Archive for July 2008

Eric Newby on the “fuzzy-wuzzies”

Posted by HC in People / Travel on 27 July 2008 | No comments ›

Until I saw a recent BBC 4 TV documentary, I had an inadequate idea of the life of the travel writer Eric Newby. I knew he travelled in ladies’ fashion (“the apparel trade”, as friends of mine who are in it call it). But I had for some reason missed how he ran away to sea (and really sailed before the mast) before becoming known as the hardest man in his year at Sandhurst. But the real revelation was about 1970s Britain. We watched lush colour film of the great adventurer cycling round Hyde park Corner. It has always been good fun. Newby was heard saying that its was like being chased “by fuzzy-wuzzies without one’s trousers”. Read more ›

Norman Lewis – hunting authenticity

Posted by HC in Books / Travel on 22 July 2008 | No comments ›

I have read very little Norman Lewis, the travel writer, and will put that right. As shown in the new biography by Julian Evans, the man wrote - as people used to say – like an angel. Mr Evans stresses an important quality in his prey. Lewis, he says, made a huge impression on people, but was sort of evanescent. Read more ›

Living it large the Porritt way

Posted by HC in 'In the news...' / Boats / Monasticism / People / Travel / UK politics / US politics on 21 July 2008 | No comments ›

Every time I do something un-environmental, I think of Jonathon Porritt. He is the embodiment of my guilt. The other day, the phenomenon was given a twist by my reading a column of his. It was uppermost in a mulch of Guardian pages left behind by a passenger on a short haul flight I was taking. Read more ›

Can the Wright brothers fix climate change?

Posted by HC in 'Good Business' / Books / Controversies / People on 17 July 2008 | No comments ›

A fascinating new book, Fixing Climate, holds out hope that mankind can mop up the emissions of carbon dioxide which are over-heating the planet. There are lots of reasons to hope that the authors are right. Not the least of them is the fact that two brothers called Wright are foremost in the developments. Wouldn’t it be great if siblings once again solved a problem we have with the air? Read more ›

Princess Royal’s lighthouses

Posted by HC in Boats / Books / Monasticism / Travel on 14 July 2008 | No comments ›

Great news that Princess Anne loves lighthouses, and even better to think that she is following in the footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson. Read more ›

Francesco’s Croatian lighthouse

Posted by HC in Boats / Monasticism / Sanctuary / Spirituality / Travel on 12 July 2008 | No comments ›

When it comes to hide-aways, retreats, sanctuaries, I’m you’re man. They are, after all, where I have lived most of my adult life. I dreamed of them for most of my childhood, when my head was filled with Swiss Family Robinson and Robinson Crusoe. So I warmed instantly to Francesco da Mosto’s Croatian lighthouse. Read more ›

Watch my language

Posted by HC in Language on 12 July 2008 | No comments ›

I am on the look out for misuse of words and grammar. It was a pleasure to find Bill Bryson’s very good literary style books (they are his only interesting output, surely?). Read more ›

Nixon and McCain vs. Obama

Posted by HC in Books / UK politics / US politics on 10 July 2008 | No comments ›

In my earlier post on Rick Perlstein’s Nixonland I sort of conveyed the book’s message but I didn’t trouble to get across how good the book is, or tackle the way it describes how the voting went in the 1972 Nixon/McGovern election. It matters because Perlstein says some of the same factors are still at work, though plenty aren’t. Read more ›

I like Nazi sex

Posted by HC in Celibacy / Controversies / Ethics / Spirituality on 10 July 2008 | No comments ›

Actually, as a celibate male, I don’t like Nazi sex. Or perhaps I should say: I’ve never had it so I wouldn’t know. But I do think it’s important to defend people’s sexual fantasies. I’ll go further. I think right-minded people need to stand by people who like Nazi sex. One should stand with them in their liking it. Read more ›

Yachting with Francesco da Mosto

Posted by HC in Boats / People / Sanctuary / Spirituality / Travel / TV on 8 July 2008 | No comments ›

I imagine married men find Francesco da Mosto rather tiresome. He purrs and growls like a muscular old tabby cat – obviously one well-used to prowling the alleys of his native Venice. And used, too, one somehow supposes, to having his way with female felines. Good territory for a bit of jealousy, then. In my own case, I envy much of his solo life, as in his new TV series Francesco’s Mediterranean Voyage. Read more ›