“The appropriate penalty would be to pay me a stipend for life, to support me in the criticism of individual citizens of Athens."


The main model for "Wallingham" is in Buckinghamshire, near Aylsbury, "the last remaining example of le style Rothschild". Built in 1874/89 by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, it was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1957. Waddesdon Manor houses a superb collection of Rennaissance art, eighteenth century furniture and Sevres porcelain among its treasures, all lovingly tended by an army of domestics. Doesn't look much like a red brick Gormenghast, no Yellow Drawing room, and no Klimt hangings. You won't find much Art Nouveau, either, it's more of a French 16th century chateau feel. Awesome place.


"On the 6th December 1980 John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, taped a three hour interview with Andy Peebles in New York for BBC Radio One. It was the first time for over five years that John had agreed to face a radio microphone. What was expected to be a routine half-hour chat about his and Yoko's latest LP, Double Fantasy, turned magically into a long, deep and candid discussion about his life and work..." I was looking for a way to treat the Keith Utamore "Rick's place" interview, when I found this on the sofa at Val and Dave's, next door, when we were babysitting one night. What a masterly interviewer! Fascinating transcript, intimate and unpremeditated.



"Casablanca" premiered in New York in November 1942. "Rick's Place" aka Rick's Cafe American, subsequently became the WWII code name for the city of Casablanca, (it says here...)


Either dux bellorum or a piece of currency to be passed from hand to hand... If you must be king of England, don't end up depending on the Scots to bust you out of jail, or set you back on the throne. Our friends in the north drove a very hard bargain, not only with Charles I (admittedly, he asked for it) but with his son (the lad could have packed it all in and earned good money as a mercenary, but you don't think like that when the God game's got you in its sway). See The Tragedy of Charles II, Hester Chapman. For details of the part played by Highlanders I'm indebted to Mr Lyell Drummond, and "Highland Warrior" by David Stevenson.




Stephen Of Blois, captured at the Battle of Lincoln, 1141. imprisoned in Bristol Castle, traded for the Earl of Gloucester, November of the same year.
Matilda, Henry I's legitimate heir, fought a civil war with Stephen, during which she once escaped from Devizes disguised as a corpse. In 1142 she left Oxford Castle, lowered from the castle walls by rope and made her escape across the frozen Thames (little ice age)
Richard I Kidnapped by the Emperor of Austria on his way back from 3rd Crusade, redeemed by payment of astronomical ransom.
Edward II We already dealt with him.
Richard II Is the one who sat upon the ground and told sad stories of the death of kings, etc, in the play of same name. He may look soft and cute in the National Gallery but he was a twister who put down the Peasants' Revolt savagely. He was starved to death in Pontefract Castle.
Henry VI Captured and imprisoned twice in the first phase of the Wars of the Roses, murdered in the Tower 1470.
Edward V One of the Princes in the Tower. Vanished in the shuffle, most likely killed on orders of his uncle Richard III
Lady Jane Grey Executed in the Tower of London after a reign of 9 days, aged 17
Mary Tudor and her sister Elizabeth I both spent their teen years under virtual house arrest, more or less comfortably as their father's marital fortunes changed.
Mary Queen of Scots spent a lot of time imprisoned and plotting in England and Scotland, in various stately homes. Her cousin Elizabeth finally had her killed.
Charles I Handed over to parliamentary commissioners by his Scottish allies in 1647, he was later held in Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight, (where he mislaid a large diamond) then Hurst in Hampshire; still trying to cut a deal with the Scots. He was moved to Windsor Castle, and beheaded Jan 1649


  The cards:
2   beats anything, starts numerical sequence again
3   is the lowest card
7   see-through (ie, next player has to respond to previous played card)
8   next player misses a go (in a two hand game, the eight can be used to allow for gaps in runs)
10 clears the table (discard stack set aside: whoever lays the ten starts again).

The deal:
Three cards are dealt to each player, face down. This is the underhand. Three more cards are dealt, face up (the overhand); and then three cards more.

The play:
In the first phase each player may swap 0,1,2 or 3 of the cards in their hand with the cards in their overhand.

Player to dealer's left (or non-dealer in two hand game) is given first option to discard a 3. If no player holds a 3, the player to dealer's left lays their lowest card. Next player may discard the card (or cards) next in numerical sequence, without limit (4x4, and 5x5 and 6x6 etc). If the player doesn't hold a card of the right value, they must pick up the discard stack, but 2, 7 or 10 may be laid at any time. A player who successfully discards all their cards begins the endgame, laying down first the overhand (in any sequence), then the underhand. First player to have no cards wins, loser is the poo-head & deals the next hand. Poo-head is the intellectual property of Jon and Pat Mayes, 1996.