Sunday Round-up

Bagpiper

Scourge of the pipes: Bagpipers are being warned of a potentially fatal consequence of their hobby as a Manchester man dies of ‘bagpipe lung’. Personally, I'd be more concerned for my eardrums.

Cry foul: It has been scientifically proven that boys are better than girls at spotting an offside goal because they play more team sports. Read more ›››

Leo Gradwill

Even the most difficult situations can throw up the unlikely hero and one such was Leo Gradwell who emerged with great credit from one of the most disastrous episodes of World War Two – the decimation of Arctic Convoy PQ17.

Gradwell was born in Chester in 1899 and after studying classics at Oxford, he joined the Royal Navy and served during the First World War. When the war ended, he became a barrister. Read more ›››

It’s no joke

The Joker

I wonder if one sign of ageing is losing your sense of humour? Or perhaps it's because you've been around long enough to have heard all the jokes there can possibly be in all their variants?

This occurred to me as I was reading about the top fifteen jokes from this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, as voted for by the viewers of the Dave tv channel, and thought most of them were rubbish. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up

Horse Make-up

Making-up isn't hard to do: A row is brewing among the horse show set about whether it is fair or proper to plaster the horses with mascara, foundation and hair extensions to make them more attractive to the judges.

Mind you, sometimes you just have to do it, like Bob the stallion who has had hair extensions to his tail to help him swish the flies away. Read more ›››

Trouble at Mill

Alistair Brownlee with Yorkshire flag

Despite its high ideals, the quadrennial bout of patriotism that the Olympics engenders I find vaguely disturbing. And I confess that I'm as guilty as anyone else.

There we sit on our sofas cheering when one of our lads dives in a pool or kicks their someone round the head or paddles down artificial rapids, and cheer even louder if the opposition makes a pig's ear of things. Read more ›››

Fresh Air and Fun

Blackpool Rock

I was reminded that it was exactly ten years ago today that we were waiting for Ms P's A-level results. It was a traumatic morning as her plans to study physiotherapy went west along with her failed science subjects.

After some tears and a hasty family meeting, she switched tack and ended up studying psychology instead, a path that led to her interest in teaching young children. Read more ›››

Maria Teresa de Filippis

Maria Teresa de Filippis was an Italian racing driver who in 1958 was the first woman to enter the Formula One Championship and is one of only two women ever to make it to the starting grid.

Filippis was born in Naples in 1926, the daughter of a count, her career began on the Amalfi coast when her brothers bet that she couldn’t drive quickly. Read more ›››