E is for John Elwes

I have been struggling to find a suitable candidate for my letter E so I return John Elwes, an English eccentric who was noted for his extravagant generosity on the one hand and his extreme miserliness on the other that made him the model for one of the best-known characters of fiction.

He was born John Meggott in 1714, the son of a successful and wealthy brewer Robert Meggott and Amy Elwes whose surname he would eventually adopt. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up

Trump Donald: If you find yourself gnashing your teeth at Muslim bans, Mexican walls and waterboarding, head over to TrumpDonald.org for a little light relief. And when you’ve done with that, smile at Trump Draws on Twitter.

Get a grip: Ever wondered why you get wrinkled fingers after a long soak in the bath? Scientists believe that this served an evolutionary purpose to improve our grip under water. Read more ›››

Shuffle Off

Yorkshire Pudding was musing on the subject of his own mortality the other day and coincidentally I have been doing the same of late.

Like YP, the prospect of death isn’t something I think about often except in the most abstract ‘sometime in the future’ sort of way. But as Ray Charles observed: ‘Live each day like it’s your last, ’cause one day you gonna be right’. Read more ›››

D is for Ferdinand Waldo Demara

Ferdinand Waldo Demara spent two decades pretending to be someone else, from a naval surgeon to a dean of philosophy, from a prison warden to a Trappist monk, and many more for which he became known as the Great Imposter.

Demara was born in 1921 in Lawrence, Massachusetts. His father was a cinema owner and the family was affluent until bankrupted by the Great Depression. Read more ›››

The Nowhere Man

When we holidayed in Paxos last year the plan was to travel light. After all, we were only going to be there for a week, so one carry-on case each was the rule.

Lightening the load as far as I was concerned meant not taking six or seven books (at least three hardbacks) when I couldn’t possibly read them all in the time available. So I took just two. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up

Shot: Spanish photographer Mario Cea’s shot of a kingfisher as it is about to enter the water rightly won him Wildlife Photographer of the Year. ‘The Blue Trail’ took him five months and 5,000 attempts to capture. Definitely worth enlarging.

Distractions: If you thought that Microsoft gave you Solitaire and Minesweeper just to waste your time you’d be wrong – they serve a much deeper purpose. Read more ›››

A Sporting Salesman*

As I’ve mentioned before, I quite enjoy an episode of the game show Pointless, mainly because it is a bit of fun to try and come up with the most obscure answers.

The bit I often struggle with are the anagrams like the one on the left, I think because they require a degree of general knowledge even before you can start rearranging the letters. Read more ›››

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