Gifts for Animal Lovers: Dragonflies

It is said that dragonflies bring success, victory, happiness, strength, courage, and adaptability. They have two set of wings but can fly with one if need be. They zip and zoom around flowers, ponds and ever around the world. They are fast. They are known for their ability to hover in one spot for a very long time as well there darting from place to place. They are amazing insects. They have a wonderful ability to adapt to their...

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Cheese & Onion Pasties

Cheese and onion pasties recipe We used to buy frozen cheese and onion pasties from a local store – until I realised just how expensive they were and how easy they are to make at home. I don’t make pastry from scratch very often these days (when I do, this is a great recipe) and for this recipe I use ready-to bake croissant dough – it seems to be tastier that the commercial pastries you can buy. We don’t eat...

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Who Was John Bindon?

John Bindon: A true story of murder, scandal, gangsters, sex and …. royalty. Who was John Bindon and what was his connection to the aristocracy, the criminal underworld, film stars, gangsters and even members of the British royal family? It sounds like a plot for a highly fictional movie but John Bindon was a real person and he is the common denominator between the shady world of gangland England and the highest members of the...

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Crooked Heart: By Lissa Evans

Crooked Heart: A review. A review copy of book recently landed at JAQUO HQ and I was captivated from the very first page. Dinner remained uncooked  (‘can’t you make do with a bowl of cornflakes?’), laundry was ignored and writing took second place to reading as I was instantly drawn into this fascinating story. It’s set in the Second World War – always a great period of history to read about – but...

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Bette Davis

Bette Davis Bette Davis, who was born in 1908, was one of the most stunning and unusual actresses from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Whereas most actresses of that era made it to success because of  their beauty, Bette Davis succeeded by sheer force of personality. Most actresses at the time wanted to be portrayed as beautiful and stylish women – Bette didn’t care about that. She took the parts of slovenly women, bitchy...

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Misheard Lyrics – What was that again?

Driving home from work tonight I had on one of my favorite British bands, The Jam. On their album ‘All Mod Cons’ there is a lovely ballad called ‘English Rose’ which contains one of those lines that I’ve never been able to figure out. “No matter where I roam, I will return to my English rose For no buns can ever tempt me from she…” “Buns?” I’m thinking; wondering if...

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Mitford Weddings: Diana Guinness & Oswald Mosley

Diana Mitford & Sir Oswald Mosley. Of the six somewhat scandalous Mitford sisters, possibly the most controversial wedding was that of Diana to Oswald Mosley. It took place in Germany in October 1936 – less than three years before the outbreak of the Second World War. The marriage service was conducted in the home of the Nazi propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels and the guest of honour was Adolf Hitler. Both Diana and her...

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The Bethnal Green Tube Disaster

A wartime disaster in London. In 2013, two seventy year old women met for the first time. Although they were strangers, it was a highly emotional meeting. They had a common bond which involved tragedy and immense bravery. That same year, another women who was all of ninety seven years old, was interviewed about the same event – a disaster that had been covered up by the authorities for many years. March 3rd, 1943 It was the...

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A day in Biarritz with King Edward

King Edward VII & Alice Keppel: Annual trip to Biarritz King Edward VII was remembered with affection but he certainly enjoyed the pleasures of the flesh. He was known for enjoying fine foods, wines … and the company of his mistresses.Plural. His final mistress was Alice Keppel; the great-grandmother of today’s Duchess of Cornwall – the former Camilla Parker Bowles. For about a month every year, Edward would...

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Harry Houdini

Who was Harry Houdini? Houdini was born as Ehrich Weiss in Budapest in 1974. As Harry Houdini, he became world famous as an escapologist and magician. He was best known for his daring and seemingly impossible escapes. Sometimes he was placed in a crate, in chains and submerged in water. Another famous escape act involved him being suspended high in the air in a straitjacket and handcuffs. Houdini never let down his audiences. His...

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The Magus: John Fowles

The Magus: John Fowles. The Magus is one of my desert island books -one I can read again and again.I’ve probably read it half a dozen times – at least. My reading of this book has spanned many years. It’s a book that has been largely misunderstood, in my opinion. Many reviewers get this book completely wrong – especially the amateur reviewers at Amazon. I’d truly recommend that you don’t read them...

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Succulents: Free Plants

Succulents: Free houseplants that even I can’t kill. About three years ago, I planted a tiny succulent plant in a pot outside my back door. Since that time, it has multiplied like crazy. When I recently undertook my zero-cost bathroom makeover, I decided that the room needed plants, preferably on the south-facing window ledge. But this was a no-cost renovation so there was no budget available to buy plants and anyway, I’m...

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Who was Pattie Boyd?

Pattie Boyd, George Harrison and Eric Clapton. There must have been something special about Pattie Boyd. Actually, you might have noticed a minor pun there because Pattie supposedly was the inspiration behind George Harrison’s song Something. The Eric Clapton song Wonderful Tonight was also reputedly written about her. She was married to both men – George first and then to his best friend, Eric. She first met George in...

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Watercress, Pecan and Blue Cheese Salad

Watercress, pecan and blue cheese salad recipe. This is probably the easiest salad in the world and can be adapted easily to suit your own tastes. One of the reasons I like this so much is that it needs no additional seasoning. The blue cheese means that no extra salt is required and the watercress has its own peppery flavour. This makes it ideal for picnics too as it means there’s no need to take condiments along.  Pack the...

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Cary Grant: Early Years

[slider] Cary Grant: An actor to remember There can’t be many people who are unaware of this debonair actor from the golden era of Hollywood. What’s particularly interesting is his background. Where did Cary Grant come from? What was his background and his career before he became a famous movie actor? Sometimes, people are surprised to find out that Grant, often seen as the epitome of the American gentleman, was actually...

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Mary I of England: Phantom pregnancies

The phantom pregnancies of Queen Mary of England Although Mary had been born in 1516, it was only in later life that she married. Her life had been a turbulent one. As the daughter of King Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon, she was later deemed to be illegitimate. How could this be? When Henry VIII realised that his wife Catherine would not be able to provide him with a male heir, he had their marriage annulled....

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Try this Word Quiz

Try this word quiz The English language is so tricky.I’m glad that it’s my native language – it must be so difficult to learn if it’s not your mother tongue. I do love words though – where they came from, what they mean, what they don’t mean… Try these Click the arrows on the right if you need extra clues. The following words are all anagrams of capital cities. PAIRS, SOLO, LOUSE, ANIMAL,...

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Not Your Mother’s 7-Up Strawberry Pie Recipe

Not your mother’s 7-Up strawberry pie recipe He started this whole thing. He’d seen something somewhere (I think it was on a menu in a diner) for something called a 7-Up strawberry pie. He was intrigued. I was quite horrified. It sounded like the ultimate in junk food to me although I have to admit that just about anything with strawberries is pretty good. I looked up the recipe online (there are many) and as I’d...

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The Leeds Dripping Riots

Yorkshire: The Leeds Dripping Riots of 1865 This is the true story of a bizarre riot that took place in Leeds in Yorkshire a hundred and fifty years ago. Although there was a death because of the riot, and hundreds of people took part, it started because of something incredibly trivial – two pounds of dripping. Here, I suspect that I have to explain to younger readers exactly what I mean by dripping <sigh>. In the north of...

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Alberta Vickridge – forgotten poet and printer

The Forgotten Bard. Alberta Vickridge? You’ve probably never heard of her. Which is a pity – because in her lifetime she was a poet of considerable talent, including poetry that won her a Bardic Crown and Bardic Chair at an Eisteddfod in 1924. She also ran her own printing press from her home in Yorkshire at a time when women in printing were uncommon. Her poetry was admired and praised by writers, such as Agatha Christie,...

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Vintage Television: Bill Cullen

Vintage television: Who was Bill Cullen? Bill Cullen was a well-known and very popular television personality during the sixties and seventies in the USA. He was a game show host and was often featured as a panellist on other shows, once of which was his appearances as part of the panel on I’ve Got A Secret. But Bill Cullen had a secret of his own When he was just a small child, he contracted polio. This meant that he had...

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Augustus John

Augustus John: Fryern Court, Fordingbridge. Artist Augustus John was born in Wales in 1878. He became the darling of the art world and was well-known for his eccentricities. He often wore gypsy-style clothes and lived life in his own bohemian fashion. He was married in 1900 but, because he loved women, that didn’t stop him having affairs most notably with his long-time mistress Dorothy  McNeill, usually referred to as Dorelia....

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Helene Stanley

Who was Helene Stanley? There are many people who left  an important legacy to the world of Hollywood movies but I imagine that if most of us were asked to list them, the name of Helene Stanley wouldn’t feature. But she left a lasting legacy to the Golden Era of Hollywood and it will probably surprise you. She certainly made a handful of movies but her lasting legacy was to make two films that have never been seen by the public...

