Saturday, 31 December 2016

Christmas goodies

In which G.M. Norton shares his Christmas swag.


I do hope you had a super Christmas, chumrades. 

It's been absolutely glorious to be away from the dreariness of office life for a few days. 

Santa, or rather my beloved, has been very kind this year and bestowed on me some wonderful presents. As we have two young and highly excitable children, it wasn't actually until Boxing Day before I could properly admire them. 

At the top of this year's present pile was a Reese's selection box. It's only in recent times that I've started gorging on peanut butter and with a sweet tooth, I turn to America for my fix. So it was with delight that I unwrapped this heavenly cardboard container of confectionery. 

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Christmas with Bogart, Bette and two blonde bombshells

In which G.M. Norton gets in the spirit of Christmas.


Well, chumrades, we're almost there. After a month-long build-up where we literally count down the days (well, count up), Christmas Day is but a few hours away. 

Of course, Christmas is about celebrating the birth of a great man born on 25th December. As I'm not religious, naturally the great man for me is Humphrey Bogart. Happy birthday, Bogie, old thing.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

All I want for Christmas is...

In which G.M. Norton shares what he'd like for Christmas.

With the big day on the way, the only thing I want for Christmas is for good manners to make a triumphant return.
As I'm sat writing this, a waitress has brought over a plate of piping hot food. I stop what I'm doing and take the time to thank her and smile warmly. I reach for the table number card and hand it over, to save her the trouble of stretching across to fetch it herself. We exchange pleasantries. Sometimes we have a little chat, usually about her grandchildren or my two daughters. From time to time, extra bacon appears on my plate, which is nice. 

Saturday, 10 December 2016

The man who would be king (and step down)

In which G.M. Norton admires a fallen king and his super stylish wife.


This weekend marks the 80th anniversary of the abdication of King Edward VIII so he could marry his beloved, Wallis Simpson.

King Edward VIII, who later became Duke of Windsor, was king for less than 11 months and hadn't even had his coronation. 

I've penned an article on this in issue 09 of In Retrospect magazine which is out now.

Today I thought I would simply admire some pictorials of the super stylish couple. Fancy joining me?

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Review: The Crown

In which G.M. Norton enjoys a jewel in the Netlix crown.


Despite being a jolly throwback that enjoys looking to the past, my feet are still firmly planted in the present. As a result, I carry around a portable electronic communications device (also known as a mobile phone), my masculinity isn’t hampered because my beloved is now the higher earner (I'm a little closer to my dream of becoming a gentleman of leisure) and finally, I subscribe to the thoroughly modern phenomenon of Netflix.

Netflix really is quite wonderful. I recently finished watching a Netflix original series about Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth called The Crown.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Hair today, gone tomorrow?

In which G.M. Norton tackles things head on.


This past week or so, I discovered something that shocked me. It stopped me in my tracks and to be truthful, it made me quite sad. Well, for a few minutes, until I forced myself to snap out of it and accept the situation.

You may now be wondering what on earth this discovery could be. Well, rather than leaving you guessing any longer than is necessary, my news is this – I’m losing my hair.

There. I’ve said it.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Far Flung Floyd

In which G.M. Norton makes a new friend.


I’m enormously excited to have made a new chum in the last week or so. His name is Floyd and since he arrived at Norton Manor, we’ve been virtually inseparable.

Once in a blue moon, you just hit it off like you’ve been friends forever.
What’s more, Floyd is a colourful character, is always on hand to listen patiently to my waffle and at a moment’s notice, will wrap himself around me and keep me protected from the cold Manchester air.
Before I continue any further and get into a whole heap of trouble with my beloved, I should perhaps explain that Floyd is a stunning tweed travel jacket from those fine folk at English Utopia.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Courteous celebrities

In which G.M. Norton looks for chivalry in the modern day.


Greetings chumrades!

Well, it's been quite a week with Donald Trump becoming the 45th President of the United States. 

I see this periodical as a distraction from modern life and thorny issues such as politics and I'm not going to start now. However, what I will always make clear is that sexist and misogynist behaviour is utterly despicable. 

To remind readers of the behaviour that I believe in, here are some examples from celebrities of today. This first one might surprise you, it certainly surprised me.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Jack Frost, jumpers and beards

In which G.M. Norton pens piffle about wool and beards.


