M is for Elizabeth Magie

This week’s ABC Wednesday subject is Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Magie, the woman responsible for countless family squabbles by creating the game that became known as Monopoly.

Magie was born in Macomb, Illinois, in 1866, the daughter of newspaper publisher and abolitionist James Magie who accompanied Lincoln when he travelled around the state in the late 1850s. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up

One for YP: Following last week’s feature on the Great Northern Sandwich comes news that The Yorkshire Roast Co has produced a full Sunday roast wrapped in a Yorkshire pudding.

Red faces in Red Square: The statue of Mikhail Kalashnikov that I also reported last week had to be altered within days of being unveiled because the sculptor had included the wrong gun. (Hat tip to Yorkshire Pudding) Read more ›››

L is for John Law

A figure from way back for this week’s ABC Wednesday offering – financier, adventurer, duellist and gambler John Law who single-handedly bankrupted France in the 18th century.

Law was born in Edinburgh in 1671, the son of a Scottish moneylender. He joined the family business at the age of fourteen and studied banking until his father died in 1688 when he took himself off to London to live the life of ‘Dandy’. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up

Upper crust: A  café in my local town centre has produced what it claims is the most northern sandwich ever – a muffin in which a pie sits on top of a pile of chips and topped off with mushy peas.

Don’t panic: If you’re reading this then the end of the world as predicted to happen yesterday by Christian numerologist David Meade has been postponed. Read more ›››

K is for Fred Karno

Fred Karno’s name has entered the English language to describe any situation that is comically chaotic, but as a music hall impresario he discovered the likes of Charlie Chaplain and Stan Laurel and is credited with inventing the custard-pie-in-the-face gag.

Karno was born Frederick John Westcott in Exeter in 1866 but his family moved to Nottingham soon afterwards which is where he grew up. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up

The dream and reality: One of the dreams of the Brexiteers is the return of the blue British passport. Ironic then that the companies in the running to produce them are French and German.

Small portions: If you’re in the mood to lose a little weight then pop over to Tiny Kitchen where you can learn how to make teeny-weeny cupcakes and eclairs. Apparently, miniature cooking is very popular in Japan. Read more ›››

J is for Hubert Julian

Nicknamed the Black Eagle, the flamboyant Hubert Fauntleroy Julian was one of the early pioneers of aviation and parachuting and promoter of black civil rights.

Julian was born in 1897 in Port of Spain, Trinidad, the son of an affluent cocoa plantation manager. He emigrated to Canada in 1914 where he claimed to have learned to pilot an aeroplane and served as a Lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Air Force. Read more ›››