Sunday Round-up

Weirdo
The latest to answer Dominic Cummings call to recruit ‘weirdos’ and ‘misfits’ to join the civil service is that shrinking violet Uri Geller. Personally, I think we have enough weirdos and misfits in Whitehall already – I call them politicians.

Name game
Lucius, Acasius, Earl and Grey are among the 21 boy names predicted to be all the rage in 2020. Speaking of names Read more ›››

Away and Home

Having accepted an offer on our house and with nowhere to go we embarked on a hectic round of twenty viewings over two weeks in June.

We saw bungalows, houses and apartments but none quite ticked all the boxes. There is small and then there is too small. Others were lovely but out on a limb as far as amenities are concerned while others were madly overpriced. Read more ›››

Home and Away

As I wrote yesterday, with both me and Mrs P happily retired and the kids having left home it seemed the right time to move house.

Don’t get me wrong, we loved what had been our home for nineteen years but with its dozen or so rooms we found ourselves rattling about our Victorian semi. And if I’m honest, it was looking a little tired and in need of a new family to make their mark on it. Read more ›››

Back in Business

2019 was a funny old year for all sorts of reasons. We had the madness that was Brexit with the country polarising into two irreconcilable camps of unicorn chasers and sunny upland scoffers.

Brexit saw off Theresa May to be replaced by the serial liar and all-round buffoon Boris Johnson. He called a general election in which the Tories increased their share of the popular vote by 1.2% that translated into a net gain of 47 seats. Read more ›››

Z is for Jan Zizka

Žižka statue in Prague

Jan Žižka ‘the One-Eyed’ is one of that elite band of great military commanders who never lost a battle and the man who invented the tank 500 years before World War One, and yet in death, he chose to be eternally beaten. But more of that little riddle later.

Žižka was born in 1360 in the Bohemian village of Trocnov, in what is now the western half of modern-day Czechoslovakia, and spent his early years attached to the court of Queen Sophia. Read more ›››

Y is for Henry Yule

Henry Yule

English is a rather predatory language that snatches words and phrases from other tongues, making them its own. and few cultures have added more than India and the Asian sub-continent.

The man who chronicled the words loaned to the English language was the geographer, Orientalist and travel writer Sir Henry Yule whose Anglo-Indian dictionary has never been out of print. Read more ›››

X is for Malcolm X

Malcolm X

Oh dear, the dreaded letter X – not an easy one when your subjects are people’s names, so I’m cheating a little bit this time by writing about Malcolm Little, or El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz as he became, and better known as the human rights activist Malcolm X.

But rather than write about his life, interesting though it was, I wanted to focus on his death and the conspiracy theories that surround it. Read more ›››