Saturday, July 30, 2016

The gas was on in the Institute

John Betjeman's poem A Shropshire Lad intriguingly footnotes the phrase 'The gas was on in the Institute' with the quotation 'The Institute was radiant with gas', attributed to Boyhood by the Rev E.E. Bradford, D.D.

It seems Bradford (1860-1944) was a notable figure in the late Victorian gay scene, and was friends with the Samuel Elsworth Cottam who edited the magazine Chameleon which turns up in the trial of Oscar Wilde.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

'Well, they certainly made a meal out of that one'

So my vague memories of Avon appearing in a Smash advert were vaguely on-beam - it seems they're based on this 1985 Wimpy advert feat. Paul Darrow.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Happy Easter...

Just in case anyone else is searching for Syrup of Figs by Jo Heaton, broadcast on Radio 4 on June 30th 1986 and repeated in July, I have an off-air of most of it which I'll share free of charge.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Reading The Masters recently I got to a bit where there's an important description of the seating arrangements at a college meeting. I wanted to draw myself a diagram so I picked an old sheet of paper off the lower level of the coffee table - only to find that it already had exactly the same diagram drawn on it, from my last reading.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Connections: Congreve and perpetual motion

I, and possibly you, are familiar with this capillary action powered sponge-belt perpetual motion machine:
but until I read this Perpetual Futility page I had no idea it was 'invented' by William Congreve, he of the Congreve rocket. (Which incidentally turns up in Krishnapur).