Couldn’t Wait

I imagine there must have been a few BBC executives sobbing into their wheat-free granola as they watched The Grand Tour released today as they wondered how on earth they had let their most saleable brand go to Amazon for nothing.

The series has been much-anticipated in the Parrot household as we are all fans of Top Gear and the plan was to watch it together on Sunday. But that idea went out of the window. Read more ›››

S is for Dolly Shepherd

Regular readers will know of my admiration for the early pioneers of aviation, but this week’s remarkable subject was not so much a flyer as a faller – Dolly Shepherd: The Edwardian Lady Parachutist.

Shepherd was born in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, in 1886 and was always an adventurous sort. At the age of sixteen, she got a job as a waitress at the Alexandra Palace, North London, specifically so she could listen to the famous American Sousa Band as she couldn’t afford a ticket. Read more ›››

Am I Alone in Thinking?

I happened to pick up the above titled volume of the unpublished letters to The Daily Telegraph, the first in fact that came out in 2009. Among all the usual nonsense it covered the US election of 2008 and there were several missives that give a clue as to what happened last week.

What happened, of course, was a spike in ‘Make America Great Again’, or ‘Make America White Again’ according to some reports. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up

Seeing the light: Another great idea from China – motorists caught dazzling other drivers by using full beam are made to stare into the lights of a police car for a minute as a punishment, although some think that isn’t long enough.

It pays to advertise: The Australian state of Northern Territory has been accused of coming up with the most offensive advertising campaign slogan. Read more ›››

What means that Trump? *

A few days have passed and I’m beginning to come to terms with the prospect of living in a world which has Donald Trump as president. You have to look on the bright side.

For example, it will be a spectacularly bad hair day when the new president meets our foreign secretary Boris Johnson. It will be like something from The Muppets. Read more ›››

Hard or Soft?

How is it that a nation should lose its collective sanity and elect a lying braggart like Trump as its president? I could go on, but Yorkie, Roger and Steve put it much better than I can.

I say unbelievable but it really isn’t. What with the Brexit vote, 2016 will go down as the year of the reactionary and I can’t see things improving much in 2017. Read more ›››

R is for Harry Rée

Another hero of the Second World War this week in the pacifist turned Special Operations Executive spy, Harry Rée.

Rée was born in Manchester in 1914, the son of Dr. Alfred Rée, an industrial chemist from a Danish Jewish family, and American-born Lavinia Elisabeth Dimmick, the great-granddaughter of chemist and industrialist Eleuthère Irénée du Pont. Read more ›››