This week, we had our first frosty morning where I live. Jack Frost obviously hadn't been out too long, so I suspect he had only sneaked out when nobody was looking. But he had left a trace or a calling card, if you will. 
In readiness for the cold months ahead, I've been plotting some purchases to help keep me warm. I've already managed to snaffle a couple of jumpers - a lovely cream Norwegian style number made from 100% British wool for just £30 and a big thick M&S navy sweater from their Autograph range. This one was acquired from one of the beneficiary boutiques that I frequent, and set me back the princely cost of £1.99 (being a generous sole, I put the penny in the collection box).

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Ten facts: James Robertson Justice

In which G.M. Norton looks at the larger-than-life man behind Sir Lancelot Spratt.


The Doctor series of films were regular fixtures on the Idiot's Lantern when I was a boy. Leslie Phillips and Dirk Bogarde were fun characters but the one that really stood out was the actor described by the aforementioned Phillips as "a great bear with a bushy beard and beetle brows, who seemed to scare the pants off most people."
Yes, that's right. The one and only James Robertson Justice, who played demanding surgeon, Sir Lancelot Spratt in six feature films, plus Captain Hogg in Doctor at Sea (starring a young Brigitte Bardot, no less).

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Broadsword calling Danny Boy

In which G.M. Norton dreams of being a Boy's Own action hero.


As regular readers will appreciate, I love sitting down to watch a good film. When it's cold and wet outside, the perfect film to reach for is Where Eagles Dare, starring Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood. So, as it's been rather wet this week, that's exactly what I did.

Apparently, Burton wanted to make a Boy’s Own adventure for his step-sons. Well, he certainly found the perfect role as Major Smith in this completely unrealistic World War Two action caper.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Say hello to Simon James Cathcart

In which G.M. Norton shares a sartorial secret.


As you know, chums, I have a perhaps unhealthy obsession with clothes. 

Last year, I came across a relatively new maker of fine fashion, that takes a look back at styles of yesteryear to make holy grail items for people like you and me. The name? Simon James Cathcart, or SJC for short.

The way they operate is simple. They have a forum where you can suggest a particular item of clothing that you'd love to own. If enough people want it, they make it up and offer it in limited runs.

So far, I've acquired a couple of their 1930s style summer polo shirts with spearpoint collars, a beautiful pair of made in Northampton oxblood co-responent shoes and two neckerchiefs adorned with a sea motifs including a ship, anchors and lady swimmers.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Top 10 Bond style moments

In which G.M. Norton picks his top ten Bond looks.


Wednesday 5th October marked Global James Bond Day, which was the release date of the first spy caper, Dr No. 

I had no idea either. 

As I'm something of a Bond nut (as opposed to a Brazil nut), I thought it would be fun to run through my top ten favourite Bond outfits.


Ten

Blue anorak/smock - On Her Majesty's Secret Service
First up, we have Bond in a blue anorak, not too dissimilar to a Royal Navy issue flight deck smock. This was worn for the raid on Piz Gloria towards the end of George Lazenby's one and only outing as James Bond. 

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Tartan and tweed

In which G.M. Norton talks up tartan and tweed.


Goodness me, it’s October! Where does the time fly, chumrades?

After a warm month or so, the mornings and evenings have been decidedly colder this week so I’ve been diving into the warm bosom of tweed.

As regular readers will nod in agreement, I don’t need much encouragement where this much-loved material is concerned.

Here are a few pictorials that I’ve snapped this week for Instagram, including this tartan hanky.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Summer's last hurrah

In which G.M. Norton becomes a seersucker-wearing shouty man.


Last Saturday, I went along to Salford's Big Day Out where I spent the day sauntering around with a megaphone in my hand making announcements. 

Think of me as a town crier, only at a festival, and wearing an American seersucker suit.


Saturday, 17 September 2016

Revisiting my past

In which G.M. Norton goes on a time travelling meander. 


I live around five miles from Rochdale, a small town in the north west of England.

From the age of 16 to 22, I worked in the town and but now I only occasionally visit. It's been a good three years or so since I had a proper mooch around.

This week I had a small errand to run visiting the magnificent Rochdale Town Hall. 

It really is a stunning building. According to folklore, Adolph Hitler was rather keen on it and had plans to have it moved elsewhere. While I was there, I decided to have a little wander.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Missing mojo and 4th birthday celebrations

In which G.M. Norton finds his missing mojo.


For a couple of months, my mojo has been missing. I penned something about feeling out of sorts back in July.

Well, chumrades, you will be delighted to discover that I have now been reunited with it.

