Once, when the world was young, I had the immense pleasure of manning a kiosk in New Brighton near Liverpool on the Mersey which sold the totally splendid postcards of Donald McGill.
He was beyond compare. No one like him. He was not rich — he got no royalties. But, by jiminey crikey he was famous.
Continue reading The magic of McGill
English pubs have funny names. Years ago, when there were wolves in Wales, I worked at the Canton (seen here) in South Lambeth road, near to The Oval where they play cricket test matches. No one I ever asked knew the origin of the name. Continue reading Sweeping up the debris
John Singleton has been in some strife for slashing at a mate, John Cowin, with a broken glass at the end of long lunch. The scene was at Kingsleys Steak & Crabhouse, on Woolloomooloo’s (learn how to spell it by saying Sheep, Toilet, Cow, Toilet.) Finger Wharf, where Singo (his Australian name) was dining with John Cowin, the billionaire founder of fast food franchise Hungry Jack’s. The story is slightly vague as to the reasons but to say it was caused by Singleton drinking rose seems a bit odd especially as the bill is available and shows no rose wine. There seems little doubt that Singleton was intoxicated to a degree. Continue reading Singo as a larrikin
The thought occurred to me to write a piece about James Mason who I knew fairly well. This was followed by another thought — who the hell has ever heard of James Mason? Yes, my generation, but there are not that many of us left and those who are typically do not trawl the Internet.
My second thought was that it mattered not. Whether there are numbers of people who want to know about James Mason or whether there was significant number who had never heard of him. So I thought I would do it and it would remain on the Internet and perhaps some people — film buffs — would be interested. Continue reading Mason in Hong Kong
If you are a publisher you are seriously interested in sales figures. Not just your own. Those of the other publishers, the opposition, the enemy.
These figures are very difficult to get. Some, many, newspapers run best-seller lists and The Guardian, for example, puts the sales figures with each title.
Sorry to do this but, depending how they get them (in the Guardian’s case from an outside agency) they are almost certainly inflated.
How does this come about? Continue reading Best-sellers are flexible
I was given Letters of Note by my son. It contains one of the most famous memos of all time.
Its release was originally banned under the thirty year rule. So it did not become generally available until 1973. At first it was ignored and then the penny dropped.
This is what it was about.
At the height of World War II on April 6th, 1943, British Ambassador to Moscow, Sir Archibald Clark Kerr, seen here, wrote a letter to Foreign Office minister Lord Reginald Pembroke in an effort to simply brighten up his day. Indeed, a classic piece of correspondence.
Continue reading Name of a name
Let us start with a smile for there will be few things to smile about as we progress.
There are two cows standing by the road, one says to the other: ‘Have you heard about this Mad Cow disease?
‘Oh, yes,’ says the second cow.
‘Are you worried about it?’ enquires cow one.
‘Not at all, says the second cow.
‘Why not?’ asked the first cow.
The second cow replied, ‘Because I’m a rabbit’.
In Storrington I was having trouble peeing and it was coming out dark brown.
Jenny, who is always right, said it could be cured by drinking Cranberry juice and provided me with glass after glass. It got worse. Continue reading UK healthy living
In April 1962, at a packed Granada Cinema, in Tooting, London Dr Death fought the White Angel. There was, of course, a referee. But there were also two executives from the British Board of Wrestling Control (which does not exist) who were referred to as judges. They were to make sure it was a fair fight and run according to the rules. One of these executives was Lou Ravelle, who was, among many other things, a wrestler wrestling as ‘Le Masque Rouge, the Idol of Paris’. The other was me.
Continue reading Me and the White Angel
I have this friend living in Paris. His name is Malcolm and we knew each other in Australia. He had a web site now he is into marketing with stuff on the Internet. You can find one of his great ads here.
He does not agree with me in one area — length of article. I follow newspaper tradition by trying to keep every thing to 800 words or less. My brain is locked into that size. When I do a book, and I have not does one lately it is a series of 800 word articles linked together.
So who is right? Continue reading I will not be lengthy