Run, Forrest, run!

I’m not exactly what you’d call a key demographic for Sports Direct.

I’ve never run, cycled, pumped iron, or played for a team in my life, bunking off rugby and cricket at school, preferring stud poker sessions and cigarettes with my friends.

The only sport I’ve done with any regularity is swimming, so when the David Lloyd closed down their pool in March for Lockdown #1, I needed to find something else to compensate for my spirited consumption of juniper and ethanol based treats. Read More

Checking out & Dropping In

Wednesday 4th November, 6am.

Squirming under the duvet, I sighed deeply into my pillow with worry.

The ‘tup’ sheep needed bringing down from the fells, before I could shut down my shop for ‘Lockdown Two.’

In that curious, hallucinogenic phase of sleep, where dreams become reality, James Michelsberg – Leeds tailor extraordinaire – had transmogrified into James Rebanks – Lakeland Sheep Farmer and author of my latest bedtime read, ‘The Shepherd’s Life.” Read More

Carry On Corona!

So there she stood on parade, my first born daughter, all ready for her first day at Big School.

Shoes polished, a dimple in her tie knot, sleeve length perfect, a credit to her tailoring father.

It would have been churlish to bemoan the polyester fabric, fused construction, with not even a Milanese button hole in sight, so instead, I just drank in this vision of beauty and innocence.

My angel, Daddy’s darling, the next chapter of life upon her. Read More

The Michelsberg Trenchcoat

Last week, whilst ‘Airbnbing’ with my in-laws in a rather splendid pile tucked away in the boonies of Lancashire, the owners mentioned they kept hens, and we were very welcome to collect our own eggs.

Every morning, my excited daughters would throw on wellies, rush outside and proudly return with the day’s clutch.

I’d then serve them poached and runny on artisan sourdough, a sprinkle of Maldon salt and cracked pepper, and sit back contentedly with a cup of coffee, the traces of last night’s bourbon, a fading memory. Read More

Roll up! Roll up! Get your sweets here!

On Monday 15th June, my days as a gin-soaked house husband, ended.

Hanging up my pinny, I bounced into the Victoria Quarter, a whirling dervish of enthusiasm and pent up energy, sporting a new summer suit and highly polished Oxfords.

Bright eyed, head held high like a meerkat on patrol duty, I surveyed my surroundings.


Like a welcome home party for Dominic Cummings, hardly anybody had bothered to turn up.

Where were the dancing girls, flashing lights and the big neon sign shouting out to the world, “We are open!” ? Read More

Back in Business

Like a whippet on crystal meth, I’m exploding with boundless energy, now that Boris has set the retail hare running.


I am thrilled and delighted to say that Michelsberg Tailoring will be reopening it’s doors on Monday 15th June, and not a moment too soon.

My liver, to paraphrase Scotty in Star Trek, “cannae take any more cap’n, or she’ll blow!”

All good things must come to end, and I have to say, for the most part, lockdown has been kind to me. Read More

Unchained Melody

Another Friday, another trip to the bottle bank.

James Michelsberg - Bottle Bank

With a pantry rammed with more empties than Lineker’s bar on a Saturday night in Magaluf, it’s a path that’s been well-trodden over the past nine weeks.

I suppose it’s been my own way of giving something back during these troubled times.

In fact, to all of you out there, who regularly bestow a rainbow of glass upon our countries recycling industry, I salute you.

We deserve an 8 o’clock clap, for services to the Environment. Read More

Keep it covered

“Keep it covered, James.”

Those were my father’s (rather embarrassing) parting words at the airport, before I headed off to Portugal with friends to celebrate the end of our GCSE examinations.

As far as Personal Protective Equipment goes, a ‘love glove’ is all I’ve ever needed, but until now, that’s all changed.

In preparation for the re-opening of Chez Michelsberg, I’ve had to scour the web for visors, masks, gloves and gel, to keep my customers as safe as possible. Read More

Scooter Suiter

April has left me tanned like George Hamilton with the liver of George Best.


Yesterday, was my first day back in the showroom since lock down, to check for mail, leaks, rodents and pick up a spare computer for home schooling.

Unfortunately, Daddy’s darlings had fully committed to their maths “Rock Stars” homework, and decided to go all Keith Moon and smash the monitor on the tiled kitchen floor.

After some passionately delivered spit-flecked prose, I felt marginally better. Read More

Threads of isolation

As the cold winds of isolation blow over Corona County, for those newly working at home, these are dangerous times.

My heart goes out to those poor displaced souls, tucked away in the eves with a laptop, unshaven, the crumbs of yesterday’s KitKat, smeared across their jogging bottoms.

One day, you’re a city slicker, the next, a dead ringer for Dominic Cummings.

Being surrounded by people during our working day keeps us on the straight and narrow. Read More