The Attempted Killer Who Came to Tea

After moving to London, Misti Traya was determined to bring some American neighbourliness with her. She soon learned the error of her ways... When I first moved to London, my English husband gave me a copy of Kate Fox’s Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour. This might seem ... Read More...

Shitterton

No sniggering at the back, please, as we plunder Wikipedia for this week's unusual article about a village in Dorset that probably never appeared in any of Thomas Hardy's novels... Shitterton is a hamlet in Dorset, England. It has attracted worldwide attention for its name, which dates back at least a thousand years and ... Read More...

Dabbler Diary – Bombay Duck

I was twelve when we moved from the city to the country, and soon after that deracinating adventure my father drove us to the National Canine Defence League kennels at West Down, where we acquired a dog. My parents had already secretly sussed out the prime candidate, a mongrel pup ... Read More...

Dabbler Diary – The Fourth Wall

I’m afraid I’ve never been able to take Wales seriously. My troubles begin, shallowly, with the bilingual road signs, which are funny if the Welsh is very different from the English (Please drive carefully - Gryywch yn ofalus) and even funnier if it is similar (Millennium Stadium - Stadiwm y ... Read More...

On the awfulness of 1970s television

Continuing our 1970s theme, Steerforth recalls that decade's obsession with bizarre dance shows and other strange telly... The above picture shows the Easter story, expressed through the medium of dance. How anyone thought it was a good idea to tell the story of the crucifixion of Jesus through dance and mime, performed ... Read More...

British Pluck & The Relief Of Mafeking

They don't make 'em like Robert Baden-Powell any more. In this week's cupboard is the scout founder, hero of Mafeking and embodiment of British Pluck... Rummaging on my bookshelves the other day I was delighted to find my somewhat battered copy of The Penguin Ronald Searle. It's a first edition from ... Read More...

Cub Scout badges: The dark side

Revealed: the shocking truth about the less well-known Cub Scout badges... When I was eight, a great-uncle offered me the princely sum of 50p to join the local Cub Scouts. I'd never had that much money before and was sorely tempted, but I couldn't bear the idea of having to wear ... Read More...