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Showing posts from June, 2014

How good are your WW1 connections?

On the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, there's inevitably a lot of reflection on the 'great' war of 1914 -1918. Virtually every British publication has been preparing its own tribute or analysis. The Richmond Magazine is no exception. The glossy freebie, already familiar to readers of Washed and Ready to Eat , normally survives on a staple diet of articles from local divorce lawyers and ads for preparatory schools. In the latest edition, however, they have gone to town in commemoration of centenary of the European conflict.  Who better to ponder the implications of WWI than the great-granddaughter of the Archduke whose death kicked the whole shooting match off?  It goes without saying that Her Serene Highness Princess Marie-Therese von Hohenberg is herself a recipient of The Richmond Magazine , living as she does in the upmarket south-west London district of St Margarets. We are introduced to her husband, the 'interfaith

Rumsfeld visits moon to reward brave space warrior

There are probably a large number of people who’d quite like to see former US Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld sent to the moon. What they may not realise is that the eccentric octogenarian has already been there. At least if we believe ‘Captain Kaye’, a former military operative who’s been busy fighting to protect the human colonists on the red planet. The Mirror reported recently that Kaye (a pseudonym) had served in a secret, multinational fleet, dedicated to battling Martian life forms. After 20 years, the brave space warrior was given a fitting retirement party on the moon, which was attended by a number of VIPs, including Rummy. The hawkish politician is perhaps best remembered for his musings about Iraq, in which he distinguished between known knowns (things we know we know) and known unknowns (things we know we don’t know).  Up until a couple of days ago, his lunar connections fell into his third category of unknown unknowns. We didn’t know we didn’t know. Now that we’

The It-Phrases for Die neue Generation

We’re used to foreigners borrowing English words and phrases. After all, we just have a way with words in Blighty and it’s hardly surprising that others want to snaffle them. I was slightly surprised, however, on a recent business trip to Germany, to see quite how far the phenomenon has gone. Picking up a copy of self-styled ‘fashion magazin’ Mädchen Style as a gift for my teenage girls, there’s evidence of a completely bizarre hybrid language which is neither fisch nor fowl. “Kann mann diese Hosen nur zum Sport tragen?” the mag asks its readers. The answer is a resounding “Nö!”  It becomes clear that ‘Stars und Fashionistas’ have judged this particular pair of jogging bottoms to be an absolute ‘It-Piece’ – not only ideal for running around the block, but also well suited to a catwalk promenade. On some pages, the headlines are written in English, while the body copy that follows is in German. And we’re then treated to a selection of colourful phrases that owe something to bo

A glassy-eyed audience eyes up Glass

Resistance is futile: Washed and Ready to Eat's Phil Woodford models Google Glass Google Glass might as well be rebranded Google Gold Dust. Attending a masterclass in London sponsored by The Guardian newspaper, I soon discovered that the sexiest wearable tech in the world isn’t available to everyone. The duo hosting the show on 3rd June – video production experts Michael Rosenblum and Lisa Lambden – had got hold of their own device from a nephew’s colleague’s roommate. A couple of the participants had somehow got hold of their own Glasses too. Glasses? I have a hunch that the plural of Glass may actually turn out to be Glass. Anyway, one of the owners, who seemed to be connected to the UN and was responsible for protecting rhinos or something, wore his set throughout the session. If he’d let go of his x-ray specs, he’d probably never have seen them again, so desperate was everyone to get a selfie of themselves wearing them. My suspicion was that most people there a