Sunday, February 24, 2008

Dolce and Gabbana will dress us like Her Majesty the Queen

dolce gab

Hilary Alexander reports from Milan Fashion Week

The Queen should be chuckling over her breakfast tray this morning for she has been turned into a 21st century style icon at Milan Fashion Week.

D&G took inspiration from Her Majesty’s traditional dress code
Her Majesty’s traditional dress code for holidays in Balmoral provided the inspiration for Dolce & Gabbana’s entire D&G diffusion collection today in the Italian fashion capital.

The design duo of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, well-known for their tongue-in-cheek take on all things British, played out a real highland romp on the catwalk.

Kilts, twinsets and caped-waterproofs all came in for a fashion makeover, accessorized with the Queen’s favourite accessory – the heraldic headscarf, knotted, of course, under one’s chin.

There were even brogues and wellies – but they were multi-coloured, patent leather or snakeskin and stack-heeled. And it is a moot point as to whether the Monarch has ever indulged a taste for tartan tights.

more at link...

Too bad for D&G; most Sloanes already have their own versions of this kit.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Luxe: Tabloid tales with a late-19th-century twist

luxe cover

Tabloid tales with a late-19th-century twist


February 23, 2008

Picture Manhattan high society in the late 1890s: a decadent world in which privileged young women fill their evenings with wild parties and their days with shopping, all the while attracting the attention of a gossip-hungry press.

Okay, so not much has changed for the Hilton sisters. Apart from the fake tans and unashamed pantylessness, the inimitable Paris and Nicky would be right at home in the pages of The Luxe (Harper Teen), a young-adult novel by American author Anna Godbersen. The teen bodice ripper is an international hit, published in 11 countries with fat sequels to follow.

Its success is easy to understand. The Luxe is exactly my sort of trash: a compelling melodrama that demands nothing but basic literacy and opposable thumbs on the part of its reader. And it is timely - not just because of the recent explosion in the young-adult fiction market, but for the way it exposes the bad behaviour of idle adolescents who have little else to do in life but keep themselves out of scandal, yet somehow manage to do just the opposite.

"The Victorians didn't have celebrities in the sense that we do now. It was all about watching the rich," Godbersen, who is just 27 herself, says during a phone interview from her home in Brooklyn. "Cultural commentators talk about our time as the new Gilded Age. And that's because there's still this divide between the rich and the rest of us."

Continues at link...

Will this give Jilly Cooper new competition?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Love Chocolate? Thank a Sloane.

Hans_Sloane 3600

Love Chocolate? Thank a Sloane.

A friend gave me this poster on Valentine's Day. I asked her to make it into products for this site. She graciously agreed, and soon there will be an assortment of posters, mugs, shirts, cards and more for us and our chocolate-loving friends. The prototypes are here
and here

"It was (Hans Sloane's) visit to Jamaica that proved to be foundation of his wealth and success. During his time in Jamaican he had participated in a wreck-raising adventure in Jamaica and it was there that he met Elizabeth Langley, the widow of a wealthy Jamaican planter Fulk Rose, whom he later married in 1695; both of which proved to be a useful source of funds. It was however by means of another oportunity that Hans really made his money.

Whilst he was in Jamaica Hans Sloane had observed that "Chocolate is here us'd by all Peoples, at all times". However the natives in the West Indies drank chocolate mixed with honey and pepper, a concoction quite unpalatable as far as Europeans were concerned; Hans himself recorded that he "found it in great quantities nauseous" whilst also noting that it "colours the Excrements of those feeding on it a dirty colour". Hans's great innovation was to find a way of making chocolate palatable for European tastes, which was simply to mix it with hot milk. Back in England he began the commercial production of 'Sir Hans Sloane's Milk Chocolate' which was marketed as a medicine noted 'For its Lightness on the Stomach and its great Use in all Consumptive Cases'.
Chocolate soon joined coffee as one of the fashionable drinks of the age and made Hans yet another fortune.
His basic recipe for milk chocolate survived long after his death. It was the same recipe used by John Cadbury when he began selling chocolate in 1824, and thus Cadbury's Dairy Milk is a direct descendant of Hans Sloane's original confection."
From Sir Hans Sloane

cadbury's Fox Hunt

Games - The Gorey End

the gorey end

The Gorey End


A little Gorey to amuse during the eclipse of the moon.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Magic Flute by the Bel Canto Opera

Papageno/Papagena is performed as a love duet between Sloanes.
Note Papageno's Young Fogey costume.
Young Fogey sartorial style
The Bachelor Cookbook has some delightful observations here:
Revenge of the Sloane Ranger

An Excellence of Peake: A Tribute

peake kent tree2
Image from Mervyn Peake, with thanks.

