Saturday, 18 June 2016

Holy Cow! Bespoke leather key case

In which G.M. Norton gets well and truly leathered.


Like loose change, a bunch of keys have a nasty habit of jangling in one’s trouser pocket.

Although I often carry a satchel, like my enemies, I like to keep my keys as close as possible and that means on my person.

Apart from the jangling issue, there’s two other pet hates from carrying around keys; an unsightly bulge and the damage a set of keys can cause to the pocket lining. Honesty, keys rival that of a moth. In the last few weeks, two trouser pockets have developed holes and despite meaning to repair them, it slips my mind. Before you know it, I’m sauntering around town in them again and worrying that I’ll lose the key to my motorcar.
My trousers deserve more. I demand more. So that’s why I commissioned a fellow on Instagram to make a leather key case for me.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Making a Fougasse of myself

In which G.M. Norton draws a cartoonist out of the past. 


As a child, I harboured dreams of being a writer and illustrator. I was quite handy with a pencil and loved drawing. Fast forward 25 years and my only artistic endeavour now involves doodling on a notepad, while avoiding whatever dull task I'm duty bound to complete. 

Still, I achieved part of my dream and get paid to write. I've even gained the lofty title of Editor-at-Large for In Retrospect magazine (issue 07 is now out by the way, chums).
I must admit that until only quite recently, I'd never heard of Cyril Kenneth Bird before. 

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Style icon: Clark Gable

In which G.M. Norton gushes over Gable.

Clark Gable is one of those fellows that chaps would love to be and ladies long to be with. Fitting the classic aesthetics of tall, dark and handsome, he was a jolly fine actor too.

As a keen exponent of the pencil moustache and side-part hairstyle, I feel a close affinity to Mr. Gable. Cementing his name in Hollywood history with the acclaimed Gone with the Wind, my beloved and I would go on to name our eldest daughter after the female protagonist.
During the 1930s, Clark followed the popular styles of the time with wide lapel jackets and high-rise trousers with pleats. With his tall frame, broad shoulders and slim waist; he pulled this off with aplomb.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Competition: Fashion on the Ration at IWM North

In which G.M. Norton visits the new northern home for Fashion on the Ration (and has a super giveaway!).


Despite loving bygone eras, I’m enormously thankful to be living today. With my growing love of clothes, I’m not sure how I would have coped if I’d been around in the summer of 1941 when clothes rationing was introduced to Britain. Well, I suppose I’d have been trying to keep my military uniform looking as pristine as possible while trying to stay alive…

Clothes rationing didn’t just last for the duration of the Second World War, it went on for nine years, long after the war had been won.
Of course, it wasn’t all bad. While men were forced to forgo turn-ups on their trousers, it also meant that fair maidens revealed a little more leg as hemlines were raised for the war effort. That was when they weren't slipping into trousers themselves, to carry out the manual jobs, that men across Blighty had left behind. 

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Smouldering Sirens: Sabrina

In which G.M. Norton remembers one of the biggest stars of the 1950s.


I’m afraid that if you were to search the internet for ‘Sabrina’, most of the results will be for a teenage witch from the 1990s. 

If you’re from an older generation or like me, have an interest in previous eras, then Sabrina will bring up something altogether quite different in the ‘search result’ of your mind.
If you’ve never heard of her before, Sabrina was one of the most famous British pin-ups of the 1950s, with an impossibly-proportioned 42½-18-36 figure. With those frankly absurd curves and flowing golden locks, Sabrina was what one might call a ‘blonde bombshell’, following in the dainty footsteps of Marilyn Monroe, Diana Dors and Jayne Mansfield.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Mad Dogs and Servicemen: Sergeant King and Private Cuthbertson

In which G.M. Norton regales you with another extraordinary military tale.


Gadzooks! It’s been a while since I last featured the extraordinary military exploits of a serviceman.

To make amends for this gross error of forgetfulness, I have two heroes to share with you today.

Please step forward, Sergeant Peter King and Private Thomas Leslie Cuthbertson. Their remarkable story led to Raymond Foxall's book, The Amateur Commandos and British film, Two Men Went to War.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Biography of a bounder: Keith Moon

In which G.M. Norton awards Keith Moon official bounder status.


A little while ago, I penned the first 'biography of a bounder', featuring the one and only Oliver Reed. Contemplating a follow-up, who better than his drinking buddy, Mr Keith Moon?
In case you're not up on your British pop music culture, Keith Moon was a legendary drummer in The Who. Known for a manic drumming style, he was also quite the character. 

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Jolly green jacket

In which G.M. Norton lauds lightweight wool.


Residing in T'North of England, we get a great deal less sun than my chums at the other end of the country. 
Take last Wednesday evening when my beloved and I dashed out to take a few quick pictorials of my jolly green ensemble. The sun was slowly disappearing and it was quite humid. Then without warning, hail came fluttering out of the sky. 

Saturday, 23 April 2016

What it means to be English

In which G.M. Norton examines what it means to be English.


Today is the 400th year since the death of William Shakespeare and more poignantly for your favourite protagonist, the 13th year since the family hound passed away. 

It is also St George's Day, when the nation considers celebrating being English, before deciding that we couldn't possibly show any emotion. It's what stiff upper lips are made of.
I thought that to mark St George's Day, I would witter on about some of my favourite personal idiosyncrasies that reveal me to be as English as a glass of Pimm's on a rained-soaked summer's day.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Review: Santamaria Shirt Makers

In which G.M. Norton gets the measure of dress shirts.


Today is the 34th year since I first made my grand arrival into the world and the doctor uttered the infamous words, "What a fine young specimen!" 

Now, how does one mark such an age? Of course, when I turn 40 the obvious answer will be to purchase a motorcycle. I feel that this year, however, calls for a made-to-measure shirt.


As luck would have it, Santamaria Shirt Makers kindly made such a shirt for me. And here it is.