Bring back Bayko!

More nostalgia today, as Nige makes a pitch for the next building toy-based Hollywood blockbuster... Following the success of The Lego Movie, the time is surely ripe for Bayko: The Movie. For those of us who spent a formative portion of our early years assembling red, white and green 30s-style houses from bits ... Read More...

The History of Smoking

  'If I’m a failed smoker it’s not because I haven’t tried...' - Douglas is talking tobacco... My wife had a teenage crush on James Dean. She confided it to her father who latched onto the idea and bought her anything he could find bearing the beloved likeness. Grateful for his generosity, ... Read More...

How Ladybird Books took over my life

Helen Day is the curator of surely the most authorative website about Ladybird Books on the net. Her knowledge of and enthusiasm for the children's educational classics has seen her feature in newspaper articles, radio shows and TV documentaries. In the first of a series of posts for The Dabbler, ... Read More...

No End of Charlie Johnsons

A chance reading about a little boy abandoned at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair gets Douglas thinking... According to Erik Larsen in The Devil in the White City, visitors to the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair [above] were able to drop their children at an official daycare and retrieve them by claim ... Read More...

What makes a good Amazon book review?

Mark Pack is addicted to writing Amazon reviews. But what are they really for?... I first started writing book reviews purely for my personal benefit: to help me remember more about the books I had read. Even now, with the subsequent explosion of online reviews, the aspects of a book I ... Read More...