me I was frivolous, and would be disappointed. Only the strong, he said, could afford ambitions. So I told him I had a much better motto than that…“Courage–and shuffle the cards”...'

George MacDonald Fraser, Royal Flash (1970)

The Art of Parties

15 February 2012


bon chic bon genre


For the last 12 years or so I've been eating the Paleo Diet without even knowing it. It was only after doing some research that I discovered plenty of other chaps were doing the same. And that they had a name for it. What is it? The Chef In Jeans explains:

"[Paleo] is a diet that is based off the eating practices of ancient man.

The diet itself is designed to mimic the eating habits of preagricultural humans, the hunter gatherers. The thinking behind this is that this phase of human existence is, on a whole, the bulk of human existence. The past few thousand years spent farming grains and crops is just a small percentage of how we’ve existed throughout our existence.

Industrialization has done little to help by making foods, that before were very rare, like sugar, into something incredibly commonplace. To those of us who support the paleo way of life its very obvious why the modern western world is in the middle of an obesity epidemic."

Discourse on Boob Jobs

About a month ago a colleague of mine at the bank spent a night with a young woman he picked up in a bar in West Hollywood. During the proceedings he surreptitiously snapped some photos of her naked.

The reason he did so was her alarmingly lopsided boob job: one breast up, one down. Literally. He texted it to some of us. It was funny and grotesque at the same time. The photo is now doing the rounds in offices in Los Angeles and New York. I wish every woman considering breast enhancement surgery could see it.

A girl friend just told me about a young woman whose fake tits slipped their moorings and fell into her rib cage whilst she was practising yoga. Imagine the embarrassment.

Southern California is rife with women who've gone under the knife, though I've been told Buenos Aires is even worse. London and New York have their share, too, but the women there have fewer opportunities to flaunt it on the streets.

I prefer my women to have natural breasts, for love-making and child-rearing purposes. Up to a certain point, of course, big surgically-enhanced breasts are definitely a sexual turn-on. It's only when one gets one's paws on them that they seem less than ideal: hard, rigid, shiny, unyielding, comic.

As a chap I can report--after years of exhaustive qualitative research and comparative analysis--that fake tits are not all they are supposed to be. Natural is best.

Locals Only !

14 February 2012

Flashman On The Charge

Two Nations Divided By A Common Tweed

13 February 2012


“...I feel I'm moving toward as well as away from something, and anything is possible.”

Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho (1991)

11 February 2012



10 February 2012

Hang Ten

Secret Germany

SA Special Forces Brigade: Second To None

09 February 2012

Vintage Racquets

Hackett King's Road

08 February 2012

Flannel Pinstripe Dispensation

Even in Southern California, I am pleased to report, it is possible to wear a flannel suit. When the weather is sufficiently cool, and the planets are aligned in rare celestial conjunction, I often can be spotted wearing a Southwick flannel suit. My favourite such item (pictured at left) is the Dorset 2-button model, in a rich charcoal with light blue pinstripes. Of all my suits, this one receives the most comments. In the photograph I have paired it with a light blue spread-collar shirt in a subtle herringbone pattern and a Rolex Submariner watch. Not pictured are a Rubinaccie tie and Cleverley half-brogues in merlot. The blue brings out the colour of my eyes, which the ladies evidently find rather pleasing, or so I have discovered.

Beagling Virginia

07 February 2012

Cleverley Collection

The photograph (at left) depicts the shoe collection of the Baron de Redé (1922-2004), a collection comprising as I understand it mostly Cleverley models. You will note the preponderance of brogues and loafers. My eyes are drawn to the number of black brogues, a particular favourite of mine. As they say: "Black brogues, black heart". The late baron, a prominent banker and aesthete, had exceptionally narrow feet, for which bespoke shoes from Cleverley in London were the most appropriate solution. In return the company named a model of shoe after him: a smart chisel-toed loafer with tied tassels, in versions of black calf and brown suede. A wonderful tribute if ever there was one. When I examine my own shoe collection it's apparent black prevails. For me it's most useful, spending as I do most of my waking hours in dank private banking orifices. What colour dominates your collection?

06 February 2012

Beauty In Tweed

Into The Stratosphere

“The game must have exhausted all its possibilities. Then, only, can one dare the impossible. We are searching for those who have escaped into the stratosphere. We approve of the doctrine of Zarothustra, according to which, man must be surpassed by the overman. We do not see a moral obligation but a historical necessity. The following stage will be the surpassing of the overman. He will be broken on the human, which will draw from this encounter a superior power.”