It turns out, my mojo wasn't really missing at all, I'd merely left it in a drawer and forgot all about it!

As luck would have it, the triumphant return of my mojo has coincided with this periodical's fourth birthday celebrations. My first ever periodical entry can be found this way.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Is it autumn yet?

In which G.M. Norton looks ahead to his favourite time of the year.


Now we're in September, I simply can't wait for autumn to be here. I'm not one for summer, I must confess. 

Don't get me wrong, it's nice to have a little sunshine and clear blue skies. Indeed, I've just returned from a summer jaunt away with the family. But I do so terribly miss my finest tweeds and woollens. 

With my favourite season on the horizon, I've greedily been lusting over photographs of tweed ensembles. 

Don't these pictorials (purloined from Cordings) just look grand?

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.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Holy Cow! Bespoke leather key case

In which G.M. Norton gets well and truly leathered.


Like loose change, a bunch of keys have a nasty habit of jangling in one’s trouser pocket.

Although I often carry a satchel, like my enemies, I like to keep my keys as close as possible and that means on my person.

Apart from the jangling issue, there’s two other pet hates from carrying around keys; an unsightly bulge and the damage a set of keys can cause to the pocket lining. Honesty, keys rival that of a moth. In the last few weeks, two trouser pockets have developed holes and despite meaning to repair them, it slips my mind. Before you know it, I’m sauntering around town in them again and worrying that I’ll lose the key to my motorcar.
My trousers deserve more. I demand more. So that’s why I commissioned a fellow on Instagram to make a leather key case for me.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Making a Fougasse of myself

In which G.M. Norton draws a cartoonist out of the past. 


As a child, I harboured dreams of being a writer and illustrator. I was quite handy with a pencil and loved drawing. Fast forward 25 years and my only artistic endeavour now involves doodling on a notepad, while avoiding whatever dull task I'm duty bound to complete. 

Still, I achieved part of my dream and get paid to write. I've even gained the lofty title of Editor-at-Large for In Retrospect magazine (issue 07 is now out by the way, chums).
I must admit that until only quite recently, I'd never heard of Cyril Kenneth Bird before. 

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Style icon: Clark Gable

In which G.M. Norton gushes over Gable.

Clark Gable is one of those fellows that chaps would love to be and ladies long to be with. Fitting the classic aesthetics of tall, dark and handsome, he was a jolly fine actor too.

As a keen exponent of the pencil moustache and side-part hairstyle, I feel a close affinity to Mr. Gable. Cementing his name in Hollywood history with the acclaimed Gone with the Wind, my beloved and I would go on to name our eldest daughter after the female protagonist.
During the 1930s, Clark followed the popular styles of the time with wide lapel jackets and high-rise trousers with pleats. With his tall frame, broad shoulders and slim waist; he pulled this off with aplomb.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Competition: Fashion on the Ration at IWM North

In which G.M. Norton visits the new northern home for Fashion on the Ration (and has a super giveaway!).


Despite loving bygone eras, I’m enormously thankful to be living today. With my growing love of clothes, I’m not sure how I would have coped if I’d been around in the summer of 1941 when clothes rationing was introduced to Britain. Well, I suppose I’d have been trying to keep my military uniform looking as pristine as possible while trying to stay alive…

Clothes rationing didn’t just last for the duration of the Second World War, it went on for nine years, long after the war had been won.
Of course, it wasn’t all bad. While men were forced to forgo turn-ups on their trousers, it also meant that fair maidens revealed a little more leg as hemlines were raised for the war effort. That was when they weren't slipping into trousers themselves, to carry out the manual jobs, that men across Blighty had left behind. 

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Smouldering Sirens: Sabrina

In which G.M. Norton remembers one of the biggest stars of the 1950s.


I’m afraid that if you were to search the internet for ‘Sabrina’, most of the results will be for a teenage witch from the 1990s. 

If you’re from an older generation or like me, have an interest in previous eras, then Sabrina will bring up something altogether quite different in the ‘search result’ of your mind.
If you’ve never heard of her before, Sabrina was one of the most famous British pin-ups of the 1950s, with an impossibly-proportioned 42½-18-36 figure. With those frankly absurd curves and flowing golden locks, Sabrina was what one might call a ‘blonde bombshell’, following in the dainty footsteps of Marilyn Monroe, Diana Dors and Jayne Mansfield.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Mad Dogs and Servicemen: Sergeant King and Private Cuthbertson

In which G.M. Norton regales you with another extraordinary military tale.


