P is for Auguste Piccard

Auguste Piccard

Auguste Piccard was the perfect portrait of the potty professor with his six foot six gangly frame, bulging forehead, receding hair, a white lab coat and round spectacles.

And he proved it too with inventions that set records for exploring both height and depth and by being the paradigm for two peerless fictional characters. I’ll bet you can guess at least one of them straight away. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up

Still moving
Another busy week with the hoped-for house move so a shorter than usual Sunday round-up as I try to catch up with last week.

Heavy metal
The inaugural Heavy Metal Knitting championships will kick off in the Finnish town of Joensuu in July. It’s a bit like air guitar but with knitting needles. Finland has 50 heavy metal bands per 100,00 population. Read more ›››

O is for Arthur Orton

Arthur Orton

In 1854, the vessel Bella disappeared at sea when bound for New York. On board was Sir Roger Charles Doughty Tichborne, heir to the Tichborne estates and baronetcy, who was declared dead – lost at sea.

And yet his mother never gave up hope that he might have survived. She placed advertisements in newspapers around the world seeking information about her son’s fate, and it seemed her faith was rewarded when she received news from Australia. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up

There is no Sunday Round-up this week I’m afraid as it has been a hectic week on the domestic front and I have had little time for anything else.

We have been planning to move house for some time but things are now coming to a head. We went to view properties in our preferred area in the Peak District and stumbled on our ideal home on our first visit so we have rushed to get our present house on the market. Read more ›››

N is for John Newton

John Newton

John Newton led what you might consider an interesting life. He was a sailor, a slaver, a clergyman and author of Amazing Grace, arguably the most popular hymn of all time.

Born in 1725 in Wapping, London, Newton grew up at a time of religious turmoil. His father was ostensibly a Catholic but had Protestant sympathies while his mother was a devout independent Anglican. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up

Burger me
The Oak Door steakhouse in Tokyo has created the world’s most expensive burger to celebrate Crown Prince Naruhito ascending the Chrysanthemum Throne on 1st May.

But what does it mean?
The Crown Prince has named this new era as “Reiwa” but no-one is quite sure what it means. Read more ›››

M is for Marcus Morris

One of the things that any boy had to budget his pocket money for in the 1950s was his weekly threepence for a copy of the Eagle comic, the vehicle for Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future. Little did we know that Dan had started life as a vicar.

The Eagle was the brainchild of the Anglican priest and former RAF pilot, Marcus Morris. In 1949 he had written a newspaper article condemning the import of horror comics from America. Read more ›››