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Gifts for Animal Lovers: Dolphins

Love dolphins? Gift ideas. Dolphins are so popular. Is it because they always seem to be smiling? If you have someone on your gift list who loves dolphins as much as I do, then here you’ll find the perfect gifts for them to add to their collection of dolphin themed jewellery, décor items and more. I love the pendant that you see in this photograph, for example. The two dolphins are hand carved by a jewellery sculptor in Bali and...

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Three Identical Strangers

Why did the ‘three identical strangers’ all have sisters? Who were the three identical strangers? You may have seen the film but if you need a memory-refresh, here’s the story. And unbelievably, it’s true. The story starts in the USA in the early nineteen eighties. Robert Shafran, aged nineteen, was experiencing something strange during his first day at college. Although it was his very first day, and he knew...

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1965: The Secrets of the Royal Family’s Health

1965: The Secrets of the Royal Family’s Complexions In 1965, Mrs Alma McKee, who had spent many years working as a cook for the British royal family, revealed what sort of foods were preferred at the royal dining table. She particularly revealed the secret of the much-admired complexions of The Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II and her sister, Princess Margaret. This, she said, was because of a simple, homemade drink that the...

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Was Thomas Ince Murdered?

The mysterious death of Thomas Ince. Thomas Ince was a pioneer of early Hollywood. Yet many people haven’t heard of him, largely because of the mystery of his death. Was he murdered or did he die of natural causes? The story itself is worthy of a Hollywood mystery film. The murder, if indeed it was, took place aboard a luxury yacht belonging to a super-wealthy newspaper mogul. Aboard were actors and actresses, writers, a ballet...

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Who Was Luigi Musso?

Racing driver Luigi Musso. Luigi was born in 1924 in Rome and by the time he was thirty years old he had joined the team that was every Italian male’s dream – Scuderia Ferrari. He was following in the footsteps of two Italian drivers who had also driven for the team – Alberto Ascari and Eugenio Castellotti. Neither Ascari or Castellotti had survived the dangerous world of Formula One racing; Ascari was thirty six...

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Why Airbnb is Good for Local Businesses

Does Airbnb (or similar) help the local community? We all know that the Airbnb website (and its copycat sites) are causing controversy because of the impact of ‘the sharing economy’. But can such services actually help local communities? In my experience – and thanks to various statistics – I can say ‘yes’. Before we start looking at facts and figures, let’s take a look at the average Airbnb...

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Victorian Food

Victorian food: Stodgy? ‘Stodgy’ is a word that is often used the describe the people who lived in the Victorian era. It’s used to describe their attitudes and also their food.But was that really the case? We’ve traditionally been led to think that yes, Victorian food meant tables groaning with stodgy pies and puddings but in fact, this is far from the reality. Take vegetarianism for example. The first...

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Who Was the Girl from Ipanema?

Antonio Carlos Jobim & Vinicius de Moraes: The Girl from Ipanema. One of the finest songs of the twentieth century is now classed as ‘muzak’ – something light to be listened to in elevators or when you’re on hold. Sadly. But who was the girl from Ipanema? Did she really exist? She certainly did – her name is Heloisa Pinto (pictured on the right). In the early nineteen sixties, when she was fifteen she...

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Rocco DiSpirito: Cook Your Butt Off!

Rocco DiSpirito: Cook Your Butt Off! I would have really preferred Mr DiSpirito to have called this fascinating book something else, but never mind. It’s still pretty amazing and as for the recipes – wow. Yes, this is a weight loss book but it’s certainly one with a difference and something I love is that it’s incredibly easy to follow. Rocco gives a two-week eating plan, plus the recipes and shopping lists,...

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Kanga: Camilla’s Rival, Lady Dale Tryon

Prince Charles’ other mistress, Kanga If you look up Dale Tryon in Wikipedia, you will read that she was a ‘close friend of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales’. That is not strictly speaking true.  Dale, known by the nickname of Kanga, was actually Charles’ mistress prior to his marriage and as such, a rival for his affections. Her story is tragic. Charles loved women who were blonde, attractive and...

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Charles and Camilla

Charles and Camilla. Can you imagine what it must have been like for the-then Camilla Parker Bowles before 2005? She knew, as the world knew, that Prince Charles wanted to marry her. Charles’ mother, the queen, knew and liked Camilla. So did his two sons. But what about the world’s public? The consensus of the British people was that he should be able to marry exactly who he wanted to and, after all, the relationship had...

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Looking at Paintings (4) – ‘Trenches’

On the 1st July 1916, the Battle of the Somme was launched during World War One. By the end of that day alone 60,000 British and Empire troops had been killed or wounded. It should be remembered too, that the overall Somme campaign led to over half a million German casualties. Among the advancing troops on the 1st July 1916 were 2,000 members of the ‘Bradford Pals’ – men drawn together as volunteers at the start of the war from the...

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The Ways of the World by Robert Goddard

The Ways of the World by Robert Goddard: Review  A James Maxted Thriller I was lucky in having a review copy of this book so that I could alert you to it so that you could pre-order. I highly recommend it. The story will intrigue you from the first page. Set in 1919, the book opens with James Maxted, a World War 1 flyer, sizing up a couple of planes that he intends to buy to start a flying school. But his negotiations are interrupted...

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Life on a WW1 U-Boat

 What was life like aboard a WW1 U-boat? You have probably never pondered this question. Neither had I until I read a book which, as part of the narrative, explained what life was like aboard for the crew of a German sub in the First World War. And it sounds like a nightmare. Hellish, in fact. Of course, life in any submarine is, or was,  likely to be claustrophobic. In the last century, it’s likely that fresh air was something...

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The Perfect Chaise with Storage

The storage chaise. A perfect solution for small spaces. When space is at a premium in your home, it’s wonderful to find a stylish and chic piece of furniture that is so useful, wonderfully attractive and even gives you extra storage in your room. This comfortable seat will provide you with extra seating for guests, it’s the perfect item for a reading nook and it even makes a convenient spare bed for a child. It’s 63...

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Songs about Cities – Liverpool

When I was old enough to know about Liverpool it was almost being talked about in the past tense.  Liverpool for three hundred years was a magnificent seaport, the second city of Empire, with a flourishing trade with Virginia and the English colonies in America. It grew even larger during the industrial revolution as most of the English north east’s trade left via Liverpool docks. During the 20th century, especially after World...

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Paul McCartney: Real or Fake?

Paul McCartney died on November 9th, 1966 Or so certain people would have us believe. And recently, it’s said, Ringo Starr confirmed this. Nonsense? I think so. But according to conspiracy theorists, the bloke you see here isn’t Paul McCartney at all. It’s an imposter who has been playing the part for almost fifty years. Yes, that’s a long time to live someone else’s life, isn’t it? What’s the...

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All the Queen’s … Pigeons

The Queen and her racing pigeons. It’s widely known that Queen Elizabeth II is extremely fond of horse racing but did you know that she’s also a pigeon fancier? She keeps a stable (if that’s the right word) of racing pigeons in the grounds of the Norfolk royal residence, Sandringham. She has over two hundred pigeons and is said to be extremely knowledgeable about the birds, their care and of course, about pigeon...

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Book Spotlight: Don’t Write A Crappy Book!

Presenting….”Don’t Write A Crappy Book!” by James M Ranson Author James M. Ranson is currently on a virtual book tour hosted by iRead Book Tours.  Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine is happy to be a part of that tour today. Many of us have always wanted to write a book.  Even more of us aren’t sure where to start.  Mr. Ranson’s book will guide you straight onto a path toward that success.  You can see some of...

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George Cole

Actor George Cole. George Cole started his acting career when he was fifteen and continued until 2015. At the time of his death in that year, he had just finished making a movie. His first break came along in 1940 when he was cast in a film that was released the following year. George had been given up for adoption at birth and the British actor Alastair Sim took him in along with his adopted mother. George first came to the attention...

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Book Spotlight: Murder by Perfection, by Lauren Carr

An Article from Lauren Carr:  Inside Criminal Minds It’s always a delight to feature a book written by Lauren Carr.  Not only is Lauren an outgoing and vivacious author who is always willing to share, she also writes highly amusing mysteries that grab your attention.  Throw in characters that grow on you and independent dogs that sometimes take over a scene, and you have a hit series. Murder by Perfection is book three in the...

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Castaway Cay: The Murky History

Disney’s Castaway Cay – previously the mysterious Gorda Cay. The very thought of going on a Disney Cruise makes me shudder yet thousands of people enjoy them every day. Their four  ships call regularly at Castaway Cay – Disney’s private island and the company’s idea of paradise. There, cruisers can enjoy the amenities you would expect from the company that specialises in man-made ‘magic’ and...

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Queen Elizabeth II & Marilyn Monroe

The day Queen Elizabeth met Marilyn Monroe. In very different ways, the two women were destined to become icons. What many of us don’t realise is that Queen Elizabeth and Marilyn Monroe were born only ten days apart. (April 21st and Jun 1st respectively – in 1926). And they met on October 29th, 1956. The occasion was the London premiere of The Battle of the River Plate in Leicester Square. It was the only time the two...

