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.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Changing faces

In which G.M. Norton gives a hairy history lesson.

Prepare yourself, dear reader, as I have news to impart. Are you ready? I’ve put aside my trusty razor and I'm once again cultivating a chin badger.

I know that you'll be sad to see the pencil moustache go but quite frankly, I get bored easily and fancy a change.

For those that haven’t kept up with my facial hair growing exploits, here is a little hirsute history.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Hats off to Thomas Farthing

In which G.M. Norton shows off his new titfer.

I've been casting furtive glances at Thomas Farthing for a while now. 

If you've not yet made the acquaintance of Thomas Farthing, it is a gentleman's outfitters in London. They sell knitwear, jackets, trousers, and some rather lovely hats.

I couldn't resist one of their baker boy caps. They have an impressive selection but after giving it the cream of the Norton brain, I decided on this cinnamon number. I adore the colour and felt that it would be quite versatile, complementing the greens, browns, reds and blues that I tend to wear.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

5 things a gentleman should possess

In which G.M. Norton considers the five essential things that every gentleman needs.

I was busy being late to an appointment the other day, while raising my eyebrows in surprise and chuckling to myself. Then I had an epiphany. I could think of five things that every would-be gentleman needs. 

And here they are.

1. A watch  

A gentleman should always try to be punctual so a watch is quite important to help achieve this. Of course, if you're like me, being on time is something you need to improve on. So having a timepiece allows me to see exactly how many minutes, hours and days I am late.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Cheerio Winter, What-ho Spring!

In which G.M. Norton is full of the joys of Spring.

I can hear you now. "Norton, dear boy. You're jumping the gun somewhat! Spring starts next week when the clocks go forwards."

Well astronomically speaking, today is the last day of Winter. Tomorrow is the equinox, where day and night is of equal length. 

For the purposes of this periodical post, I’m siding with the astronomers. Besides, I'm feeling full of the joys of Spring.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

The Red Trouser Defence League

In which G.M. Norton joins Country Life in celebrating le pantaloon rouge.

These are troubling times, chumrades. Troubling times, indeed. I’m not referring to world atrocities, you understand. This periodical is a sanctuary to take your mind off truly serious matters. Today, I’m writing about the decline of red trousers, standard issue for the English country gentleman.
Fabulous illustration courtesy of Country Life, with thanks
It would be sheer folly to suggest that red trousers are facing extinction. Thankfully, the likes of Cordings would never allow such a sartorial travesty to occur. But Country Life magazine have been moved enough to pen an impassioned plea to reclaim the red trouser.

Please do read the full article but here is my favourite part. The rousing words put a lump in my throat:

Saturday, 5 March 2016

On film: The Maltese Falcon

In which G.M. Norton enters into the murky world of expensive birds. 

Following on from last Saturday’s collection of British film noir baddies, I thought that it was only fair to write about what is considered to be the first film noir - the 1941 production of The Maltese Falcon.
Based on the Dashiell Hammett novel of the same name, this is the second Hammett inspired film to grace this periodical - the other being The Thin Man.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Spivs on film

In which G.M. Norton looks at the Film Noir ne'er-do-wells.

Since sporting a pencil moustache, I've become fascinated by the 1940s spiv. You know the fellow - hat at a jaunty angle; loud tie; even louder shoes and a pin-stripe suit with lapels so broad, they almost reach the shoulder seams. 

A dashing figure, he lives by his wits selling ration coupons, chocolate, cigarettes and nylons. 
Yes, they're a small-time crook but they have a romantic charm about them.

Of course, the likes of Flash Harry in the St Trinian's films and Private Walker in Dad's Army are two such loveable rogues that spring to mind. 

Before these over-the-top wide boys appeared, the spiv characters were a little darker when portrayed in post-war British films. Please allow me to introduce to you five such characters, some of whom you may already have met.