Saturday, 9 December 2017

The right trousers

In which G.M. Norton pockets a new pair of trousers.


Ever since I first read about them in The Chap magazine a few years ago, I’ve been longing for a pair of leg warmers from Spencers Trousers.
If you’ve not previously heard of them, Spencers are a factory based in Yorkshire that make trousers to your exact measurements. Just a week after placing your order, they’re made up and sent to you, wherever you are in the world. 

Unhappy with the fit of my trousers, my longing to get my first pair from Spencers has only increased when seeing all the dapper chaps on Instagram wearing them. The way I see it, if trousers are being worn by men as far as Denmark and Germany, they must be pretty darn special.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Norty's Christmas gift ideas

In which G.M. Norton puts on his Christmas thinking cap.


Hurrah, for it is December!

I absolutely adore this time of year. The cool mornings, hot food, the need to wrap up warm and the festive excitement.

What I can't abide though are the busy shops, which is why I try to do most of my Christmas shopping online. Rather than shop at the big stores, where I can, I do like to give my money to the little independent enterprise or maker instead.

If you're stuck for Christmas ideas for the fellow in your life, or would like some ideas for treating yourself, then please allow me to suggest a few things.

Blue Coffee Box subscription

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Review: Penelope Cream tie

In which G.M. Norton is enchanted by a knitted tie.


As we edge towards winter, some lucky blighters out there receive parcels from loved ones containing knitted jumpers or perhaps hat, scarf and gloves sets. 

Alas, I’ve never had a person in my family that knits me anything. Well, that’s not strictly true. My aunt was a keen knitter, but family feuds ruined that potential opportunity for a steady stream of knitted goods. 
So really, it’s only fair that I recently received a hand-knitted tie from Penelope Cream.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

By order of the Peaky Blinders

In which G.M. Norton wonders what all the fuss is about.


Series 4 of Peaky Blinders aired this week to much hurrah.

The Chap magazine have gone to town on it with interviews with those involved in the television show and a photoshoot. They've done a super job, I really enjoyed reading it.

I can't help feeling though that I'm one of the few not to be swept along with the show.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Remembering my great-grandfather

In which G.M. Norton shares his sombre thoughts on a sombre day.


The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Stirring words, words I've heard since I was only a little boy. 

Of course, when I was a whippersnapper, I was too young to appreciate the true significance of Armistice Day. I remember standing up in the classroom at my primary school to observe a two minute silence. Those two minutes seemed to go on forever and I did my best to stand still and not fidget. I can still feel the excitement of getting a poppy from the Royal British Legion who were stood outside in the freezing cold. Excitement and boredom aren't feelings you should feel on such a sombre occasion but back then, I didn't know.

This year I got a Passchendaele 100 poppy lapel pin, a handsome pin designed to pay tribute to the 60,083 British soldiers that died during the Third Battle of Ypres in 1917. It's made from brass artillery shells founds on the battlefields and contains earth from the fields which were mixed in with the red and green enamel. 

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Timex goes back in time

In which G.M. Norton alerts you to a new watch that has gone back in time.


As regular readers will know, I love watches.

To some people, a watch is a relic, an obsolete item that has been replaced by smartphones, or even a smart watch. To others, a watch is just something that tells the time.

To me, a watch is an object to admire, a statement piece, a finishing touch. A watch can become indelibly linked to you. An object that loved ones can cherish to remember you long after you've gone. 

And of course, it tells the time.

I have a soft spot for watch company Timex. My first ever watch was a Timex. My second watch was a Timex too. I currently have two Timex watches in my collection, a Weekender and a vintage mechanical one that was made in Dundee in Scotland.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Why I've resigned from In Retrospect magazine

In which G.M. Norton explains why he's stepped down as magazine editor.


A couple of weeks ago, I made the decision to leave my position as Editor-at-Large at In Retrospect magazine.

I've mentioned the magazine on this periodical before. In fact, I've dedicated entries centred completely on the printed publication.

Before being asked to join the editorial team, I was a contributor from the very beginning going back to when it started out in digital format back in Spring 2014. Since then, there was a successful Kickstarter campaign to get the magazine into print and then in February 2015 I picked up the editorial reins alongside Mat and Ava.

It's took a lot to walk away from something that I still have a deep fondness for, so I should really explain how my stint in the editor's chair is now over.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Review: Piper Speciale quilted jacket from English Utopia

In which G.M. Norton finds a new way to keep off the autumn chill.


You may recall that last year, I worked myself into a relative lather over my Floyd tweed jacket from English Utopia.
Well, I’m now in proud possession of one of their quilted jackets – their Piper Speciale to be precise. Colour options include black and navy, but being a traditionalist, I opted for the time-honoured olive.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

On film: Kingsman - The Golden Circle

In which G.M. Norton indulges in a little escapism.


Yesterday, my beloved and I sloped off for a pleasant afternoon together. After a nice spot of something to eat, we ambled over to the local picture house to watch Kingsman: The Golden Circle.
I love the cinema. There’s something about the darkness and relative solitude (I usually avoid times where it will be particularly busy as unless I’m feeling particularly extrovert, I detest crowds and noise). The last film that I watched at the cinema was Dunkirk, which I actually went to alone. It was the first time that I’ve ever gone to the cinema on my own and it was absolutely wonderful. I felt like Don Draper sneaking away from the office to be transported to somewhere else for a couple of hours. Bliss.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Being a jerk

In which G.M. Norton ponders a potential purchase.


Now chums, I've been mulling over a purchase for a good year or so - a reproduction leather jerkin, worn by British armed forces in both world wars. 
Robert Shaw worn one alongside Barbara Bach and Harrison Ford in war flick, Force 10 from Navarone.