The Art of Rugby

P.G. Wodehouse admitted to knowing little about rugby except that ‘each side is allowed to put in a certain amount of assault and battery and do things to its fellow man which, if done elsewhere, would result in 14 days, coupled with some strong remarks from the Bench’ (Very Good, Jeeves, 1930). Rugby is of course a collision sport, and as the French scrum half, Pierre Berbizier, said – ‘if you can’t take a punch, you should play ping pong’.  Read More

Pirates!

‘Fifteen men on the Dead Man’s Chest / Drink and the devil had done for the rest…’  Treasure Island, R.L. Stevenson’s story (1883) of peglegs, parrots and buried gold has immortalised (and glamourised) the cutthroat world of piracy on the Spanish Main. Some things are just fiction, like ‘walking the plank’ – as Captain Hook (an Etonian gone wrong) did in Barrie’s Peter Pan (1904). Yet the camaraderie of these outcasts is true; they were a collective, a sort of Read More