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Photograph Fabric Printing via the Sun

Lumi Inkodye: Print photographs onto t-shirts using solar power. Great for kids, great for adults and a truly fabulous way to express your creativity and make gorgeous garments, décor items and gifts – that’s what Lumi Inkodye offer you with their kits and products. This is a seemingly miraculous way to add your photographs and designs to any fabric item using the sun to develop the images. You can take any photograph from...

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Funny Girl, by Nick Hornby

Funny Girl: A Novel by Nick Hornby Funny is quite right – laugh out loud funny, in fact. The book is set in the nineteen sixties – what an era of change that was – and features Barbara, a young woman from Blackpool in the north of England whose heroine is Lucille Ball. Barbara wants to be on television too, to make people laugh. And Barbara certainly has several assets that make her look great on television. At the...

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Royal Feud: York and Lancaster

Queen Elizabeth and Wallis Simpson: The Houses of York and Lancaster. In the fifteenth century, as all good students of Yorkshire history know, there were battles in England for the throne. The combatants were the House of York and the House of Lancaster. These were known as the Wars of the Roses as each house used a rose as its emblem; white for York, red for Lancaster. But in the twentieth century there was another ‘war of the...

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Brighten Up Your Work Space

Use colour to help you work. Do you remember when office items such as file cabinets, staplers and other necessities of work were incredibly boring? No longer. A truly delightful company named Poppin can brighten up your office, your home workspace or your dorm room with their fabulous work accessories. Of course, we’ve always known that an organised work area helps us to be productive but what has sometimes been overlooked is...

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Recipe: English Treacle Tart

English treacle tart recipe Oh, treacle tart!  Just find me an English person who wouldn’t enjoy a slice right now. In order to make this wonderful comfort food, you’re going to need real English Golden Syrup. If you can’t buy it locally –  and it’s in lots of American supermarkets now – it’s easily ordered online. You’ll love this scrumptious dessert and if you serve it to English...

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Alice de Janze & Raymund de Trafford

The day Alice de Janzé shot her lover. It was March 25th, 1927 and Alice had a date to meet her lover, Raymund de Trafford for lunch in Paris. Actually it would be more accurate to describe him as her ex-lover. This meeting, at the Maison Lapérouse restaurant overlooking the River Seine ended at the Gare du Nord, with a detour to Monsieur Guinon’s gun shop on the Avenue de l’Opera. When they arrived at the station, Alice...

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Love and Sex: Edwardian style

Love and sex: Edwardian style It was 1901 when Edward VII came to the throne, heralding in what we know today as the Edwardian Era. Although we sometimes think of the previous time – the Victorian Era – as being somewhat staid, that’s far from the case. The moral code inherited by King Edward had been firmly set during his mother’s time on the throne and it was considerably more raunchy than we might think....

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The Nuremberg Trials and the Jewish interpreter

The Nuremberg Trials and the Jewish interpreter. These trials began in November 1945 and were held to bring Nazi war criminals to justice.  It was a huge undertaking and interpreters were employed to translate – live in court – the testimonies of witnesses and the defence and comments of the most notorious and inhuman war criminals and their persecution of the Jews. Armand Jacoubovitch Imagine that you are a thirty year...

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Who Was Norman Bacchiocchi?

Luca Brasi’s killer: Murdered by the mob. Who hasn’t seen The Godfather? There were some pretty gruesome scenes, that’s for sure, and one of those was the murder of Luca Brasi. Fictional Brasi was the bodyguard of Vito Corleone, played by Marlon Brando. When Brasi was murdered in the movie, a bit player was the killer and he, Norman Bacchiocchi, was later killed by the mob — in real life. ‘He sleeps with...

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“Miss Bacall Did Her Own Singing…”

“Miss Bacall Did Her Own Singing…” The scene is a bar room in French Martinique, a hot and noisy club setting where a piano player called Cricket (Hoagy Carmichael ) is playing for a gorgeous teenage singer, Slim. Slim was Lauren Bacall in her first movie role, and what a star turn she gave, singing one of Carmichael’s most memorable songs, How Little We Know. Her vocal training was coming along, but no-one...

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The Train Whistle Blows

You know what the three most exciting sounds in the world are? Anchor chains, plane motors, and train whistles. George Bailey – It’s A Wonderful Life. It seems quite odd these days to imagine inventing the steam engine but not having any means of signalling a train’s imminence. But when George Stephenson was developing his steam engines, back in 1814, his first engines travelled so slowly and made such a racket...

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Grace Darling

Grace Darling and the sinking of the Forfarshire. The story of Grace Darling is well known. It’s often published in magazines that cater to young girls, possibly being thought to be inspirational. But why did she achieve such fame? Are the stories about her true? It’s certainly the case that she helped her father – a lighthouse keeper – to rescue nine people from a wrecked ship of the coast of Northumberland in...

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Who Was MaVynee Betsch??

Who was MaVynee Betsch, the Beach Lady? She was born into high society. Her great grandfather had been the first black millionaire in Florida. He founded the Afro-American Insurance Company in Jacksonville and the famous black American Beach resort in the days of segregation. MaVynee was exquisitely educated, as were her brother and sister. They were taught the piano, for example, at a very early age. MaVynee went onto study voice and...

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Lady Iris Mountbatten: Royal Black Sheep

Who was Iris Mountbatten? When she was fourteen years old,she was a train-bearer at the wedding of the Duke of Kent and Princess Marina of Greece. Two years later, she performed the same function at the coronation of George VI. She grew up to have sultry film star looks. She was a direct descendant of Queen Victoria and at one time was fourteenth in line to the throne. She was one of the most photographed debutantes of her time. Yet...

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The Mystery of Flight 19

What happened to Flight 19? True life Second World War mystery from the Bermuda Triangle. The now famous phrase ‘the Bermuda Triangle’ hadn’t been coined on that day in December 1946 when, just before three o’clock in the afternoon, five planes took off on a routine training flight from Fort Lauderdale Naval Air Station. The aircraft, and their young occupants, were never seen again. This is a truly fascinating...

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The Boy in the Song: Hey Jude

Hey Jude, by Paul McCartney. Hey Jude was the first record that the Beatles released on their own label, Apple. It was released in 1968 and its original title  was Hey Jules – it was written for Julian Lennon who was five years old when his parents were divorced. John Lennon had married Cynthia Powell in 1962 and Julian was born the following April, just when Beatlemania was just starting to take off. John was on tour when...

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Nancy Kulp

 Who was Nancy Kulp? Nancy Kulp starred in a television show that is still being shown worldwide. Do you recognise her? Does the face look familiar? There were two hundred and seventy four episodes of the television show made and their aired in the nineteen sixties and seventies. She won an Emmy for the part she played and in 1999, her characters was deemed to be number thirty nine in the top fifty ‘greatest characters on TV of...

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Louis le Prince: The Man Who Invented the Movies

 Who invented motion pictures? Some people would say it was Thomas Edison who invented the movies. Others might mention the Lumière brothers. But in fact,  movies – motion pictures – were invented by the man you see on the left. Two of his films, taken in 1888, survive. But Louis le Prince is rarely credited with the invention and more than that, his story ends with his mysterious disappearance. Was this foul play because...

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Who Was Anne Morrow?

Anne Morrow. Anne Morrow was born in 1906 and at one time, was one of the most talked-about women in America —but not for reasons she would have wished. She was an acclaimed and prolific author but during the early nineteen thirties – when she was often in the newspaper headlines, not many readers were aware of her literary talents. Most people – then and now – when they hear the name ‘Lindbergh’...

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Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel: Naughtier than you might think. What do you know about Coco Chanel? Possibly most people today think of her as a couturier and the person who was responsible for iconic fashion designs – and of course, the famous Chanel N0 5 perfume. But who was she really? Her name instantly conjures up style and sophistication for most of us but she came from humble beginnings. Not only that, she had a string of fascinating...

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Vegan Pumpkin Curry Soup Recipe

Vegan Pumpkin Curry Soup Recipe This recipe was originally served at the BonBon Cafe in Lewiston, Maine. The recipe was published in the Sun Journal and was given by the cafe’s manager, Bonnie Loubier. The original recipe was an old one, but Bonnie had added her own touches.   Save Print Vegan Pumpkin Curry Soup Recipe Rating  5 from 1 reviews Serves: 8 Ingredients 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil 1 large, sweet...

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Ted Hughes, An Unauthorized Life

Andy Royston walks out on the wily windy moors with the ghost of Ted Hughes. Poor Heathcliff trying to tear away the veil between death and life… crying out to Cathy’s soul… to haunt him and torment him… till he died.” Emily Brontë “I have often had the fancy that there is one myth for every man, which, if we but knew it, would make us understand all he did and thought” W.B. Yeats Living as I...

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Princess Anne

Princess Anne: Forgotten royal. These days, we are more aware of the more ‘glamourous’ members of the royal family. In particular, this applies to the younger generation, royal babies, fashions and lifestyle. But one of the older members of the family, Princess Anne, has had an interesting life, a touch of scandal and yet is known for being one of (if not the) hardest working of the British royals today. Born in 1950, she...

