Saturday, 28 February 2015

It came out all write in the end

In which G.M. Norton urges you to get the latest copy of In Retrospect magazine.


As a keen writer, I feel fortunate to have written for four published magazines to date.

It all began with Pretty Nostalgic, the beautifully crafted magazine-book. Sadly, after penning three gentleman’s guides, my involvement with them seems to have reached a natural end.

Then there was the short-lived His Vintage Life, the little brother of Her Vintage Life. Why they can’t just have one publication aimed at both sexes still confuses me. Featured in two out of three issues, at least they had the decency to inform me of their demise by letter. 

Ernest Journal arrived on the scene last year, put together by the former editor of Pretty Nostalgic. I have a soft spot for Ernest. So far, I've been fortunate to review soaps, colognes and shaving paraphernalia. My bathroom has never smelled so good.

The fourth and final publication is In Retrospect, created by a vintage loving and passionate holy trinity of Mat Keller, Becca Mountfield and Alex Backhouse. Their vision made perfect sense - to produce a truly vintage publication, penned by people that are genuinely interested in vintage. 

Saturday, 21 February 2015

The perfect winter warmers

In which G.M. Norton sings the praises of his super slipovers.


With spring on the horizon, it will soon be time to retire my winter wardrobe that has served me so well.

During the autumn and winter months, a chap of my ilk naturally reaches for the knitwear. In my case, my growing collection of Fair Isle slipovers. Not only do they offer an extra layer of warmth but they look pretty darn good too.

So before they are lovingly stored away until the trees perform their customary striptease, I thought I would share them with you.
I’m now the proud owner of five Fair Isle knits. The first is one you’ve already made the acquaintance of, a Darcy Clothing special, providing the perfect mix of autumnal colours. This is a very versatile little number.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Family at war

In which G.M. Norton finds himself all at sea.


Last weekend, my beloved and I scooped up the two children and set sail for a day at the Imperial War Museum North.
The Imperial War Museum North is based at The Quays in Salford, home to the likes of the BBC and Coronation Street. There are a few war museums dotted around the country, including two in Londinium.
With February half-term on the horizon, we were invited for a special preview of some family ‘War at Sea’ activities. This included listening and taking part in a lovely story about a boy’s adventure on the high seas, along with making a message in a bottle and peering through telescopes. 

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Haunted with happiness

In which G.M. Norton recalls the scariest day of his life.


Today marks a happy but poignant day for your favourite protagonist – the birth of my youngest daughter.

There are three candles planted in her birthday cake this year. To look at her now, you would never guess that the day of her arrival into the world was the most harrowing experience of my life. 

I will never forget the moment her blue body slithered out of my beloved and into the arms of a team of nurses. No cry. No sign of life. More medics rushed into the room where they crowded round a table that my darling daughter was lying down upon. It was the longest five minutes I’ve ever experienced as they tried to resuscitate this precious baby. Our baby.

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Mad Dogs and Servicemen: Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart

In which G.M. Norton regales you with the extraordinary tale of an extraordinary war hero.


As a child, I remember watching the 1977 James Bond film adventure and being struck by two things. One was the beauty of Bond Girl, Barbara Bach (later wife of Ringo Starr) and the other was the seemingly indestructible juggernaut of a henchman, Jaws.

No matter what was thrown at him, Jaws, played by Richard Kiel, somehow managed to survive. 

Little did I know that a real-life Jaws figure existed. Although, rather than sporting metal teeth, this extraordinary human being wore an eye patch instead after being shot in the face.

The chap in question is one Lieutenant-General Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart. 

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Great Scot! Celebrating the original Mr B

In which G.M. Norton raises a glass of whisky to Mr Robert Burns.


Long before the celebrated Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer impressed us with his lyrical expression, there was another Mr B who was much lauded for his skilful way with words and song – Mr Robert Burns.

Tomorrow evening marks Burns Night - an annual celebration of the music and words of Scotland’s favourite son. Of course, it’s also the perfect excuse for the heavy consumption of whisky, providing a ray of light on an otherwise dark and gloomy first month of the year. 

Robert Burns was born in Ayrshire on 25th January 1759 and during his short life (only reaching 37 years of age), he won the hearts of the world with some of Scotland’s most enduring verse and ballads. His body of work touched on love, freedom and humanity, making him as relevant today as he was during his lifetime.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Winter brogues

In which G.M. Norton encourages chaps to be safe this winter and wear their rubbers.


