Sir Thomas UrquhartWe all like to think that there is an ancestor with a claim to a title or was notable in some way, but few people can have taken his family history as far as Sir Thomas Urquhart when he published his Pantochronachanon in 1652.
Subtitled 'a peculiar promptuary of time', it claimed to trace the Urquhart genealogy back through 153 generations in an unbroken line to the Garden of Eden, taking in Methuselah and Noah along the way... Read more about Sir Thomas Urquhart ›››
Before the rise and fall of cigarettes, the most common way of partaking of tobacco was in its powdered form as snuff and there was no more devoted sniffer of snuff than Margaret Thompson of Burlington Gardens on old London town.
In truth we know little of Thompson's life, but are in doubt about her fondness for snuff from the instructions she left in her will when she died in 1776... Read more about Margaret Thompson ›››
There can be few people with a more unfortunate name as Clotworthy Skeffington, a cruel trick played on him by his parents, but one he tried hard to live up to.
Born in 1743, he was then the latest in a long line of Clotworthies, the family having adopted the first name from John Clotworthy, the Anglo-Irish politician who became the first Viscount Masserene whose title passed to his son-in-law, Sir John Skeffington... Read more about Clotworthy Skeffington ›››
Heard on Radio Five - Shadow energy secretary, Caroline Flint, on fuel poverty, government intervention and EDF's planned 3.9% increase from January:
"No amount of hot air from Ed Davey and the energy firms is going to keep people warm this winter."
You really couldn't make it up could you? Read more ›››
In a parallel universe somewhere, all Hollywood movies are made in Russian, the Beach Boys are called пляжные мальчики and the American Civil War pitted east against west rather than north against south. And all because their Nikolai Rezanov didn't die prematurely of a fever...
Rezanov was born in St Petersburg in 1764 to an impoverished noble family, although he spent much of his early years in Eastern Siberia after his father was made chairman of the Province Court Civil Chamber in Irkutsk... Read more about Nikolai Rezanov ›››
As I mention above, some letters are getting harder than others to fill, so I am having to cheat on the letter Q by writing about Marion Barbara 'Joe' Carstairs, also know as the Queen of Whale Cay.
Carstairs was quite a character - wealthy and openly gay, she was at one time the fastest woman on water, while her closest confidant was a doll and her Queen title comes from one of several islands she bought... Read more about the Queen of Whale Cay ›››
I read somewhere that jet lag is only a problem when you cross time zones from west to east, but that is just rubbish. We got home on Friday and my body clock is still ticking away on Thai time.
What with wonky biorhythms combined with a twenty degree drop in temperature and the usual post holiday malaise, it has been a depressing few days, but hopefully I'm coming out the other side... Read more ›››