The Conservative Brain

Good news – I managed to join the ‘liberal elite’ overnight, even as I slept. Mind you, so did 16 million other people who happened to vote to remain in the EU. How’s that for social mobility?

That’s what I am according to Theresa May’s worldview, as reported in the Daily Mail yesterday. Apparently, I find patriotism distasteful, think concerns about immigration parochial and views on crime illiberal. Read more ›››

M is for Audrey Munson

Audrey Munson

You may not have heard of Audrey Munson, but if you live in or have visited New York, she is all around you as the most familiar person you’ve never seen.

Munson was born in Rochester, New York, in 1891, but moved to Rhode island in 1897 after her mother and father divorced. However, they returned to New York so Munson could pursue an acting career. Read more ›››


Jimmy Savile

I’ve been slowly working through my blog to make the old posts fit the current design – resizing images, redoing the word count of the excerpts etc – and it’s been quite a trip down memory lane.

Sometimes it’s being reminded about interesting stuff, like Carlsberg once having a swastika on its label, sometimes wondering what on earth I thought was writing about, but once or twice looking back in sheer embarrassment. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up

Watching paint dry: The latest trending fad in the whacky world of the web is watching other people mix paint online. Very relaxing apparently.

It’s a miracle: Or maybe not. The Pope has made it harder to achieve sainthood by tightening the regulations which now means that healing miracles must be confirmed by two-thirds of the medical panel that assesses them, rather than by a simple majority. Read more ›››

The Twenty Three

It must be the end of summer because last week the third installment of Linwood Barclay’s Promise Falls trilogy, The Twenty-Three, landed on the doormat with a satisfying thud.

I was taken a little bit by surprise because when I wrote about the previous volume back in April, we were told that the third wouldn’t be available until November, but apparently it is published in the UK more than a month before it is in the US. Read more ›››


Before I go any further, I should say that I have very little interest in golf. I’ve never felt the faintest inclination to chase a little white ball round a country park for the dubious satisfaction of knocking it into a tiny hole in the ground.

For starters, golf appears to be an incredibly frustrating form of relaxation, not to mention the expense involved in buying clubs and finding a club that might accept me as a member. Read more ›››

L is for Clara Livingston

This week we have another of those pioneers of aviation, the aviatrix Clara Livingston, the 200th woman to gain a pilot’s licence and only the 11th to fly a helicopter.

Livingston was born in Chautauqua, New York, in 1900, the daughter the physician, Alfred Livingston, who retired a few years later and took his family across the globe to establish a coconut and citrus plantation in Dorado, Puerto Rico. Read more ›››