Gadzooks! It’s been a while since I last featured the extraordinary military exploits of a serviceman.

To make amends for this gross error of forgetfulness, I have two heroes to share with you today.

Please step forward, Sergeant Peter King and Private Thomas Leslie Cuthbertson. Their remarkable story led to Raymond Foxall's book, The Amateur Commandos and British film, Two Men Went to War.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Biography of a bounder: Keith Moon

In which G.M. Norton awards Keith Moon official bounder status.


A little while ago, I penned the first 'biography of a bounder', featuring the one and only Oliver Reed. Contemplating a follow-up, who better than his drinking buddy, Mr Keith Moon?
In case you're not up on your British pop music culture, Keith Moon was a legendary drummer in The Who. Known for a manic drumming style, he was also quite the character. 

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.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Timex, gentlemen, please

In which G.M. Norton hails the humble Timex Weekender.


Some time ago, I put together a Chivalric Code, containing ten ways to be the perfect gentleman. Number eight was quite simple - to be punctual.

I must confess, this is the one that I struggle with the most. You see, I've always preferred an idle stroll to a brisk walk. Without pointing the finger of blame as it is ultimately my responsibility, children also have a habit of slowing the pace somewhat.

That's why a watch is so important. After all, one must know precisely how many minutes one is late. 

I'm the proud owner of three pocket watches, yet possess only three wristwatches. A paltry effort, I'm sure you agree.
Thankfully, one of the wristwatches is a Timex Weekender. 

Saturday, 13 February 2016

New shoes! As seen on monks!

In which G.M. Norton adds to his burgeoning shoe collection.


As regular readers will attest, I love my shoes. Last week, I took delivery of a new pair.

I can almost hear you now, “Norton, old thing. You don’t need any more shoes!”

Well, yes. Yes, I do.
You see, a pair of monk strap shoes has been missing from my collection. Thankfully, the good chaps at Samuel Windsor sensed my plight and rectified the situation by sending me a pair from their classic collection.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Review: Live at the Bull & Gate by Carradine's Cockney Sing-a-long

In which G.M. Norton has the cockney sing-a-long brought to him.


As I was born and remain in T'North of England, cockney sing-a-longs around the ol' Joanna just don't happen around these parts. 

As a young whippersnapper, the bright lights of London was confined to reading Sherlock Holmes detective mysteries and watching the likes of Only Fools & Horses and Goodnight Sweetheart. 

Funnily enough, both these television comedies do in fact feature cockney knees-ups. Uncle Albert in Only Fools enjoyed tickling the ivories (although not many at the Nag's Head seemed to enjoy it quite as much). Gary Sparrow, played by Nicholas Lyndhurst in Goodnight Sweetheart (as well as Rodney Trotter in Only Fools...do keep up at the back) was also fond of a few songs around the piano. So much so, that the time travelling womanising bigamist had the audacity to pass off well-known hits from the future as his own ditties.  
Anyway, what on earth am I wittering on about? Well my chum, Tom Carradine has brought out a live album of sing-a-long classics. If for some strange reason you remember everything I ever write about, cast your mind back to November 2014 when I first introduced you to Tom's musical enterprise, Carradine's Cockney Sing-a-longs.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

My top 6 Instagrammers

In which G.M. Norton shares six of his favourite Instagrammers.

Since throwing myself into Instagram, it's been love at first like. When I first heard of Instagram, I thought it was just one of those photograph filters that could make your snaps look olde-worlde. Then perfect strangers started to like my photos and I couldn't fathom why.  
Since those innocent early days, I struggle to keep my hands off it! 

There are so many lovely people on Instagram, it's been a wonderful way to make and build friendships and importantly, to be inspired. 

Here are six of my favourite Instagrammers of the moment. I've only been following a few for a matter of weeks but I thought it would be rather jolly to share them with you.

In no particular order, here are my six of the best.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Technological times

In which G.M. Norton would prefer people to stare glumly ahead.


I like to describe Norton of Morton as ‘an analogue periodical in a digital age’. 

As the jolly throwback that I am, I love to dress in a manner befitting of a gentleman and aspire to behave in such a way. Impeccable manners, courtesy and respect all form part of the moral compass that guides me through life.
While I love the elegance and style of the 1920s to the 1950s, and would love to visit each decade for a brief sojourn, I wouldn’t like to live during those times. As much as I adore the fashions, I would much rather adopting those styles now and stand out amongst the polyester and sportswear-clad masses.