This essay on Mervyn Peake by Michael Moorcock, who knew the Peakes well, is a pleasure to read. Peake was not mad; he suffered from Parkinson's, sleeping sickness, and the results of inept medical treatment.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Ann Barr, The Woman Who Invented Sloanes

Ann Barr and Turkey
Image: Ann Barr and friend, from article "Ann Barr, The Woman Who Invented Sloanes"

Ann Barr did most of the work on the first Official Sloane Ranger books. Peter York (Peter Wallis, actually) did much less to comprehend and map the terrain. Ann is a Sloane, and Peter is not. One source reports that York has done no work on the new book
leaving it to Olivia Stewart-Liberty

Read how the new "Sloane" book got it wrong here

Some Sloanes have always functioned - and made fortunes - in an international environment; that's why so much of the map of the world became pink. Creative marketing claims to the contrary, the basic traits of Sloanes remain solid and have not changed.

The original books remain unsurpassed, and Ann Barr deserves a Valentine!

SloaneRangerHandbook 500

From "If...": Sanctus

Grantchester Meadows

I dreamed of Grantchester Meadows last night; I miss England. But this restoreth my soul: follow me to Cambridge -
syd thecut1
and the Piper's Path

The Old Vicarage, Grantchester
by Rupert Brooke

Just now the lilac is in bloom,
All before my little room;
And in my flower-beds, I think,
Smile the carnation and the pink;
And down the borders, well I know,
The poppy and the pansy blow...
Oh! there the chestnuts, summer through,
Beside the river make for you
A tunnel of green gloom, and sleep
Deeply above; and green and deep
The stream mysterious glides beneath,
Green as a dream and deep as death.
-- Oh, damn! I know it! and I know
How the May fields all golden show,
And when the day is young and sweet,
Gild gloriously the bare feet
That run to bathe...
Du lieber Gott!

Here am I, sweating, sick, and hot,
And there the shadowed waters fresh
Lean up to embrace the naked flesh.
Temperamentvoll German Jews
Drink beer around; -- and there the dews
Are soft beneath a morn of gold.
Here tulips bloom as they are told;
Unkempt about those hedges blows
An English unofficial rose;
And there the unregulated sun
Slopes down to rest when day is done,
And wakes a vague unpunctual star,
A slippered Hesper; and there are
Meads towards Haslingfield and Coton
Where das Betreten's not verboten.

eithe genoimen...would I were
In Grantchester, in Grantchester! --
Some, it may be, can get in touch
With Nature there, or Earth, or such.
And clever modern men have seen
A Faun a-peeping through the green,
And felt the Classics were not dead,
To glimpse a Naiad's reedy head,
Or hear the Goat-foot piping low:...
But these are things I do not know.
I only know that you may lie
Day long and watch the Cambridge sky,
And, flower-lulled in sleepy grass,
Hear the cool lapse of hours pass,
Until the centuries blend and blur
In Grantchester, in Grantchester...
Still in the dawnlit waters cool
His ghostly Lordship swims his pool,
And tries the strokes, essays the tricks,
Long learnt on Hellespont, or Styx.
Dan Chaucer hears his river still
Chatter beneath a phantom mill.
Tennyson notes, with studious eye,
How Cambridge waters hurry by...
And in that garden, black and white,
Creep whispers through the grass all night;
And spectral dance, before the dawn,
A hundred Vicars down the lawn;
Curates, long dust, will come and go
On lissom, clerical, printless toe;
And oft between the boughs is seen
The sly shade of a Rural Dean...
Till, at a shiver in the skies,
Vanishing with Satanic cries,
The prim ecclesiastic rout
Leaves but a startled sleeper-out,
Grey heavens, the first bird's drowsy calls,
The falling house that never falls.

