Dugdale Bros & Co

Farewell sweet Summer – you’ve been a joy. This year we’ve been spoilt rotten, but gin and tonics must now give way to a warming brandy, as the cold, hard barrels of Autumn and Winter swing in our direction. Now is the time for log fires, pastry and mash and breaking out the winter wardrobe.…

Naughty Forty

On Wednesday the 27th of March, I hit the big four zero. Only a week before, I’d driven home through Headingley, closeted in my refined Germanic bubble of leather and walnut veneer. With misty eyes I smiled at the fancy dress wearing students, heading out for a night of Jägerbomb and M-Cat fuelled thrusting and…

Flower Power

I’ve just read the biography, “Shopping, Seduction & Mr Selfridge” and it’s an absolute belter. Harry Gordon Selfridge, founder of Selfridges department store in London, was the ultimate showman. A risk-taking visionary with ambition, self belief, unbridled energy and boundless enthusiasm. Sure, he had his demons (girls and gambling), but here was a man driven…

Hairy Times

The beard is back. Even my brother is growing one. A face full of fur smacks of swashbuckling “derring-do.” It’s testosterone on a chin. The hirsute marque of heroic daring. Beloved by World War two fighter pilots and pipe-smoking chaps who raced along country lanes in their Morgans, a bristling moustache embodied the spirit of…

Festive Finery

Christmas, to me, should be a Dickensian schmaltz-fest of ruddy faced joy and conviviality. The clatter of a carriage on cobbled streets. The crunch of snow under stout leather boots. An Inn with a crackling log fire where bearded men swill porter and supp mutton stew. No Sky Sports. No games of pool. Just raucous…

The Best of the Vest

The days of the Dandy are back and that’s a fact. Last week I clocked four young lads in Leeds on a Saturday night out, suited and booted-up to the max. Sharp threads breed confidence and like giants they swaggered past a group of shouty, red-faced Wetherspooners, wobbling into The Leopard Lounge for early-doors titillation.…

Surf, Sushi and Saxon Sheep

This month, I’ve been on it like Wallace and Gromit. The showroom lights of Michelsberg HQ have been burning long into the night and like Scotty in Star Trek, “I’ve giv’n her all she’s got captain, an’ I canna give her no more.” There’s been many an evening when I’ve shut up shop, my cheeks…

What Ho!

I’m halfway through Stephen Fry’s second Autobiography and it’s an absolute gem. When it comes to penning polished prose, he’s a master and it’s a joy to see our beautiful language used with such fondness and aplomb. As an actor, he was marvellous as the towering, mustachioed ‘Melchett’ in Blackadder – perhaps the best sitcom…