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Lunch in Paris: By Elizabeth Baud

Subtitle: A Love Story with Recipes. As a European who has lived in the USA for many years, it was fascinating to read the culture shock experiences of someone who did exactly the same but the other way around. This is a fun book to read on the beach or on a short flight – easy to read, light and entertaining. Featuring the memoirs of an American woman who married a Frenchman, it tells of her life during the time she was getting...

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Frenchman Street Blues

I’m always a sucker for Brits who came to America on vacation and never got around to leaving. Jon Cleary turned up in New Orleans in his teens and ended up working doing odd jobs and bar work in one of New Orleans liveliest live venues. The star attraction at the The Maple Leaf back then was one of the great barrelhouse blues pianomen, James Booker, and Cleary got to watch Booker doing his own thing before the customers packed...

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Cosmetic Surgery: Yes or No?

Cosmetic surgery: Yes or no?   I have a bit of a problem with this question. I’m inclined to say ‘no’ but cosmetic surgery is something I’ll never be able to afford. Is this clouding my judgement? Now don’t get me wrong.I’m not talking here about people who have serious problems with the way they look but those who endure cosmetic surgery to make themselves look younger. Or, I have to say,...

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The Collision of Grief and Gratitude, by Rosanne Liesveld

On Tour with Rosanne Liesveld We are pleased to join iRead Book Tours this morning on the virtual book tour for The Collision of Grief and Gratitude. Rosanne Leisveld can be found currently at a variety of sites, to share her story. If you have lost a spouse–or any loved one–you can relate to the thoughtful sharing written within this book. The grief that surrounds you is indeed spotted with gratitude for the people you...

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The Great Train Robbery: Roy James

Roy James: Racing driver & train robber. In the early nineteen sixties, Roy James was a promising young racing driver. He was also a criminal*. In 1963 he was the getaway driver for what was referred to as ‘the crime of the century’- the Great Train Robbery that took place on August 8th, 1963. He was a good racing driver and therefore an excellent getaway driver. When he took part in the Great Train Robbery, his...

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How to Cook Rice

 The best way to cook plain rice I’ve found that one of the most common questions I am asked by new cooks is ‘how on earth do I cook plain rice?’ Even many experienced cooks find that their rice turns out to be soggy and not the white,fluffy deliciousness that they had envisaged on the plate. Once you have mastered cooking plain rice, there’s a whole wealth of recipe opportunities that are opened up to you....

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Marilyn Monroe and the Kennedy Family

Did the Kennedys murder Marilyn Monroe? Most people are aware that there was a strong connection between Marilyn Monroe and the Kennedy family, especially John Kennedy and his brother, Robert. There is also speculation that the Kennedys were responsible for her death. Could this be the case? It’s certainly true that Marilyn had affairs with both the Kennedy brothers. It’s also true that she had a serious problem with using...

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Kyle Mills, The Man Chosen to Carry on for Author Vince Flynn.

Kyle Mills, The Man Chosen to Carry on for Author Vince Flynn. Last June, in 2014,  it was announced that an author had been selected to complete Vince Flynn’s works in progress AND to continue the Mitch Rapp series.  The decision was made my the Vince Flynn Estate and his published, Emily Bestler Books.  That author is Mr. Kyle Mills. It’s very uplifting as a fan of the late Vince Flynn, to think that Mitch Rapp will continue to keep...

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Jeanne Louise Calment

Jeanne Louise Calment: The oldest woman. You might have read my colleague Merry’s recent article about what’s supposedly good for us and what is damaging to our health.The article is called Food for Health. It’s a great read – why do scientists and nutritionists keep giving us conflicting advice? Instead of listening to them, let’s take a look at Jeanne Louise Calment, until her death she was the...

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The Adventures of Enid Lindeman

The Adventures of Enid Lindeman by Lyndsy Spence. Standing at six-feet tall with handsome features and platinum hair, Enid Lindeman was never going to be a wallflower. As she gallivanted through life she accumulated four husbands, numerous lovers, and during the inter-war years her high-jinx dominated the gossip columns. Evelyn Waugh satirized her set in Vile Bodies, but the workings of his menacing imagination paled in comparison to...

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Reading The Riot Act: What Does This Mean?

What is the origin of the phrase ‘reading the riot act’? Just about everyone in the English-speaking world has either said or used this phrase. But where did it come from?  For example, someone might say ‘her behaviour is terrible – I need to read her the riot act’. The phrase has its origins in 1714 in England. Those were turbulent times in the British Isles. There were riots and revolts for several...

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Bill Bryson and Yorkshire

What is it about Bill Bryson and Yorkshire? I really think that he seems to be a good bloke. I can imagine sitting in a pub with him and having a great chat. I’ve read a couple of his books and he has a nice turn of phrase that made me smile quite often. I will most probably read more. But what is it with him and Yorkshire? He lived there for a while, that’s true. (As you know, Yorkshire is the biggest and best county in...

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The Independent: Henry Ford’s strange magazine

Henry Ford’s Anti-Semitism Henry Ford could be called the father of the modern motor vehicle. He was also a huge patriot. But he did have some weird ideas. His anti-Semitism is often mentioned but even that took a rather strange form. It seems that personally, he had no objections to Jews. One of his closest friends was Rabbi Leo Franklin and Ford’s factory designer was Albert Kahn, a Russian Jew; the two were friends for...

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The Most Beautiful Villages & Towns of the South

The Most Beautiful Villages and Towns of the Southern USA by Bonnie Ramsey This gorgeous book features some of the finest architecture and scenery in the southern United States. It is part travel guide, part art book and part photography extravaganza. It shows some of the finest home you’ll ever see – everyone with its own character and charm. But you’ll also see quirky cottages, old bridges, churches and other...

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Mashed seagull recipe

 Mashed seagull recipe First of all, let me say that this isn’t really seagull. No  seabirds were killed in the production of this tasty snack. Tasty it is, and very quick to make but I have to say that the mixture looks a little odd, hence its name. That came from my ex-husband who thought it looked revolting. Ah well… Actually, this is a recipe for: A tasty tuna melt You can also use it as a toast-topper. Sometimes, if I...

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Houdini’s Straitjacket Escape. Invented in Yorkshire

Houdini’s straitjacket escape. Invented in Yorkshire It’s true. One of the great Harry Houdini’s most impressive escape acts was born Sheffield, Yorkshire. Houdini was born in Budapest – the family later moved to the United States – but he often performed in the British Isles. It was when he was performing in Yorkshire that one of his greatest stunts was created – the famous straitjacket escape. In...

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The Mystery of Dr James Barry

Dr James Barry James Barry, born in the eighteenth century, had a long and successful career as a medical surgeon in the British army. He fought and practised medicine all over the British Empire with distinction. He achieved the rank of medical superintendent general and eventually retired to London after and exciting career that even included duels of honour. A confirmed bachelor, he died in 1965. Of course, this isn’t a very...

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Andrew Morton: 17 Carnations

17 Carnations: The Duke & Duchess of Windsor and the Nazis. Less than two years before the Second World War began, the king of England abdicated from the throne. And the Nazis wanted to use him for their own ends. After the war, the Allies spent ten years recovering secret German files that revealed their plans. That sounds like the basis for an excellent novel but this book is non-fiction. In addition, American industrialists...

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Quiz: The Beatles’ Wives

Quiz: How much do you know about the Beatles’ wives? Just four lads from Liverpool – but between them, they’ve had a wide variety of partners. I guess this is understandable because all four are (or were) rather cute and they certainly had the money that many a girl finds attractive. Of course, some of the wives (do you know how many and which they were?) married their Beatles before they found fame and fortune....

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Some Girls, Some Hats and Hitler: By Trudi Kanter

Holocaust memoir from Vienna. Trudi is an independent young woman – a hat designer – separated from her husband and living in Vienna just before the outbreak of the Second World War. She falls in love with Walter, a charming and intelligent man. Her parents live nearby, Trudi has her wonderful man and her own flourishing business. What could possibly go wrong? Of course, we know the answer to that question now –...

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Who was Georgia Tann?

Who was Georgia Tann? Georgia Tann was the seemingly benevolent organiser of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society, starting in the nineteen twenties. However, the society was little more than a front for her black-market dealings. Georgia Tann sold babies. Back in those days, treatment for couples who couldn’t conceive,or for women who couldn’t carry a baby to term, was very primitive compared to today’s...

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Those Loftus Road Nights

Night time matches were the best. Early evening I’d head up into the setting sun to East Acton where my young mate Hiro lived, then we’d walk back down to the Bush and join the gathering crowds. We never missed a home game and took in a few away trips too.  We’d started going to games back when Rangers were really good, “top team in London” under the guidance of coach Gerry Francis and led by the mighty...

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Microwave ovens: Yes or no?

Microwave cooking: Yes or no? It’s quite surprising how divided opinion is about microwave ovens. At one time, a microwave was an essential in my kitchen but I haven’t owned one for years. Some people say this this is food snobbery. Yet although so many people own microwaves (83%of households in the UK) surveys show that they wouldn’t want to think that meals served to them in restaurants are cooked using this...