I love a good pair of shoes. Whenever I have a spare moment, usually between the hours of 9-5, I can’t resist visiting various shoemaker websites and admiring their finely crafted leather goods.

Naturally, leather soled shoes are the preferred choice for any self-respecting gentleman but I must confess to being an advocate of the rubber soled variety. 
 
I realise that some may frown upon such creations and that just the thought of a rubber soled shoe is enough to send a shiver down the spine of any thoroughbred chap.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Picture perfect

In which G.M. Norton poses for pictorials.


I’m tickled pink to be able to share with you some daguerreotypes of your humble protagonist from a recent photo shoot at the acclaimed Doll House Photography in Birmingham.

As well as the honour of seeing Norton of Morton crowned the Best Vintage Fashion & Lifestyle Blog at the National Vintage Awards 2014, there was also a prize on offer – a free photo shoot at Doll House.

Doll House specialise in pin-up and boudoir photography so you could be forgiven for thinking that not many chaps walk through the studio doors. As I discovered though, the very talented lady behind the lens, Chrissy Sparks, doesn't just take photos of ladies in lingerie. Oh no! In fact, she had recently welcomed a male stripping troupe to be photographed.

Since relinquishing my lip weasel in the name of love, I thought the photo shoot would be an ideal opportunity to get some professionally-taken shots sans moustache.

Dismissing the donning of corsets and suspender belts, I brought along some of my favourite items of gentlemanly apparel.

I was keen for the pictorials to hark back to a bygone age, with a little of the film noir about them. I also wanted to capture a dash of humour too. I compiled a few photo ideas on Pinterest which I shared with Chrissy before the day of the photo shoot.

Upon arriving at the photo studio in the heart of Birmingham’s renowned Jewellery Quarter, I was taken to a private changing area where I proceeded to unload all my worldly belongings that I'd brought along.

As you can see from the first pictorial below, my tweed suit and fedora soon came out, along with a detachable collar and tunic shirt from Darcy Clothing. The neckwear is a New Sheridan Club tie. Since making this my profile pictorial on the Twittering Device a few days ago, it’s been commented that it has a touch of The Third Man about it.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Smouldering Siren: Vikki 'The Back' Dougan

In which G.M. Norton takes a look back at ‘The Back’.

 

Here at Norton of Morton HQ, I like to do things a little differently. Now we’ve reached a new year, rather than look back over the last 12 months, I’d like to look at an actual ‘back’ – namely, a back belonging to my latest Smouldering Siren, 1950s model and aspiring actress, Vikki Dougan.
There’s been something of a hiatus since I last enlisted a lovely lady into my pantheon of Smouldering Sirens so I’m glad to see it return, starting with Vikki.
In order to make a name for herself, Vikki Dougan caused quite a commotion during the 1950s for wearing daring backless dresses to various Hollywood soirees. The plunging frocks gained so much news attention for the starlet that she was quickly nicknamed ‘The Back’. Apparently, such was the furore over her controversial spinal column that she was even asked to leave one particular party by the host. Given that people commented that she made ‘the best exits in town’, that rumpus was most likely a publicity stunt as well.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Christmas time, social media and wine

In which G.M. Norton is his usual hypocritical self. Bah Humbug.


With the advent of social media, Christmas is becoming an endless stream of photographs containing Christmas trees, turkey dinners and piles of presents to announce the sudden visit and departure of every pogonophile’s wet dream, Mr. Father Christmas.
I’ve neglected to share such visual delights with people. Perhaps for fear of not having the best decorated tree, or because there weren’t enough stuffing balls on the plate I was carefully capturing on camera. Or perhaps I was just too busy enjoying the festivities with my family. I certainly preferred the good old-fashioned option of eating my Christmas dinner while it was hot rather than spend an aching amount of time trying to find the best composition to show it in it's best light.
At this juncture, I probably sound a little grumpy. I’m not, really. Just a little perplexed. I’m all for social media, it really is a wonderful beast but I feel it has the potential to expose me a little too much at times (especially after the infamous gap-in-the-trouser incident).
Anyway, now I’ve finished bemoaning modern technology on this electronic periodical, which you are probably reading on your fanciful new electronic device, I shall be a complete hypocrite and share some of the gifts that I found in my stocking. Because, my dear chum, that is how one rolls.
First up is the complete DVD collection of two of my favourite comedy shows – O-O-O-O-Open All Hours and Dad's Army. Hours of titters to follow.