Aldous Huxley’s views on jazz

'A brimming bowl of hogwash': Aldous Huxley's views on jazz... It was the first time, I realised, that I had ever clearly seen a jazz-band. The spectacle was positively frightening… Oh, those mammy-songs, those love-longings, those loud hilarities! How was it possible that human emotions intrinsically decent could be so ignobly parodied? ... Read More...

The Suburban Sublime – Southgate Tube Station

Nige admires the work of Charles Holden, the architect behind Southgate Tube Station, one of London's finest Art Deco Underground stations... That is not a newly landed art deco UFO above - it is Southgate Underground station, towards the end of the Cockfosters branch of the Piccadilly Line. I discovered this part of ... Read More...

Sylvester Clarke: Unforgiven

The name of Sylvester Clarke is receding now, but during the first half of the 1980s in his years at Surrey it hung over county cricket in the same way that Sonny Liston's had hung over boxing: star-crossed, whispered, feared... Steve Waugh could feel the will of his Somerset team-mates "disintegrating" ... Read More...

Dabbler Diary – H. G. Wells’ spare bedroom

‘Tell me a story from your head instead’, commanded C, apparently bored by the mild misadventures of Paddington. A great weariness came upon me. ‘What about?’ I said, closing the book. ‘About… Mr Chocolate Cake,’ she said at random. ‘And a Princess.' ‘Oh for goodness sake’, I said, and proceeded to tell the most ... Read More...

‘A man with no talent should have a tailor’ – Sebastian Horsley’s Red Sequinned Suit

  Susan learns the story the striking red suit worn by the late, lamented, notorious artist Sebastian Horsley... The star attraction at this year's Visuology Lecture, which took place at Viktor Wynd’s Museum of Curiosities (apart from innumerable specimens of taxidermy, twisted ephemera, macabre and medical memorabilia), was Savile Row tailor, Richard Anderson. One of the ... Read More...

Googie Withers and Skippy

How might history have turned out if Skippy the Bush Kangaroo had been called 'Googie' instead, asks Frank urgently.... Skippy The Bush Kangaroo might so easily have been called Googie. The eponymous marsupial heroine of the Australian television series, which ran from 1966 to 1968 and is still shown regularly on ... Read More...

On Birds’ Nests

Today's poetry and painting piece features Edward Thomas, Paul Nash, W.H. Davies and birds' nests... In addition to their intrinsic beauty, the bare trees of late winter and early spring offer an opportunity for the discovery of birds' nests.  This thought brings to mind Edward Thomas, who was a great searcher ... Read More...