Saturday, 13 December 2014

Mad Dogs and Servicemen: "Mad Jack" Churchill

In which G.M. Norton celebrates the soldier who went to World War Two armed with a sword and a bow and arrow.


If you’ve not already made his acquaintance, please allow me to introduce you to Lieutenant Colonel John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming Churchill, or “Mad Jack” as he was known.

Churchill (no relation to Sir Winston) was a soldier in Second World War, whose exploits on the battlefield are the epitome of military romanticism.
Mad Jack

A highly-decorated soldier, Jack survived multiple explosions; successfully escaped from two prisoner of war camps; captured more than forty Nazis during a single raid, armed with just his sword; and became the only British soldier during Second World War to kill the enemy with a bow and arrow.

As Jack wryly commented, “Any officer who goes into action without his sword is improperly dressed.”

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Give the gift of socks this Christmas

In which G.M. Norton explains how a gift of socks can be a joy to behold on Christmas morning.


Socks, the thoughtless yet practical Christmas gift for chaps who quite frankly, would still very much appreciate a train set. Due to such disappointing experiences, men have mastered the art of feigning gratitude for nondescript socks, probably purloined on a whim while stood in a department store queue.
Such a sorry episode is doing the sock a great disservice though. Cheap and nasty socks are an abomination. Dare I mention them, but novelty socks or those with days of the week emblazoned across are even more ghastly!
In truth though, if you are having trouble deciding what gift to present to the male of the species, then a luxurious pair of socks is a darn fine option. I would genuinely love to wake up on Christmas morning, and after consuming the traditional glass of dry sherry, be presented with an exquisitely wrapped parcel containing a pair of super soft socks.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Magazine madness

In which G.M. Norton finds his musings printed in two magazines.


I enjoy writing so when the chance presents itself to pen a little something for a magazine, I readily accept the invitation. Not content with making it into one printed magazine though, I find myself in two at the same time.

The first is for In Retrospect magazine. As regular readers may be aware, I've contributed to three digital editions to date, as their menswear style aficionado. Following a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise money to crank up the printing press, the first ever printed In Retrospect is available to buy from this Monday, 1st December 2014.

Inside it, you will find a feature by myself on Private White VC. Private White was a soldier during the First World War who inspired a Manchester menswear brand, now ably led by his great-grandson, James Eden. 

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.