Wilful mondegreens from the popular repertoire

Lionel Richie opens a butchery in Bradford, while Frank Sinatra with the Count Basie Orchestra refuse to sell a raspberry ripple to the Archbishop of Canterbury in Jerusalem. With a generational categorisation of Millennials.

There is nothing funny about a vegan raspberry ripple (cupcake).

In praise of oranges

A First World War letter from a Palestinian orange grove, an orange (lower case) song, and this winter’s favourite orange cake recipe.

Truman Ward Ingersoll, diorama of an orange tree in Los Angeles


A friend who died recently lived his life in two halves. In his youth he was the boisterous, swaggering, electrifying bass drummer with a lederhosen band. An excellent natural lyric tenor addicted to the schlager repertoire, a fighter of German marines during wine festivals, a charmer of the ladies, he seemed destined to become an…

Simon Heffer on Richard Evans Pursuit of Power: oh dear

Simon Heffer on Richard J. Evans, The Pursuit of Power: Europe, 1815-1914 (Penguin History of Europe), to paraphrase him, falls well below [the Speccie’s] normal standards of copy-editing: And there are factual errors which in their range also help illustrate the scope of the book: there was no such person as Lord George Macartney; Gorz…

St Boniface vs the Druids

Someone has sawn off one of the trunks of a dead pine tree, sacred alla tedesca to violent sects, which have also fetishised certain types of textile decoration and adornment, as well as certain hand salutes. I took this vandalism to be the work of Valencian reactionaries unwilling to be hoovered up into a Southern…
A gloomy Boniface (left) weighs up his options.

How Emperor Charles V ended up talking German to his horse (1)

Domain-based code-switching from Daniel Bomberg’s Jerusalem Talmud to Hieronymus Fabricius’ De locutione. Featuring the wit and wisdom of Rabbi Jonathan of Beth Gubrin, Padua’s medical school and Jewry, and the Polish utopian Jan Zamoyski. With excerpts from Fellini’s I Clowns and a bodice-ripper by Kent M Chater, whose Agent Alighieri claims that “Like the great Emperor Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire and King of Spain I speak Spanish with God, French with men, German to my horse, and Italian to the ladies.”

Charles V and his horse discussing sociolinguistics before the Battle of Mühlberg (Titian <a href='http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Carlos_V_en_M%C3%BChlberg,_by_Titian,_from_Prado_in_Google_Earth.jpg'>@Prado</a>).