Sunday, 29 May 2016


Here I am chinwagging with the amiable Roy Noble.  Unmissable. I follow Dean Martin, at around 36 mins in.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Kicking the Bar and Amazon

Should anyone reading this here note have actually read and enjoyed the whole or even part of my book 'Kicking the Bar', I'd be very grateful for an Amazon comment from you.  Here's the link:

Thank you!


Me on Daniel Mendoza in Commentary Magazine:


Back from a short break in Languedoc, the region of Aude to be precise.  To be even more precise, the village of Sougrainge.  And to be precise to the point of useful information: Auberge Ecluse au Soleil. Modest almost to Spartan, but comfortable, clean, and with no choice on the menu.  Plus a tennis court!

This was the land, in the 12th century, of the Cathars, heretics who thought that God was bad and that death would deliver them back to the Good God.  Toulouse was one of the most prosperous cities in Europe, and with wealth came tolerance.  Catholics and Cathars had little beef with one another. There were Jews in government office.

The Pope was horrified, and so began the Albigensian Crusade, to wrest Languedoc back into the arms of Rome.  Northern France fell first upon Beziers.  Crusader-in-Chief Arnauld-Amaury was asked how heretics in the town could be distinguished from Catholics: "Kill them all.  God will recognise his own."  Everyone was killed and the city razed to the ground.

'The lord of Beziers, Raymond Roger of Trenceval, with typical Languedoc grace had the night before escorted the entire Jewish population of Beziers to safety, believing they alone had anything to fear from Christian marauders.' (This quote, as is the little information above, is from the Orange Blossom Special on the Albigensian Heresy).

The long and the short is that the rather gentle, unassertive heresy of the Cathars was wiped out.  Statues of the Virgin Mary are to be found in every nook and cranny.  There are also plenty of hippies, so perhaps a Cathar spirit remains -  they were, after all, against war, against eating meat, and against marriage. What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding?

Northern invaders resting after having laid siege to steak hache and frites. All are fathers, and have therefore indulged in procreational sex, rather frowned upon by Top Cathars, who regarded masturbation and sodomy as altogether purer forms of sexual activity.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Kicking the Bar launch party

A good time was had by all, I think.  Well by me, at any rate, once I'd got my speech done.  A few guests missed, but enough to be hugging continuously.  I'm terrifically grateful to all who came, most of whom had contributed serious funds towards the publication of the book.  Anyway, here are a few choice pics.

Self, David Attenborough

Jacob Wheldon

Humphrey Burton

Elinor Davies
Chris Davies, Kit Line, Teresa Graham

Self, Paul Fox

Self, DNM, David Attenborough

Self, DNM, David Attenborough
Susan Attenborough, David Attenborough, Self

Peter Palumbo, Melvyn Bragg, Self

Nat Wheldon Posner
Adam Bullmore, Matthew Hooberman

Leslie Megahey

Megan Wheldon

Wynn Rees, John Podhoretz, Lindsay Posner

Sian Wheldon, Melvyn Bragg, David Attenborough, Alan Yentob, Susan Attenborough

Maud Wheldon Posner, Nat Wheldon Posner

Maud and Nat

Bragg, Wheldon, Attenborough

Jacob Wheldon, John Podhoretz

Melvyn Bragg, Sian Wheldon

Lindsay Posner, Chris Davies

Karen Falkner

Annabel Moorsom, Mitch Herbert

Helena Line

Kit Line, Mike Fairbairn, Patrick Macaskie

Stephen Graham, Jacob Wheldon

DNM,  Jacob Wheldon

Self, Jacob 

Friday, 6 May 2016

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Good Grief: A Start

Image by Molly Line
Words by Wynn Wheldon


A dream of blossoming as a lion
Vivified stone, greeting each new season
With aplomb, with divine resignation

Maybe not the kind of dream we suckle on
When we dream with chin sunk on knuckles
But fanciful beyond mere chucklesome.

One should not steal another’s reverie
Interloping without care, sleeplessly
But because there is always the sky

Which is an infinity of the new
A mess of greys, a glass full of blue
I am pleased to lease what is not my due