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Colour Notes: Fast food

Colour notes: Fast food The study of colour is a huge subject. Researches have shown that certain colours affect us in different ways. Some of these are obvious; blue – the colour of a sunny sky and a clear ocean – is a soothing colour. Red, on the other hand, creates excitement – and hunger. Just think about how many fast food logos use red. McDonald’s of course, Wendy’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Dominos,...

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Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. When I was  kid, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films often used to be shown on the television on Sunday afternoons. Despite the fact that they were about thirty years old by that time, they were truly entrancing. I loved the music, the dancing, the humour and most of all, Ginger Roger’s  frocks. But it was one of those wonderful dresses – the one you see above – that cause chaos when...

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Royal Feud: Wallis Simpson and Elizabeth

The royal feud between Queen Elizabeth & Wallis Simpson. The great feuds of history usually involve the desire for power. What makes this twentieth century royal feud extraordinary is that this feud of over fifty years was brought about because of unwanted power and position. This battle royal persisted from 1935 until 1986 and its protagonists were Queen Elizabeth and Wallis Simpson (later the Duchess of Windsor). The two women...

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New York City – Food Capital of America

New York City has always fascinated me. As a small kid living on a small island in the middle of the Pacific, New York city seemed bigger than life and I dreamt of the day I would visit the iconic city. My dream finally came true when I was 21 years old. I found myself being relocated for work to Philadelphia so after I getting settled, I took a weekend trip to New York. I still remember my first sight of the New York City skyline-I...

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Who Was Mr Simpson?

For anyone who is familiar with the history of the twentieth century, the name of Mrs Simpson is well known. She was the American divorcée who captivated the then king of England, Edward VIII. Famously he abdicated from the throne in order to marry her whereupon they became known as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Their story, somewhat erroneously referred to as the ‘love affair of the century’, has been recreated in...

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Recipe: Mushrooms in red wine sauce

This is a splendid recipe which we often have as the main dinner course. We are a non meat eating household but I’ve served this dish to devoted carnivores who love it. If you wish, it’s excellent to serve as a side dish or even as an appetizer.Because these delicious mushrooms are cooked and served in a red wine sauce, it’s quite a rich dish that is perfect to serve with pasta or rice. Its very richness also makes...

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Prince John: The Hidden Royal

What is the truth about Prince John? For many years, few members of the public had even heard about Prince John. And a lot of the ‘information’ that exists about him is actually incorrect. The story that many people have heard about Prince John has often been used to ‘demonstrate’ that the British royal family are a heartless, unfeeling bunch. The myth is that John, who was the youngest of George V’s...

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Jacquard Sweaters & Jackets: So Stylish

Jacquard sweaters – so fashionable We’re often told that the basics of a good wardrobe is classic clothes. And it’s true. Classically styled garments are timeless and remain fashionable for ever. They are never out of date. But this doesn’t mean that classics should be dull – so many people buy them in just black, grey or other neutrals – they can also be fun. Take this jacquard sweater you see on...

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Songs about Cities – Moscow

Before I start I would like to apologise in advance to my Russian friends who might be expecting Muslim Magomayev’s Greatest City on Earth, or a blast of Moya Moskva. And forgive my occasional inclusion of more general Russian songs too. I’m also writing this from a peculiarly British perspective, as most of my impressions of the city filtered through Hollywood movies, Peter and the Wolf the occasional bottle of...

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Who is Helmut Marko?

 Who is Helmut Marko? In recent years, Formula One fans grew accustomed to the sight of Austrian Helmut Marko looking proudly on as his protege, Sebastian Vettel, was on the podium when he drove for Red Bull Racing. But who is he? What’s his background? He qualified as a lawyer but did you know that he was once a Formula One driver himself? His record comes nowhere close to that of ‘his boy’ Vettel- he scored no...

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Occupied by the Germans in WW2: The ChanneI Islands

Under Nazi rule: Jersey, Alderney, Sark and Guernsey The scene that you see above is a typical one and shows the British island of Jersey before the Second World War. What a peaceful scene it is. The castle overlooks the calm, blue sea. Jersey cows are contentedly grazing. There is rolling countryside and a man and boy sit enjoying the scenery and the peace of the island. But this traditional and sleepy, rural way of life was to...

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The Boy in the Song: Someone Saved My Life Last Night

Elton John’s Someone Saved My Life Tonight. In 1975, Elton John released the album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy – which was an autobiographical record of his songwriting partnership with Bernie Taupin and his earlier days in the music business. So who was it who saved Elton John’s life? And was this literally or figuratively? Well, it was a bit of both. Mainly, it referred to a time when Bernie Taupin...

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Nora Ephron: Everything is Copy

Everything is copy – true? Writer Nora Ephron was told this by her mother. Her parents were both writers and Nora took the words to heart – she wrote a great deal about her own experiences. I think most writers would agree that writing about personal experience is not only easier, it’s more fun and quite possibly more interesting to the reader simply because it comes from the heart. But I’m not talking here...

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In Praise of Sensational Women – Mavis Staples

Andy Royston pays tribute to a true musical legend, the magnificent Mavis Staples. We’ve come here tonight to bring you some joy, some happiness, inspiration, and some positive vibrations! We want to leave you with enough to last you for maybe the next six months. – Mavis Staples / Live: Hope at the Hideout Mavis is coming to Fort Lauderdale,just a walk away from my home and I just cannot wait. Here is an American voice...

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Did President Kennedy’s Drug Use Affect His Leadership?

  When John  Kennedy’s medical records were released, they revealed that the president had been taking an enormous cocktail of prescription drugs. Many of these drugs would be considered unsuitable – if not illegal – today. Throughout his life, Kennedy was besieged by medical problems, starting when he was a young teenager and suffered from colitis. It was in London, where his father was ambassador prior to...

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John Cleese: So Anyway…

John Cleese: So Anyway… What makes us laugh? What is funny? John Cleese knows. But did you know that we might never have never have known Monty Python and Basil Fawlty? John Cleese was sure that he was going to have a career in law. That’s what he was studying at university and he had been offered legal position – with a wage of £12 a week – with a prestigious firm of solicitors. (Can you imagine Basil Fawlty...

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Wilson B. Hickox

Wilson B. Hickox: Poisoned by the government. There’s no doubt that Wilson Hickox died a gruesome death. On 23rd June, 1927, he booked into the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. Wilson was a prosperous businessman from Cleveland, Ohio. He had spent the evening out on the town and settled down in his hotel room  and poured himself a nightcap. Soon, he was struck by some unpleasant symptoms. His throat and chest began to tighten...

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Queen Victoria and Haemophilia

Does haemophilia show Queen Victoria’s true paternity? When Queen Victoria gave birth to her eighth child, Leopold, both parents were surprised to see how small the baby was. They had previously produced healthy, bouncing babies so Leopold came as something of a shock. When he was just  few months old, bruises appeared on his body as he was diagnosed as having haemophilia – ‘the bleeding disease’. This was the...

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Through a Broken Heart: Finding Hope and Healing After a Breakup

Featuring Author Colleen Meissner Today’s book spotlight is Through a Broken Heart: Finding Hope and Healing After a Breakup.  This devotional will help and inspire you through God’s Word and His love.  Ms. Meissner is currently on a virtual book tour hosted by iRead Book Tours.  We are delighted to be a part of that tour. Take a look at the description below, learn more about the author.  Then pick up a copy for yourself...

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The Girl in the Song: She’s Leaving Home

The Beatles’ She’s Leaving Home: The inspiration. Melanie Coe was seventeen years old when she ran away from home. The story of her disappearance was reported in the British newspaper, The Daily Mirror, and when Paul McCartney read it, he began to write the song She’s Leaving Home. What he didn’t realise what that he had met Melanie three years previously, in 1963. She had been on the television show, Ready,...

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Spicy eggplant recipe from India

Spicy eggplant recipe from India Serve this fabulous eggplant dish as a side or an appetiser. It’s lovely as a meat-free meal too, served with rice and yogurt. Or serve with Indian flatbreads for a truly authentic touch.     Save Print Spicy eggplant recipe from India Rating  5 from 1 reviews Cook time:  1 hour Total time:  1 hour Serves: 6 Ingredients 1¾ pounds eggplant, cut into wedges about 2 inches...

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Mystery Writer Tackles Cold Case Series, by Lauren Carr

Best Selling Author, Lauren Carr Lauren Carr has a new series once again!  Beginning with Ice, we meet Christopher Matheson, retired FBI Agent, who soon becomes embroiled in a decades old murder investigation.  What is unusual about this one is that Christopher himself was the prime suspect. Our review of Ice is found here on Jaquo.   We do hope you will take a look at that.  Today we are honored to present an article written by this...

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Signs in The Rearview Mirror: Leaving a Toxic Relationship Behind

Kelly Smith’s Debut Novel Today we are pleased to spotlight Signs in the Rearview Mirror: Leaving a Toxic Relationship Behind, by Kelly Smith.  Her first novel is proving to be an inspirational, helpful book for many, whether inside or outside of a relationship. We hope you will check out the information below and get a copy for you and a friend. Knowledge is often the first step to change. Ms. Smith is currently on a virtual...

