Niagara

‘Their roar is around me. I am on the brink of the great waters – and their anthem voice goes up amid the rainbow and the mist.’ Grenville Mellen, 1881 Niagara Falls is a group of three waterfalls at the southern end of Niagara Gorge, spanning the border between New York State and Ontario. The falls – American Falls, Horseshoe Falls and the small Bridal Veil Falls – formed 12,000 years ago, when water from Lake Erie carved a channel Read More

The Sixties

THE SIXTIES  ‘It was the time of my time. I will never have so much fun again, ever.’ Even back then Michael Caine knew ‘it was the good old days’. ‘What we decided was f*ck it, leave your baggage of class, colour and religion at the door…’ It was the best of times. For some. The ‘pill’ liberated women, Mary Quant and the mini skirt liberated legs, Vidal Sassoon liberated hair, the Mini liberated the road, the constrictions of girdles Read More

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