Ernst Jünger, Heliopolis (1949)

05 February 2012


On my first visit to Windhoek, Namibia, about fifteen years ago, I saw dozens of blonde-haired German children and their parents milling around this church one afternoon. African traders were lined up across the street selling tourist trinkets. I stayed in a small German hotel in the centre of the city, within walking distance of the research institute. At night I drank in the bar, next to large bearded men who downed glass after glass of white wine. I visited the luxury hotels to meet up with pretty local girls or cute-but-naive American Peace Corps women, the latter type a distressingly common occurrence throughout my travels around Southern Africa. I met representatives of the local German community, who told me increasing numbers of young Germans were coming to the country and running hunting farms for the tourist trade. Namibia sports a bleak, desolate landscape, beautiful in its spareness, reminiscent for me of Arizona and Southern California, and it occupies a special place in my memories.

04 February 2012

Fashion In Roxy Music

03 February 2012

Royal Plantation Bahamas

La maison où j'ai grandi (Françoise Hardy)


02 February 2012

Tweed: Lies To Tell Lefties

Sloane Ranger Analysis

'The fundamental sociological point that the Handbook [The Official Sloane Ranger Handbook: How The British Upper Class Prepares Its Offspring For Life, by Ann Barr and Peter York, 1983] makes, and Veblen would wholeheartedly endorse, is that Sloanes are ‘a living museum of old modes of behaviour’. The authors have rightly discerned that what the accoutrements and appurtenances of Sloane life unwittingly reveal is a 19th-century view of the 18th century, sustained and exemplified by token symbols of warrior/landowner gentrydom, which would be quite unrecognisable to a real Fielding squire. The obsession with the ubiquitous Horse Motif, the quasi-military trophies and table-mats, the taste for archaic breakfast food, the staunch preference for Georgian wood and silver, the too-prominent placing of the dog-basket, the Fields and Horse and Hounds in the downstairs loo, Caroline’s incurable addiction to Debrett, Henry’s thin, gold, oval, engraved, not swivel-backed cufflinks, the nostalgic love of dhurries and Mogul hangings and Indian bedspreads (even if Grandfather wasn’t in the Indian Army or ICS), the silk shirts ‘copied by Sam on a business trip to Hong Kong’, even the Sloanes’ ‘keen as bloodhounds’ sensitivity to the smells of boats, bonfires, leather and high-octane petrol (good) and aeroplanes, old vase-water, imitation leather and diesel oil (bad), are all symptoms of a half-conscious ideology whose deep structure is explicable only by reference to an unbreakable attachment to tradition: ‘Sloanes put tradition top because it keeps them top’ – or near enough to it to keep them happy.

There is, to be sure, a Darker Side. But true to the spirit of Malinowski, the authors do not shrink from revealing it, too (if only because it turns out to be almost touchingly harmless). Sloanes do commit a lot of traffic offences, and not infrequently cheat on their income tax. A few Henrys are unmistakable ‘four-letter men’, even if they seldom qualify as roaring shits on the full-blooded patrician and/or bohemian scale. There may well be a naughty uncle living in Marrakesh with ‘others of his ilk’, and another being dried out at the Priory in Roehampton or the Crichton in Dumfries. Sloane marriages do quite often come unstuck, whether just because Henry’s ‘moved into his dressing-room’ or because he’s decamped with his secretary, the nanny or his best friend’s wife, in which case Caroline (unless she’s the best friend’s wife in question) goes vengefully off on a Serenissima culture tour. Sloanes are not, on the whole, very charitable. Caroline can be not only meaninglessly gushing, but unpleasantly callous. (The authors are a little ambivalent about this: they are right that Ranger understatement is sometimes misinterpreted by outsiders as callousness, but they also recognise that ‘other Sloanes can be cruel if someone’s “a bit of a mess” ’ – i.e. a ‘fermented boozy’ who’s gone ‘well and truly off the rails’). More of them than are aware of it themselves are intermittent and sometimes chronic depressives, but it’s out of the question to go to a Shrink in (Dreaded) Hampstead or even to admit to the possibility of a need for one (‘You would be a behaviourist – if you knew what it meant’). The real trouble is that Sloanes are not merely ineducably complacent, but indefatigably resistant to any remote possibility of seeing themselves as others see them.'

'Henry and Caroline', by W.G. Runciman, London Review of Books, Vol. 5 No. 6 . 1 April 1983

01 February 2012

New Order

“There is no more order to conserve; it is necessary to create a new one.”

Pierre Drieu La Rochelle (1893-1945)

The English Gentleman: National Colours