My claims to fame as a publisher are small-to-nonexistent but if I’m known for anything it’s as the one responsible for Christine Keeler’s book Scandal which was made into a very successful movie in 1989. In the process I got to know Christine pretty well, and even now people sometimes ask me what she was … Continue reading Christine →
‘”Seigneur, I have invented forty new dishes for to-night’s banquet,” François said pathetically, his eyes creeping out until they hung on the rims of their sockets like desperate people wavering on the edges of precipices.’ (George Viereck and Paul Eldridge, Salome The Wandering Jewess, 1930) Connoisseurs of strained similes, mangled metaphors, grisly grammar, excessively purple … Continue reading THOG →
My sister Carol, then aged 13, had got a holiday job as a waitress in one of Southport’s big department stores, the sort of place where ladies of a certain age would go for afternoon tea. One particular old biddy was there every afternoon for a toasted teacake and a pot of tea for one … Continue reading NOW IT CAN BE TOLD →
For anyone who likes to waste their time on pointless puzzles here’s one, and it’s even more pointless than most because I can’t supply the solution. If you can you’ll be saving me from even more grief. In my sorting through old papers I came across a single typed sheet headed NON ALIAS PLOT with … Continue reading NON ALIAS PLOT →
A few day ago I decided to try and make contact with my relatives in New Zealand. There’s been a family feud going on for years but as I get older I realize how stupid these things can be so I sent what I hoped was a conciliatory email to my niece Juliet half expecting … Continue reading From a long-lost uncle →
Talking of uncles, I was once staying overnight in a cheap hotel and having checked in at midday and done the business I was there to do I realized that I had a long solitary evening ahead and had brought nothing to read. The local shops had nothing resembling a bookshop or even a decent … Continue reading Uncle →
Back to Stroud Green, the beating heart of North London, with distinctly mixed feelings. I know that in the next few weeks I’ll have to do a lot of work if I’m going to get the house here a bit further along the way to selling it, but I’d been looking forward to seeing friends … Continue reading Home alone again, unnaturally (revised) →
Yesterday the MP for Brent, Dawn Butler, was stopped by police while driving across North London to meet friends for lunch. Ms Butler is black. In the US it seems that black people are often prepared for such unpleasant encounters by what is called ‘the talk’. Just about every teenager gets copious safe-driving tips from … Continue reading ‘The Talk’ →
Going through some old papers I found various letters and cards from my father which he had signed “from the Aged Parent” or just “Aged P.” Dickensians will of course recognize this soubriquet from Great Expectations which as a family we knew from the TV version, one of the classic serials that the BBC showed … Continue reading Charles Dickens and the flying pigs →
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