The Mash Report could do better

BBC2’s ‘satirical and surreal news show’, The Mash Report, returned for a second series last Friday. Sadly, any evidence of improvement in this would-be comedy is about as hard to detect as progress in the Brexit negotiations. It remains an awkward mash-up… Continue Reading →

Brutalism in Bloomsbury: going underground at the St Giles London

A fellow member of the C20 Society has a Twitter profile pic in which she’s hugging one of the concrete walls of London’s Brutalist masterpiece, the Barbican Centre. I didn’t see author and architectural historian Barnabas Calder (@BrutalConcrete) embracing the… Continue Reading →

Never mind the bollards – the London Society talks street furniture

Last night Londonist editor-at-large Matt Brown, author of Everything You Know About London Is Wrong, talked pointless bollards to a sell-out audience of London Society members. I’m not being disrespectful: Matt’s illustrated talk ‘Never mind the bollards’ on London’s extraordinarily… Continue Reading →

Martina Navratilova spells it out for Arron Banks

The highlight of Wimbledon 2018 so far hasn’t been the glorious weather, the form of the young British players or the sight of Roger Federer, resplendent in his new Uniqlo outfits. No, the contest of the week has been the… Continue Reading →

From Battersea Reach to Chelsea buns: the London Society book group

The cast of characters in Penelope Fitzgerald’s Offshore is not a large one. Published in 1979, this short novel charts the fluctuating fortunes of five houseboat owners on the Battersea Reach stretch of the Thames during the early 1960s. We… Continue Reading →

Why blue is still my warmest colour

This picture of a Drizair 1200 dehumidifier isn’t something I expected to be posting on my blog. This spring the latest bit of tech that landed in my flat wasn’t from the Apple store or the growing range of Amazon… Continue Reading →

Unman, Wittering and Zigo – anarchy in the classroom

As a rebellious teenager, I read the play Unman, Wittering and Zigo at school in the late 1970s with a mixture of relish and disbelief. Giles Cooper’s story about a class of arrogant public school pupils who threaten to murder… Continue Reading →

Ocean Liners: Speed and Style

The final room of Ocean Liners: Speed and Style offers a sombre reminder of the perils of sea travel. A piece of carved wooden panel salvaged from the RMS Titanic is displayed bobbing gently on a simulated sheet of water…. Continue Reading →

The Killing of Butterfly Joe

You shouldn’t read too much into a dustjacket, but Rhidian Brook’s novel The Killing of Butterfly Joe comes wrapped in something beautiful, ingenious and rather sinister. Inside you will discover a skilfully plotted tale about butterflies, a deeply dysfunctional family,… Continue Reading →

Neo-Romantic Book Illustration in Britain 1943–1955

A new exhibition at the Heath Robinson Museum in Pinner evokes a golden age of book illustration. Neo-Romantic Book Illustration in Britain 1943-1955 features work by John Minton, Keith Vaughan, Edward Bawden, Eric Fraser and Barnett Freedman. Afterwards, you’ll find… Continue Reading →

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