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The Ghost and Mrs Muir

The Ghost and Mrs Muir: Movie This is the most lovely film. It’s a love story, a weepie, a ghost story and a comedy all in one. Released in 1945, it has all the charm and drama of the Hollywood era. It’s set in the early 1900s and Lucy Moore has recently been widowed. Determined to start  new life away from her in-laws, she and her small daughter move to a remote rented house near the sea. She’s been warned that the...

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Ice, by Lauren Carr

New! The Christopher Matheson Mystery Series Here’s another instant hit for bestselling author Lauren Carr.  The disappearance of a young girl has branded Chris Matheson a killer for most of his adult life, though never convicted of a crime.  After so many years is it possible to find what really happened to her? The title actually does reveal the nature of the first installment of this new series by best-selling author, Lauren,...

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The Yorkshireman and the South Pole

On December 13, 2013, Major Ibrar Ali of the Yorkshire Regiment stood at the SouthPole. With him were eleven other service-men and -women, a handful of guides and organisers, oh – and Prince Harry from the British Royal Family. The entire team had trekked (although that’s far too mild a word) across 200 kilometres of punishing snow and ice, through brutally low temperatures for thirteen days, dragging their equipment...

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Stephanie Hoffnung

Stephanie Hoffnung: Just one Jew. June 1942: Every evening, German SS officers would hammer on the door of the Hoffnung family’s home in Rue Riffault, Poitiers. This was occupied France and the Hoffnungs were Jewish. Led by Adjutant Wilhelm Hipp, the officers would visit Jewish homes to ensure that they were complying with the various rules and curfews that had been imposed. Any deviation from these rules and regulations could...

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Spotlight: Buckaroo Buckeye, by Kristin Anderson Cetone

Buckaroo Buckeye: A Little Nut with Big Dreams Written by Kristin Anderson Cetone Today we present the winner of the Mom’s Choice Silver award.  This charming book, written for ages 3 to 7, is certain to delight your young readers. Author Kristin Anderson Cetone is currently on a virtual book tour with iRead Book Tours to introduce Buckaroo.  You will find her at many sites with interviews and articles she will share.  We are...

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Why Did Henry VIII Marry Six Times?

Why did Henry VIII marry six times? There was a very good reason indeed. But I was talking to someone recently who truly believed that Henry VIII married six women because he was a horny old goat who just liked to trade wives in for a newer model. Henry had a much greater goal and one that was, in those times, incredibly important to the country. In 1524, King Henry was in his early thirties. He was incredibly tall and good looking,...

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All Time Hero: Jack Johnson

We learn and grow, we make heroes of our own. For me, being a child of the 60s there were astronauts and civil rights leaders, soccer stars and Olympic champs. Gran loved her music, so Nat King Cole, Paul Robeson and Ray Charles were high on my list. Dad’s a big sports fan, and Cassius Clay impressed as much by his trash talking as his skills in the ring. The undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World. If someone wanted to...

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Louis de Rougemont

Who was Louis de Rougemont? Louis de Rougemont achieved fame in 1898 when London’s Wide World magazine published a serialised account of his adventures.Readers were electrified. For the magazine told that Rougemont had spent thirty years living with cannibals in Australia –  as their king and leader. It all began in the 1860s when Rougemont was shipwrecked when he was pearl hunting in the Pacific. He and his trusty canine...

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Anthony Bourdain: Five Essential Kitchen Tools

Anthony Bourdain: Five Essential Kitchen Tools Anthony Bourdain is probably one of the best known American chefs today. Having French grandparents, he claims that his love of food and cooking comes from the vacations he spent in France as a child. In his book Kitchen Confidential, he tells a great deal about the life of a restaurateur and the workings of  commercial kitchens. His stories are illuminating and sometimes extremely funny....

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Art Matters: Vincent and Paul

Andy Royston takes a look at Vincent van Gogh’s Chairs of 1888, and a fraught relationship with his houseguest, Paul Gauguin. ‘At the bottom of our hearts good old Gauguin and I understand each other, and if we’re a bit mad, so be it, aren’t we also a little sufficiently deeply artistic to contradict anxieties in that regard by what we say with the brush?‘  Vincent Van Gogh –  letter to Theo van Gogh. Arles,...

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Spotlight: The Boy Who Dreamt of Fire Trucks

The Boy Who Dreamt of Fire Trucks By Alvita Mack Spotlighting a children’s book is a favorite of ours here at Jaquo.  Encouraging kids to read is so important.  A child can learn most anything in a book.  Add to that the love of fire trucks and firemen, and you are sure to have a popular book for young one. Author Alvita Mack is currently on a virtual tour to introduce the book to you.  Hosted by iRead Book Tours, you will find...

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Eva, Zsa Zsa and Magda Gabor

Three sisters, twenty marriages, nineteen husbands and one child. The Gabor sisters were all born during the First World War. They were born in Hungary, all three ended up in the States and between them they married twenty times. There were fifteen divorces, a couple of annulments yet only one child resulted from these many unions.   Zsa Zsa Zsa Zsa Gabor was probably the most famous of the three sisters — and she was the...

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Just Kids – Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe

I first heard Patti Smith as a teenager. The song – if you can call it a song, was Piss Factory, an extraordinary conversational poem set to haunting improvised free-jazz piano by Richard Sohl. It turned out to be from Patti Smith’s first recording session, and tells a story partly related to her time working in a low paid job back in New Jersey, at a factory that made baby buggies. It was a soul destroying environment,...

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Songs About Cities : Paris

Ten Songs For Paris In setting out to compile a favorite list of Paris songs I admit to being totally anglo-centric. There are hundreds of exceptional songs and performances en francais and a few great blogs cover this very well (a great example is this by Paris Attitude)  so I won’t even attempt. Paris seemed to have inspired the jazz generation very much – there are enough Frank Sinatra songs about the city to fill an...

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After Queen Elizabeth II: What will happen?

After Queen Elizabeth II: What will happen? The last time a monarch died was in 1952.  That is more than a lifetime ago for many of us and the world is a very different place now. Although many believe in the line from the National Anthem ‘long to reign over us’, we have to admit that, having been born in 1926, she may be coming to the end of her time as monarch. No, I don’t believe she will abdicate and it may be...

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A Song for Sunrise – Mary Margaret O’Hara

Mary Margaret O’Hara turned up in London back in 1988 to play a show at one of those old London jewel box theaters. She’d released a remarkable album earlier in the year called Miss America, which had been a fascination of mine from the off. I couldn’t wait to see if she could live up to her extraordinary record. On Mary’s music there’s nothing particularly unusual going on. Accomplished country tinged...

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Spotlight: Out of Time, By Thomas William Lowrie

On Tour with Thomas William Lowrie Just read the brief excerpt below and you’ll know why we’ve been looking forward to this book spotlight. Embroiled in World War II is a man who wasn’t born until 1963. If the history doesn’t intrigue you, the apparent time travel will. Jaquo is pleased to feature Out of Time as part of a virtual book tour currently hosted by iRead Book Tours. Mr. Lowrie will be stopping by a...

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Five Faves : The Florida Keys

Key West lies 150 miles from Miami, but the drive along the route is an unforgettable experience; one of the world’s classic road trips. Making the drive off the mainland and along the long and winding ‘ocean highway’ all the way to mile marker zero is a real Florida pleasure. It’s a classic because, like all great trips it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey and what happens along...

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Who Was Buster Edwards?

Who was Buster Edwards? If you’re English and ‘of a certain age’ you’ll recognise the name. If you don’t then it might intrigue you know that he was  petty criminal who became something of a folk hero in Britain in the 1960s. For Buster was one of the men who took part in what was known as The Great Train Robbery in 1963. Although the robbers got away with a huge amount of money the general attitude of...

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Diana Dors

Who was Diana Dors? Diana Dors was an English actress and sexy movie star who was popular in the nineteen fifties and sixties. She was often compared to Marilyn Monroe. She was gorgeous, and rather a naughty girl but she typified the ‘tart with heart of gold’. She became a much loved British institution. When she was younger, and she became a well-known movie and television star when still in her teens – most...

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Book Spotlight: Poppy, by Kat Flannery

Kat Flannery’s New Release:   Poppy Today we are pleased to spotlight the second book in the Montgomery Sisters series.  A little western, a little historical, added to romantic suspense is sure to please readers. Author Kat Flannery is currently on a virtual book tour hosted by iRead Book Tours.  It’s always a treat to learn more about a book and its author. Check out the details below. We’re sure you will enjoy it....

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Clutter Control: The Home Lost Property Station

Keep your home tidy – easily and quickly. When your surroundings give you joy and pleasure, life is so much better. This is especially the case in your own domain – your home. And looking round and seeing a neat and tidy environment isn’t just good for your soul – it’s been proved that clutter can damage your well-being. But it’s easier said than done, isn’t it? In fact, it can be so easy and...

