Sunday Round-up

Jeremy Corbyn gets a boxing lesson as he visits Caris Boxing Club in Islington.

Southpaw of the week: Jeremy Corbyn posed in the boxing ring as part of his campaign to cling on to the Labour leadership. Unfortunately, he overlooked the brand name on his gloves which certainly blows his pc credentials.

If that wasn't enough, he also failed the Mumsnet biscuit test, branding himself a miserable git for saying he doesn't touch them because he's ‘totally anti-sugar on health grounds’ before admitting that he isn't averse to the odd bit of shortbread. Read more ›››

K is for Nine Kings

Nine Kings

Rather than being about an individual, this week's post concerns a remarkable photograph of nine kings that illustrates how great were the changes in the early 20th century.

It was taken in London in May 1910 as the crowned heads of gathered for the funeral of King Edward VII and of the nine monarchs, four would be deposed, one assassinated and two would be at each other's throats. Read more ›››

The Road to Hell


Back in 1995, the BBC broadcasted a radio dramatisation of Len Deighton's novel Bomber, the story of a fictional saturation bombing raid on Germany in 1943.

It was cleverly segmented so that the different sections of the play were broadcast at the same time of day as the drama, so the pre-raid preparations were on in the afternoon, the raid in the evening and the denouement at 11:30pm. Read more ›››


Yorkshire Pudding kindly posted some photos of the red squirrels he saw on his recent trip to Formby as I'd asked him to and I can appreciate the problems he must have had in getting one of the critters to stay still long enough to pose.

I much prefer this native rodent to its incomer cousin, the grey squirrel, which infest our garden and steal the bird food. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up


Advocats: The Citizens' Advertising Takeover Service raised £23,000 to replace every advertising poster at Clapham Common tube station with pictures of cats to ‘inspire people to think differently about the world and realise they have the power to change it’.

And tv goes to the dogs: Our dog, Dottie, is a big fan of Countryfile and any wildlife programmes and the reason is that she can see the images on the screen which she couldn't have done on an old analogue set, according to Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas of the University of Central Lancashire. Read more ›››

End of an Era


It's funny how you can feel that you someone really well even though you never met them, and yet they've entered your home on what feels like a daily basis for as long as you can remember.

One such is the doyen of Radio Five, Peter Allen, who retired today at the age of seventy. Well almost retired since he is returning in the autumn for a Sunday evening news review show. Read more ›››

Ken Snakehips Johnson

Perhaps the earliest black star of popular entertainment was Ken ‘Snakehips’ Johnson whose career was ended prematurely in tragic circumstances.

He was born Kenrick Reginald Huymans Johnson in 1914 in Britsh Guiana, his father a prominent doctor in the community. He was educated locally until he was fifteen when he was sent to the Sir William Borlase Grammar School in England. Read more ›››

Spitting Image


I don't normally have much sympathy for the likes of Facebook, but I did think they were in a ‘damned if they do, damned if they don't’ position last week when there was that fuss about them banning The Terror of War.

Their algorithm for picking up on and prohibiting the publishing of photos containing child nudity couldn't tell the difference between the perverse and this iconic image of children running from a napalm attack in Vietnam because one of them happened to be naked. Read more ›››