God! I will pack, and take a train,
And get me to England once again!
For England's the one land, I know,
Where men with Splendid Hearts may go;
And Cambridgeshire, of all England,
The shire for Men who Understand;
And of THAT district I prefer
The lovely hamlet Grantchester.
For Cambridge people rarely smile,
Being urban, squat, and packed with guile;
And Royston men in the far South
Are black and fierce and strange of mouth;
At Over they fling oaths at one,
And worse than oaths at Trumpington,
And Ditton girls are mean and dirty,
And there's none in Harston under thirty,
And folks in Shelford and those parts
Have twisted lips and twisted hearts,
And Barton men make Cockney rhymes,
And Coton's full of nameless crimes,
And things are done you'd not believe
At Madingley on Christmas Eve.
Strong men have run for miles and miles,
When one from Cherry Hinton smiles;
Strong men have blanched, and shot their wives,
Rather than send them to St. Ives;
Strong men have cried like babes, bydam,
To hear what happened at Babraham.
But Grantchester! ah, Grantchester!
There's peace and holy quiet there,
Great clouds along pacific skies,
And men and women with straight eyes,
Lithe children lovelier than a dream,
A bosky wood, a slumbrous stream,
And little kindly winds that creep
Round twilight corners, half asleep.
In Grantchester their skins are white;
They bathe by day, they bathe by night;
The women there do all they ought;
The men observe the Rules of Thought.
They love the Good; they worship Truth;
They laugh uproariously in youth;
(And when they get to feeling old,
They up and shoot themselves, I'm told)...

Ah God! to see the branches stir
Across the moon at Grantchester!
To smell the thrilling-sweet and rotten
Unforgettable, unforgotten
River-smell, and hear the breeze
Sobbing in the little trees.
Say, do the elm-clumps greatly stand
Still guardians of that holy land?
The chestnuts shade, in reverend dream,
The yet unacademic stream?
Is dawn a secret shy and cold
Anadyomene, silver-gold?
And sunset still a golden sea
From Haslingfield to Madingley?
And after, ere the night is born,
Do hares come out about the corn?
Oh, is the water sweet and cool,
Gentle and brown, above the pool?
And laughs the immortal river still
Under the mill, under the mill?
Say, is there Beauty yet to find?
And Certainty? and Quiet kind?
Deep meadows yet, for to forget
The lies, and truths, and pain?... oh! yet
Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?

Rupert Brooke, 1912

How Chavs Came to Be

Are cheap alcohol prices to blame for Britain's violent children?

Video: the controversial "Chav hunting" clip. No chavs were included in the making of this film. I daresay that if the Pythons had made this film, they would be applauded.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Showdown for Portly Parliamentarians


Pandora: SAS showdown for portly parliamentarians

By Oliver Duff
Monday, 18 February 2008

"Ping! An arresting invitation lands in the email inboxes of our elected representatives. MPs are encouraged to undergo an SAS training course for a television series that involves "politicians competing against each other in an environment that will develop mental and physical strength".

Unlike the most-lunched parliamentarians, there is not, yet, much flesh to go on the bones. The production company, Sweet Pictures, remains mute on how much mud-diving and living on worms in the desert will be required. It will, however, favour applications from upholstered, wheezier politicians. The "perfect" contenders include that bewhiskered foe of Gordon Brown, Charles "Two Pizzas" Clarke – so called for his acclaimed feat with the quattro stagione in Pizza Express – and Nicholas "Fatty" Soames, whose celebrated love-making technique is, in the words of a former beneficiary, akin to "having a fully loaded wardrobe fall on you with the key still in".

Fifty press-ups! NOW! You snivelling little..."

Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management

Complete and free online here

The Lark in the Clear Air

Sloane World Clock

Because, after all, we are everywhere...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Come into my parlour

Welcome, fellow Sloanes! The internet is not where we'd rather be. But this can be a pleasant haven and a reminder of WRM for Sloanes away from home.
mr fox lunch