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...

Bagism

This was one of John Lennon's pranks that had passed me by; sounds like the sort of thing that Russell Brand would like. Today's Wikiworm uncovers an early example of studenty idealism... Bagism is a term which was created by John Lennon and Yoko Ono as part of their peace campaign ... Read More...

A Week in the Country

This week our intrepid style guru gets scrubbed, pummelled, prodded and poked on a trip to the countryside... Where were you on the day Margaret Thatcher died? It may turn out to be one of those occasions you will never forget – like JFK’s assassination, the death of Princess Diana, 9/11 ... Read More...

Easter Curiosities

Belated Happy Easter! Television highlights of my Easter weekend included Easter at King’s and Barabbas, starring Anthony Quinn (holder of a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes). By far the best entertainment was provided by a friend’s 86 year old mother, who played the piano and sang like an angel after ... Read More...

Designs for a Modern Life?

To la Poisonnerie de l’Avenue, where courtesy of a generous friend, we dined on a feast of melt-in-the-mouth asparagus - followed by a succession of beautifully presented seafood dishes, reminiscent of Elizabeth David five decades ago. My oeufs a la neige (which predictive type keeps trying to turn ‘beige’) au ... Read More...

Birthdays, Blasphemy and Blogging

This week Susan witnesses some top-class profanity at the West End's hottest new musical... If my father were still alive, he would certainly have walked out after only a few minutes. After all, he banned me from watching Till Death Us Do Part and Steptoe and Son because of the swearing. Despite ... Read More...