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Alberto Ascari

Ascari’s lucky racing helmet. Alberto Ascari was born in Italy in 1918. By the time he started motor racing as a young man, it was one of the most dangerous occupations in Europe. He knew this because his own father – also a racing driver – had been killed when Alberto was only seven years old. By the mid nineteen fifties, Alberto had twice won the Formula One World Championship and was looking forward to continuing...

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Fingersmith: A Victorian saga

Fingersmith: Fascinating Victorian tale This film is astounding. It is everything you’d expect from an adaptation of a novel set in Victorian times but much, much more. The plot has twists and turns which are totally unexpected. It tells of a girl, Sue, who hails from the seamier side of London. Imagine a Fagin-like den of thieves and this will give you some idea of her background. She is persuaded – by the promise of a...

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Ring in the Spring – Woodland Bluebells

It’s been a long time since I lived within walking distance of an English wood. At this time of year the best ones become a magical perfumed carpet of blue flowers and can’t help but remind me of a childhood long gone. On visits to England I always to try to take a walk through the woodlands, to breathe in that heady scent concoction: Gorse, wild garlic, Scots pine, wet woodland, hawthorn blossom, honeysuckle, stinkhorn,...

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Obsolete Words: Quiz

Test your knowledge: Obsolete words Isn’t it amazing how quickly our language changes? Today, we regularly use words that simply wouldn’t have been understood fifty years ago. Even some words we might think of as relatively ‘modern’ are outdated. Do today’s children understand words and phrases like ‘cassette player ‘, ‘floppy disk’, ‘Netscape’, ‘typewriter’...

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The Best Royal Wedding Dress – Ever!

I don’t know about you but royal wedding dresses are usually a disappointment for me. They are either remarkably plain (apologies to the Duchess of Cambridge but hers was boring) or they compete in fluffiness with the wedding cake (the eighties was a bad time for this – Princess Diana’s and The Duchess of York’s are good examples). But there was a royal wedding in 2011 when the dress was simply perfect. In...

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The Flight of Nungesser, Coli and the White Bird

Nungesser, Coli and the White Bird: Mysterious disappearance. In 1924 a New York hotelier named Raymond Orteig renewed an aviation challenge he had issued a few years earlier. He offered the sum of $25,000 to any ‘person or persons’ who could fly nonstop between France and the United States. His previous offer had been largely ignored because it was generally thought that such a flight was impossible. But two men took up...

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The Last of the Blonde Bombshells

The Last of the Blonde Bombshells: Movie If like me you’re tired of some of the films we see today and are looking to watch a movie that’s truly hilarious, a great story and a little bit of a weepie then I highly recommend The Last of the Blonde Bombshells. As a bonus,or rather two, it has wonderful music and an impressive cast including the fabulous Dame Judi Dench. The film flips between modern day (well, 2000) and the...

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King Edward VII. The truth about his death

King Edward VII. The truth about his death. One of history’s myths regards the death of King Edward VII,  the actions of his wife Queen Alexandra and of his mistress Alice Keppel. The king was in his late seventies when he was taken ill – at first with a series of chills. He had always enjoyed what we might call the pleasures of the flesh – fine dining, splendid wines and of course, a series of beautiful and charming...

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Build a Library of Thought

What we can all learn from Neil deGrasse Tyson. What is it that we can all learn from a man who is an astrophysicist and cosmologist? That is, apart from astrophysics and cosmology. Neil explains why we should all build a ‘library of thought’. He starts by explaining that when he was a child, he’d visit the local library. Everything he needed to know was in there. Every time he had a query, his question would be...

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Ian Fleming, James Bond and … Bob Marley

Did Ian Fleming model James Bond on himself? Ian Fleming’s most famous creation was, of course, James Bond. And to some extent, the author was the character. He had been involved in espionage during the Second World War but there are certainly other similarities. The fictional James Bond enjoyed a drink (shaken not stirred, of course) and definitely his love of women was a great feature of the 007 persona. Fleming liked a drink...

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Princess Gabriella, Countess of Carladès

Who is Princess Gabriella? You see, the thing is this. I have decided who Prince George ought to marry. OK, I know that he was born in 2013 so marriage is hardly on his list of priorities right now.  So yes, I’m a bit premature. Marriage might not be on the cards for another twenty five or thirty years by which time I might no longer be around (I’ll be amazed if I am) so I’m going to get my selection in now. I know...

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ValuJet Flight 592

The crash of ValuJet Flight 592. This was the worst aviation accident in Florida and happened on May 11th, 1996. The plane crashed into the Florida Everglades. There were no survivors. The aircraft took off from Dallas-Fort Worth at 8.20 in the morning. It was bound for Miami and there was a scheduled stop in Atlanta. Everything went as usual. At 2.30 in the afternoon, the plane was cleared for takeoff from Miami Airport for its...

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The Bonnie and Clyde Death Car

What happened to Bonnie and Clyde’s car? In March 1934 a roofing contractor from Kansas was looking for a new car. Jesse Warren chose a Ford V-8 and he paid $785 for it. Jesse had only been the proud owner of the car for a few weeks when it was stolen – by the notorious outlaws, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. Bonnie and Clyde only enjoyed the car for a few weeks because on May  23rd they were ambushed by the police in...

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Is Eating Chicken Dangerous?

Chicken health scare. Let’s look at the latest statistics from the UK. A year-long study has discovered that 73% – very nearly three quarters – of supermarket chickens contain the campylobacter bacteria. This causes over quarter of a million cases of food poisoning in Britain every year, about one hundred of which are fatal. When you consider that the population is 64 million, and that over 3 million people are...

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Oh! You Pretty Things by Shanna Mahin: Review.

Oh! You Pretty Things by Shanna Mahin: Review. This was the latest review copy to land on the editorial desk at JAQUO HQ and I’m so glad it did. It’s very funny, it moves along at a hare-brained pace and you’ll love the quirky characters as they stumble through the strange world of Hollywood in present day. But this is not all glamour and ‘swimming pools, movie stars’ – this is the reality of a...

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Song For Sunrise – The Sopranos

“Woke up this morning, got yourself a gun…” The opening titles to the most highly rated TV show of the 21st century starts with a rumbling bass-driven trip hop track, and what sounds like a southern fried pick-up trucker drawling the lyrics. A small-time mobster, who we’d later get to know as Tony Soprano, speeds out of the Lincoln tunnel and heads down the New Jersey turnpike into the setting sunshine. The...

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An Interview With Author Gabriella Contestabile

From The Author of “Sass, Smarts, and Stilettos” Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine is pleased to be a part of the virtual book tour for Sass, Smarts, and Stilettos, written by Gabriellla Contestabile.  Currently on tour with Italy Book Tours, you’ll find the author at a variety of sites discussing her newest book.  You’ll find our review of the book here on Jaquo as well. Take a look.  You won’t want to miss this...

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Barbara Taylor Bradford: A Woman of Substance

Barbara Taylor Bradford: A Woman of Substance. I recently read and reviewed Ms Taylor Bradford’s latest book The Cavendon Women (which I recommend heartily) and this made me eager to reread the first books of hers that I ever read. Coincidentally, it was also the author’s first book. I can assure you that it stands the test of time admirably and reading it again now I find that it is just as absorbing as it was when I...

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Sass, Smarts, and Stilettos: Review

Sass, Smarts, and Stilettos: How Italian Women Make the Ordinary, Extraordinary. The author of this book, Gabriella Contestabile, was brought up in North America (first Canada and then the United States) but had been born in Italy. She left the country of her birth when she was just four years old and unsurprisingly, when she grew up she became more interested in the Italy she barely remembered rather than her now home country. She...

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Scandinavian Potato Cakes Recipe

Scandinavian Potato Cakes Recipe These are a real treat for breakfast. Although the batter needs to be refrigerated for thirty minutes it could be made ahead and then each potato cake (which are actually more like pancakes) take two minutes each to cook. The potatoes add valuable nutrients to the dish and the entire recipe is low-cost. Although the original recipe calls for applesauce to serve (which is delicious and adds more...

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Galaxy Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Galaxy Grilled Cheese Sandwiches Recipe. A fun specialty sandwich from my Star Wars Cookbook is a Galaxy Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Now this isn’t your average plain jane grilled cheese sandwich. I has pickles on it. I like pickles but wasn’t sure of them grilled with cheese but to my surprise it was super tasty after I made and tried them. It’s just basically making your grilled cheese sandwiches as you normally do...

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Citrus Chicken Recipe

Citrus chicken recipe This is a recipe that I’ve had for ages and although we no longer eat meat,I often use this recipe to make the yummy sauce when we are having guests for a barbecued meal. The recipe is very tasty when made exactly as you see it below. When I’m making it as is, I just make a couple of changes — but it’s up to you. I serve the grapefruit and kiwi in separate bowls rather than using the fruit...

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Working with text: Tables

Working with text: Tables Format a menu using tables I have several clients who are restaurateurs and they know the importance of well-presented menus. Therefore, I often find myself working on them. When working with almost all text jobs, creating tables and cells is an important way of layout out the information. They keep the text in a regular, tidy form with nothing to distract the eater from the menu offerings. Oh, and I always...

