Saturday, 22 November 2014

Handlebar Club calendar - the perfect Christmas stocking filler!

In which G.M. Norton implores you to purchase a calendar brimming with upper lip appendages.

I may no longer be a member of The Handlebar Club, following  the recent relinquishing of my lip weasel in the name of love.

However, as one of my Handlebar Club chums wryly commented, once you're a member, you never truly leave.

So without further pre-amble, let's cut to the chase, shall we?

Do be a sport and buy a Handlebar Club calendar!
It is only a paltry £10 to people in Blighty and for those overseas, just £13.50 (both options include postage).

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Cor blimey! It's a right old cockney knees-up

In which G.M. Norton steps back in time for a good old-fashioned sing-song.


From time to time, usually between the hours of 9 o’clock in the morning until 10 o’clock in the evening, my mind harks back to a bygone age where a night at the local drinking tavern would result in a jolly good sing-song around the piano with a large group of chums.

During these wistful moments, I usually picture myself sat at said piano, leading the fleshy morass of sartorially savvy revellers into a rendition of The Sex Pistols’ Anarchy in the UK. On second thoughts, that may be the wrong song choice for this particular setting.
In any case, I’m unable to play the piano (unless a painstaking but thought-provoking version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star counts).
Moving on from my musical failings, there just so happens to be an ivory tickling chap in existence. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the delightfully dapper Mr. Tom Carradine.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

The Wonderful Waistcoat Lady

In which G.M. Norton reveals his new tartan waistcoat.

I was recently alerted to the talents of Jules, the Waistcoat Lady of Wales. When I got wind of Jules making a waistcoat for my chum, it was only a matter of time before I’d contacted her and commissioned my own.
I ordered a metre of fabric and sent this to Jules, along with one of my waistcoats to use as a size guide and thirty English pounds. If you are confident supplying your measurements, you can also do this if you’d prefer this method, especially if you’re a waistcoat virgin. Jules then supplies the silk backing, along with buttons, fastenings and return postage. An absolute snip, I'm sure you'll agree!

Saturday, 1 November 2014

A fond farewell

In which G.M. Norton bids a fond farewell to his face furniture.

Its somehow fitting that on the day where many moustache journeys will begin, my own has come to an end. That’s right, dear reader – my moustache is no more.
I realise this may have come as quite a shock to you. For twenty glorious months, I have proudly had my top lip adorned with the most magnificent of lip weasels – the handlebar moustache.

But as the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end.

So, why have I committed such a wanton act of vandalism to the face?

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Competition: Win a pocket watch!

In which G.M. Norton invites you to take the time to win a pocket watch.

It seems I can't help giving things away at the moment. It was only a week ago that I ran a competition to win a cravat, courtesy of my chums at Cravat Club.
Now, I'm offering you lucky readers the chance to take ownership of your very own pocket watch.
It's not just any pocket watch, I hasten to add. It's a pocket watch that comes complete with a reassuringly heavy stand, so that it niftily doubles up as a desk clock. It sells for £85 so is not to be sniffed at.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

World Cravat Day

In which G.M. Norton gives thanks to Croatia.

Given that today marks World Cravat Day, it would be rude not to give it a jolly good mention on the periodical this week.

As a self-confessed cravat devotee, I must admit to not giving much thought to the provenance of the most debonair of neckwear. Indeed, it was only while conducting a little research into World Cravat Day that I discovered that we have Croatia to thank for cravats.
It seems that the cravat adorned the necks of 17th century Croatian soldiers, as part of their military uniform. During the reign of King Louis VIII in France, Parisians couldn't help but be charmed by the unusual scarves wrapped around the Croatian mercenaries enlisted in the regiment. Before long, news of the cravat travelled far and wide and soon it became de rigueur to be seen wearing one.

Croatia are so proud of this important part of their history that in 2008, Croatian Parliament declared the 18th day of October as the Day of the Cravat.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

First Friday at The Handlebar Club

In which G.M. Norton dashes to London for a meeting of moustaches.
As regular readers will recall, upon growing the required upper lip appendage with graspable extremities, I joined the prestigious Handlebar Club.
Club members surrounding El Presidente, Mr Rod Littlewood (Photography - Nick Harrison)
The Handlebar Club was formed in 1947 by Jimmy Edwards. It is a thoroughly decent Club to be a member of. The moustachioed men that the Club comprises of are a delightful bunch of gentlemen.
Delightfully dapper (Photography - Nick Harrison)
Traditionally, the Club meet on the first Friday of every month. The meeting isn't the kind of dull affair like in the workplace, with some poor sap (sometimes me) taking minutes and going through the agenda.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

The Man in the Grey Tweed Suit

In which G.M. Norton takes his new suit on a strange little outing.

A milestone for any gentleman, I recently acquired my first ever three-piece tweed suit. A grey number, with a red windowpane check, it is from Messrs Walker Slater.

They have clothing emporiums in both Edinburgh and Londinium but as I reside near neither, I made my purchase online.

I'll tell you a little story, if I may. I used to own a grey wool suit. Grey is a safe suit colour choice, it goes with absolutely all kinds of things. It is probably the most versatile suit you could own. 
Taking a walk on the strange side

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Going wild with Caorunn Gin

In which G.M. Norton joins a group of epicurean adventurers for a journey into the unknown.

One might suppose that I am partial to a gin or three. If you have jumped to that conclusion about me, I must congratulate you and confirm that you are indeed correct.
Rowan berries form the very soul of Caorunn Gin
The people at Caorunn Gin must have made the same accurate assumption as they were kind enough to invite me on a little foraging expedition, with the promise of cocktails and lunch afterwards. Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I accepted their offer with gusto.
So, why the invite to go foraging? Well, as part of Caorunn Gin’s Forage to Glass initiative, they have been working with watering holes to discover wild ingredients to help create unique and tasty cocktails. After a few successful foraging outings with local bartenders at Lawn Club and Elixir, they turned their attention to people interested in drinking them, offering them the chance to get at one with nature too.
An attempt at 'street photography'
So, one wet and chilly morning, I travelled to the meeting place, 22 Redbank in Manchester where I was welcomed with warm smiles and a hot beverage. It was reminiscent of a rather agreeable sitting room with Chesterfields and a resplendent rug.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

The British Beard & Moustache Championships 2014

In which G.M. Norton hands over the reins to his new No. 2 for a hairy update.

Following Mr. Ryan Pike’s summer guest spot on The Chap Olympiad, he has now filed his latest report. This time, it concerns The British Beard & Moustache Championships held last weekend.

The Pike Report

The city of Bath is well known for its magnificent architecture and culture, the Roman presence, the magnificent Abbey which marks over 100 years of history and the splendid catacomb of shops, cafes and bars that line the winding back streets. This weekend the city was more vibrant than ever as not only did it host a local rugby game filling the streets with supporters dressed in blue, white and black but also a Jane Austin convention which saw many don period costume and parade through the town, transforming the area to a time long forgotten.
However besides all this splendour, there was another very important occasion hosted by the city. Early risers strolling through the Pavillion Gardens about 0930 will have noticed a curious array of ladies and gents assembling for a parade, the men all having some form of facial hair and many of the ladies wearing fake, homemade beards and moustaches. Not an everyday sight you may well say, but the 13th September marked the occasion of the second British Beard and Moustache Championships which is held every two years (the previous event being held in Brighton in 2012).