Saturday, 27 August 2016

Smouldering Sirens: Jill Adams

In which G.M. Norton falls under the spell of another smouldering siren.

As regular readers will already be aware, I love sitting down to an old film. Especially comedies. such as Private's Progress, Brothers in Law and The Green Man. Quite by chance, an utterly charming English actress by the name of Jill Adams starred in these pictures and I've been smitten ever since. 

Doesn't she look divine? 

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Mad Dogs and Servicemen: Sir Thomas Macpherson

In which G.M. Norton looks back at a swashbuckling Scotsman.

Please allow me to introduce to you another war hero, Sir Thomas Macpherson.

Known as the “Kilted killer”, Sir Thomas, or Tommy as he was known to his comrades, is the most decorated British soldier in history.
Some gallant war heroes are honoured to have the Military Cross proudly pinned to their chests. Macperson had three of them! That’s in addition to three Croix de guerre, a L├ęgion d’honneur, and a papal knighthood for his heroics during the Second World War.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Bow tie baddies

In which G.M. Norton hits upon a fail-proof way to spot a bounder.

As the 11th incarnation of Dr Who quite rightly observed, bow ties are cool. But according to mid-century British films, bow ties were crooked too. Or at least, the wearer of the bow tie was crooked.

Yes, I realise that Sir Winston Churchill favoured this entanglement of silk under his jowls but the evidence certainly suggests that the bow tie is the true mark of a cad, bounder, cutpurse and stinker.

Here are some notable examples:
William Hartnell as Dallow, one of Pinkie’s henchmen in Brighton Rock (1947)

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Good day, sunshine

In which G.M. Norton reminisces with Revolver.

Yesterday marked the 50th year since the release of Revolver, by The Beatles.

Growing up, my parents would play lots of records on their radiogram. As well as a lot of ‘70s bands, they would play some ‘50s and ‘60s too, including The Beatles.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Clark Gable - King of Casual

In which G.M. Norton admits his man crush.

Chumrades, it's time that I came clean. I have a bit of a thing for Mr. Clark Gable. As my most recent Style Icon, I'm afraid I paid Clark a disservice by failing to capture him in more relaxed attire.
As an aficionado of casual clothing, Clark pulled off the dressed down look with aplomb. 

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Dressing for the summer

In which G.M. Norton studies period fashion illustrations for some summer inspiration.

This week in Blighty, we’ve experienced something of a heatwave. Of course, we've also had thunder and lightning and the usual rain. But sunshine, nonetheless. 

While I find it relatively easy to dress in the colder months, dressing for the warmer months can be quite the hard slog, as it were. On the other hand, ladies seem to have the opposite conundrum and positively embrace sunshine while bemoaning winter.

In order to seek some inspiration from the halcyon days of yesteryear, I've been seeking out period illustrations from the likes of 1930's Esquire and Apparel Arts. Laurence Fellows was one of the more prominent fashion artists, with a distinctive style. Of course, other artists soon started to imitate his style.

These fine thirties fellows certainly show how it should be done.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Five word film reviews

In which G.M. Norton offers startling insight.

I’ve been watching a lot of films recently. As I get older, I’m finding that my concentration levels are becoming more and more abysmal. If I’m going to commit to sitting in front of the idiot’s lantern for anything more than half an hour, then I need somebody to accompany me.

Thankfully, I have my beloved for such things.

I must confess, she has only agreed to watch a handful of the films that we’ve now enjoyed together. For the others, she has said that she would read her book or “half watch” (no, I’m not sure either). But having been together for more than eleven years, I know that if she is sat next to me reading a novel, albeit on one of those popular electronic book devices, she will get distracted and then drawn into the film.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Shy and retiring

In which G.M. Norton hides behind Walt Disney.

I'm not feeling my usual self, chumrades. For a few weeks now, I've been hiding away from the world and getting lost in my own thoughts.

I get like this from time to time. There has been radio silence on the Twittering Device and very little activity on Instagram. Yet I can't completely hide. I still have the office job to turn up for, colleagues to converse with and a magazine to plan and develop. Despite feeling like this, I even stood in front of a few hundred people last week with a microphone in my hand for the Somme commemorations

Saturday, 2 July 2016

If ever there is tomorrow

In which G.M. Norton never forgets.

Yesterday, Friday 1st July 2016 marked the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme during the Great War. 
I work in Salford and as part of the city’s commemorations; I was honoured to be the announcer that led the tributes for the fallen outside the town hall. 

More than 650 Salford men, including members of the Pals battalions of the Lancashire Fusiliers, were killed during the first day on the battlefields. A battle that took the lives of more than a million people from all nationalities.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Summer reading

In which G.M. Norton idly ponders whether Jerome K. Jerome would approve.

Well, it's officially summer. And by a strange coincidence (it's as if it was planned), the summer issue of In Retrospect is out now and available to get your filthy hands on.
Issue 07 is a real humdinger, chums. We have the best writers in the retrospective scene including those lovely people behind my favourite reads Crinoline Robot, Porcelina's World and Eclectic Ephemera.