Credit Where Credit’s Due

My name is Petunia Winegum and I’ve never had a debt in my life. One of those statements is true, and as this essay is not about nom-de-plumes, I take it you can guess which one. I’m actually the only person I know who never has had a debt in their life. Firstly, I didn’t […]

December 10, 2014

Flogging a Good Cause

‘She is constantly visited by amateurs of birch discipline, being always furnished with brooms of green birch and of the best quality, and is always happy to see any friend that feels himself inclinable to spend three or four guineas in her company.’ The lady in question can be found residing on Berwick Street, Soho; […]

December 9, 2014

Alas! Poor Jeremy

The Elm House branch of the conspiracy industry may tie-in with contemporary convictions of clandestine satanic abuse rings in the highest echelons of the British establishment, but it also connects the apparently liberal 21st century society with an unwelcome spectre that haunted the 19th and most of the 20th century ‘ruling class’ with the same […]

December 8, 2014

The Sunday Post: As Good as it Gets

The standard celebrity Q&A one sees with monotonous regularity on the inside back page of the Radio Times or in your average upmarket Sunday supplement often includes the ‘highlight of your life’ question. Beyond the usual ‘winning an Oscar/winning the World Championship/receiving the OBE/meeting Nelson Mandela’, there is the ubiquitous ‘the birth of my children’ […]

December 7, 2014

Saturday Evening Posts Worth Reading and the 25 Hour News

    A sad observation on the disappearance of distinctive and unfashionable London landmarks… The good folk of Scarfolk are as reliably strange as ever… A heartfelt message to Auntie…!/2014/10/bbc-sos.html And an excellent insight into Exaro…  

December 6, 2014

The Wind of Change

IT’S HERE AT LAST! YOUR NEW-LOOK, NEW-IMPROVED RACCOON ARMS! UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT THE TIMES they are a changing! A long-overdue facelift is needed for this dusty old blog and now that an exciting new editor has edged out whatshername (not before time!) and pensioned her off, a brand new chapter has begun for Britain’s biggest blog! […]

December 5, 2014

The Last Taboo.

I don’t ‘do’ taboos; neither does my imaginary friend. Have you met my imaginary friend? She’s called ‘Contraria'; she starts every sentence with ‘On the other hand’, or ‘Looked at a different way’ – and I have lots of conversations with her. She drives me nuts sometimes, like an old Jewess – I only have to […]

December 3, 2014

The Finale – part two.

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As it happens, Duncroft was the last of the plates to come to rest – over the last five weeks, I also had to move house, move country – and move hospitals. Anybody who has had to do any of those will appreciate the dramas that unavoidably pop up. We bought the little cottage where […]

December 1, 2014

Duncroft – the Finale. Part One.

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One minute I had so many plates spinning in the air I didn’t know which way to turn and began to doubt my ability to keep them all airborne – and the next? Why, if they didn’t all magically float down to land softly, right side up on the table, looking for all the world like […]

November 30, 2014

Saturday Evening Posts Worth Reading and the 25-Hour News

Not so much a blog post but an on-line book – worth reading if you are interested in Conspiracy Theories. (Now you know why Ms Raccoon was late with this post today – too engrossed!) Moor Larkin on Spectral Evidence. Edith Hall on Plebeians and Classical Scholars – like Andrew Mitchell? Who knew? Boyd Tonkin […]

November 29, 2014