Sunday Round-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

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

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 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 ›››

Sunday Round-up

Funeral of the week: Customer services at Tesco demonstrated that they had a sense of fun when they responded to  the customer who had held a funeral for the William the Worm whose body he found in a pre-packed cucumber.

Hot-flush of the week: Scientists are studying killer whales to solve the puzzle of the evolutionary benefits of the menopause, a trait shared by only three species of mammals. Read more ›››


When I was working on my family history, the one industry that cropped up time and again under the ‘occupation’ column of the census was cotton.

Youngsters were the ‘cotton piecers’, the ridiculously dangerous job of scampering among the clattering machinery picking up waste cotton, while women tended to be ‘cardroom hands’ which could be equally injurious to health. Read more ›››

Christiana Edmunds was in many ways typical of our idea of a Victorian English lady. Born to a privileged family, she was privately educated and lived a comfortable life as a ‘lady of fortune’. Strange then that she is remembered as The Chocolate Cream Poisoner.

Edmunds was born in Margate in 1928, the eldest daughter of the architect who designed Margate Light House among other projects. Read more ›››

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