This is a magnificent book, written in 1953 by someone who learnt her cooking in English country kitchens in the days before widespread electricity and gas. It’s a combination of food history, recipes, general household advice, bits of personal memoir, opinion, and amusing or interesting quotes from old books. Apart from the obvious stuff — what sauces to serve […]
Posts tagged with ‘England’
Subtitle: An Outsider Looks at English Cricket. Mike Marqusee is American, although he has lived in the UK since 1971. I guess it shouldn’t be taken for granted that an outsider will have a clearer view of cricket than someone brought up with it; it would hardly be surprising if an American who became a […]
England are suffering from the world’s biggest collective case of the yips.* It seems like the only explanation for how much worse these players become when they pull on an England shirt. Sigh. * Well, not quite the biggest: that must be the one that afflicts the All Blacks every four years at the Rugby […]
My overall feeling was that there just wasn’t a critical mass of players in that team whose game lends itself to composed possession football. Gerrard and Lampard can’t do it on their own. So for example, I’m a big fan of Aaron Lennon, and I think he could be an important player for England at […]
Well, that was a bit depressing: not so much because of the result, but the tendency to revert to long balls hoofed up the front, the lack of involvement of England’s wingers, the lack of controlled possession in midfield… all the usual England failings, in fact. Not to mention the further undermining of confidence in […]
I was considering what it was about that weird political letter that made me put in the effort to blog it. I think it’s two things, really. The first is that we are increasingly surrounded by the mass produced and mechanically produced, and I find amateur, hand-made things more and more appealing. Of course, even a hundred […]
A couple of days ago, this peculiar typewritten envelope was put through the door: The ALL CAPS typewritten envelope reeks of ‘political nutjob’ and the red cross in the corner, for those of you who don’t know, is the English flag — the cross of St George, in fact — which during major football tournaments can be […]
Canada Day and the Fourth of July have made me jealous. We need a special holiday to do English things. Like drinking tea, talking about the weather, overcooking vegetables and being casually rude about the Welsh for no obvious reason. » In tatters, posted to Flickr by geraintwn and used under a Creative Commons attribution licence.
Full, slightly overblown title: Going Dutch: How England Plundered Holland’s Glory. This is a book about the relationship between England and Holland in the C17th. It’s an interesting period, of course: the C17th was Holland’s ‘Golden Age’, when the country was not only a wealthy global power but at the intellectual and especially artistic forefront of Europe. For […]
The full title is The Century of Revolution, 1603-1714; i.e. the century in question is the longish C17th from the death of Queen Elizabeth to the death of Queen Anne. I guess most centuries are centuries of revolution somewhere, and in one way or another, but the C17th was the only time the English have had an actual […]
Well, today the Capello era really gets started. After two months of blissfully fact-free speculation, conjecture, analysis and day-dreaming, we have to get down to the sordid reality of playing actual football. Even after the match, it’ll be too soon to tell much really. Not that that’ll stop the pundits. Obviously they have to offer […]
Wales beat England at rugby this afternoon, which (don’t tell my father) I quite enjoyed. I keenly support England when they’re playing South Africa, Australia, New Zealand or France, but against other teams I often find myself rooting for the opposition. I guess it’s largely support for the underdog (today was Wales’s first win at […]
I had a bad feeling before the match, but I wasn’t expecting it to go quite the way it did. I was worried that playing a 4-5-1 and only needing a draw, England would defend deeper and deeper, as they so often have recently, only to be caught out by a goal too late to […]
There’s serious flooding in Yorkshire at the moment. I found this brilliant photo on Flickr: Surfer on Chants Ave!, originally uploaded by Dave Foy. The Daily Mail asks an unusually reasonable question on their front page today—why do we keep building new houses on flood plains? The trouble is that Britain is a small, rainy […]
Two Lives is a biography of Seth’s great-uncle and aunt. They met in the 30s in Berlin when Shanti Seth was studying dentistry and took lodgings with the (Jewish) Caro family. Henny Caro was one of the daughters of the house and at the time was engaged to someone else; but after the war they […]
Flickr set of the week is 163 Beach Huts by psymon1962. Hut 41. Hut 40. Hut 39.
If Peter Crouch didn’t spend the first half hour of a game treating defenders to his best imitation of a mountaineer trying to swarm up the north face of the Eiger, he might be more likely to get decisions going in his favour later. Shaun Wright-Phillips and Kieron Dyer have both still got the qualities […]
All the coverage about the position of soccer in the US, and whether Beckham moving there will have any impact, had me thinking. If his new home ground is only half-full, he’ll still be playing in front of about 13,000 fans. It’s true, that’s not very many compared to the Bernabéu or Old Trafford, but […]
Via bookofjoe; the OED and BBC are repeating their exercise of inviting the public to try and find earlier citations for various words. It’s a somewhat interesting idea but, having seen some of the last series: the results don’t make for riveting television. What I found interesting was a couple of things from the Washington […]
I was watching Antiques Roadshow at the weekend and some chap brought in an C18th* English silver sauce boat. The expert got excited because it was a rare early example; apparently before that point English food rarely had sauces but it was about then that some people started employing French cooks. So far, reasonable enough […]
From Robert Graves’ Goodbye to All That: 24 June, 1915, Versailles. This afternoon we had a cricket match, officers v. sergeants, in an enclosure between some houses out of observation from the enemy. Our front line is three-quarters of a mile away. I made top score, 24; the bat was a bit of a rafter, […]
Well I’ve still been thinking, on and off, about that list of ten books to explain the UK. Which is an interesting exercise. I quickly decided to eliminate Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Not that I have anything against the Celtic Fringe, but it was complicated enough dealing with Englishness. There’s no difficulty in finding […]
What a complete farce. I just hope the England players and management have the sense to keep their heads down and stay out of the argument as much as possible. Let Pakistan and the ICC sort it out between themselves. EDIT: Simon Barnes is good on this.