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Lamb & Chicken Gabonais Recipe from Marion Preminger

Lamb & Chicken Gabonais Recipe from Marion Mill Preminger Before we get to this African recipe,I’ll just explain first that Marion Mill was the one-time wife of movie director and producer, Otto Preminger. She then fell in love with a suspected Nazi spy, unsuccessfully, and then spent many years working with Albert Schweitzer in his hospital in Africa. By 1964, she was living in New York with her husband Albert Mayer, a...

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Queen Elizabeth II: The world’s oldest serving monarch

Queen Elizabeth II: The world’s oldest serving monarch. Princess Elizabeth became queen on 6th February, 1952. Little did she know that she would become the oldest monarch in the world. On 23rd January, 2015, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia died at the age of ninety making the queen the oldest sovereign. She was born in 1926. Queen Victoria reigned for 63 years, 216 days, a record the queen topped in September 2015. Victoria lived...

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Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Living to Tell the Tale

The early life of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Should you read this amazing book before you read his novels? That wasn’t an issue for me because I have been reading Marquez for decades so to me, this book is a wonderful way about learning more. More, not just about the author’s life but how his books and stories are crafted. I knew that basic facts of his life – born in the nineteen twenties in Colobia, a journalist in...

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Eric Jackson: The Chieftain Rally 1973

Eric Jackson: Chieftain Rally 1973 Rally driver Eric Jackson was strictly a Ford man. The only recorded competition car he drove that wasn’t a Ford was a Vauxhall in the 1959 Monte Carlo Rally. So it’s not surprising that when Jacko had ‘the big one’ – the rally accident that nearly finished him off – he was driving a Ford Escort. Here’s a photograph of how he managed to rearrange the car:...

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Fort Lauderdale: For the Business Traveller

Travelling to Fort Lauderdale on business? Every year studies show that business travel is increasing rapidly. And many of these travellers are looking for accommodation that offers something more than faceless chain hotels. We have just the place for you. Instead of an out-of-the-way hotel, stay at your own waterfront apartment with every facility  – that’s close to the beach and the very best shopping and dining...

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Florida Birds : An Osprey’s Catch

The beach here in Florida that I walk daily tends to be pretty quiet, birdwise. The coastline here is smooth and clear, with unfettered lines and shallow shores. It’s a big city beach, where the A1A coastal highway runs right alongside the ocean. The backshore dunes are shallow here, and there are few patches of wilderness to speak of.  These quiet beaches support an unseen wildlife including worms, bivalves and crustaceans,...

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Spicy onion fritters

Spicy onion fritters – or use the vegetables of your choice. These vegetable fritters are so delicious.Part of the reason for that is the beautifully light batter. It’s truly fabulous and contains a special secret ingredient. I like to make onion fritters using this special batter – it’s really so light and tasty – but I’ve experimented with other vegetables too. Use whatever you have available...

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A song for Sunrise – The Cherokee Morning Song

Over looking our Fort Lauderdale beach, his eyes trained on the morning sun, is a single tree totem, the Whispering Giant. He was carved out of a single cyress log by Hungarian-born scuptor Peter Wolf Toth. His aim is always to create a composite of all the physical characteristics of the local tribe or tribes, as well as their stories and histories. There are 74 documented giants around North America, one in each state of the union....

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Top British Chefs

Top British Chefs How did Britain get its ‘reputation’ as being a place with less than perfect cuisine? It’s a myth that’s easy to explain and you only have to look at the chefs you featured below to see that great food is alive and well in the United Kingdom. Britain has a very long history of fabulous food going back hundreds of years. Our first cookbook appeared in medieval days and the recipes are still...

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The White Van: By Patrick Hoffman

The White Van: Review. Emily wakes up – sort of – to find herself alone in a hotel room. As she comes round, she remembers that she’d been in a bar and met a man – a Russian. No, it was nothing like that – she hadn’t exactly been picked up and there’d been no activity of the type normally associated with situations where two people of the opposite sex who met in abar ended up in a hotel room...

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Enjoy Yourself, it’s Later Than You Think

Enjoy Yourself, it’s Later Than You Think: Good advice It might just be a song lyric, but it does have a ring of truth,doesn’t it? Admittedly, ‘it’s later than you think‘ might be a touch maudlin but the point is, it’s true. You see, I’m seventeen. Well, you know I’m not but in my head I am.  My dad is in his nineties. I wonder how old he is in his head? Much younger, I’ll bet. I...

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Unsuccessful? Read This

Heroic Failures There comes a time when I get tired about reading about the great and the good. Sure, it’s nice to read about famous inventors, scientists, literary giants, artists and all the people who have added to our knowledge and enhanced our lives. Maybe there’s a bit of a green tinge to these thoughts – I know that I’m never going to join their ranks. Occasionally there’s something rather...

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Who were Charters and Caldicott

I don’t know about you, but when I’m watching a classic movie I’m always taken by the characters on the edge of the action. The more than curious bystander who gets caught up in the action almost accidentally. Take Alfred Hitchcock’s classic take on Agatha Christie’s novel The Lady Vanishes. Two inept and veddy British cricket fans  are amongst passengers on a train out of the European country of...

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Formatting print pages: Quick and easy

Formatting print pages: Quick and easy Transform boring print – fast If you’re a designer, you’ll be familiar with the client who sends you a Word document and a photograph and expects you to transform it – in no time. Can you please make this look better? No colour please, we can’t afford colour printing. Speaking of which,  the printer has a huge workload – can it be ready within half an hour...

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The Myths of Safe Pesticides, by Andre Leu

Book Spotlight: The Myths of Safe Pesticides The Tour We are so pleased to join the virtual book tour for The Myths of Safe Pesticides AND Poisoning Our Children.  Both are touring with iRead Book Tours, from mid-March through mid-April.  Important information for parents especially, but really for everyone.  Do take a look at some of the stops along the tour for articles, reviews and more. This is a book you’ll want to share...

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Eddie Cochran

Eddie Cochran In 1959, Eddie Cochran found out about the tragic deaths of his young fellow musicians, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. They had been killed on tour when their plane crashed in bad weather. Eddie’s friends and family said that this led him towards thoughts of his own doom and that he too was destined to die young. Fourteen months later, when Eddie was on tour in England, he too was killed in an accident....

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Poisoning Our Children, by Andre Leu

Spotlight:  Andre Leu and “Poisoning Our Children” Jaquo is pleased to be a part of the book tour for Author Andre Leu’s “Poisoning Ou Children: The Parents Guide to Myths of Safe Pesticides.  Such an important topic, this is a book you won’t want to miss. Hosted by iRead Book Tours, the author will be stopping in at various sites for reviews, articles and more.  Do drop in at some of the tour sites for...

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Je t’aime: Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg

Je t’aime: Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg. Je t’aime – banned. You’d have thought that by the nineteen sixties people were pretty much unshockable. Mind you, I suspect that the song Je t’aime shocked very few real people, if anyone, but the stuffy BBC decided to ban it from their airwaves. I thought it was rather lovely. The title was repeated, whisperingly, to the sound of luscious organ music, by Jane...

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The Day Michael Caine Discovered a Family Secret

The day Michael Caine discovered a family secret. When actor Michael Caine and his younger brother, Stanley, were growing up in London, on every single Monday their mother used to go to visit their Aunt Lil. The two boys never thought anything about it – it was simply part of the family routine. But many years later, in 1991, the actor found out the truth.She had been going somewhere very different indeed. Michael Caine was in...

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King George I of Greece and the British Royal Family

King George I of Greece and the British Royal Family. What does King George I of Greece have to do with the British royal family of today?  Did you know that most of the royal family are descended from him? This is because he was the grandfather of today’s Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip. He became ruler when he was just seventeen and remained on the Greek throne until he was assassinated. It seems strange to us today, but...

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Princess Mary

 Who was Princess Mary? It’s likely that you’ve never heard of England’s Princess Mary but it’s highly possible that even after all these years you are familiar with the story of her brother. For Princess Mary was the sister of Edward VIII, the English king who famously abdicated so that he could marry his American mistress, Wallis Simpson. When you look at the photograph of her on the right, you can see the...

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The Stranger in The Woods, by Michael Finkel

Alone in The Woods… The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of The Last True Hermit.   What a well written, captivating story. This book written by Michael Finkel was a fascination to me. I got the audio version, knowing I’d enjoy reading of a man living alone, surviving harsh conditions. Stories of survival always draw me in. It was far more than that though. It was as much about capturing a thief. So intriguing that...

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Britain’s Got Opera!

Britain and opera. In 1990. I still lived in the UK and a friend from America was visiting. I remember him being amazed because the most popular song at the time – it was in the charts, played on the radio and was a favourite on pub jukeboxes – was Nessun Dorma performed by Luciano Pavarotti. ‘Only in England’ he would say ‘could the most popular song be an aria from a Puccini opera’. But was this a...

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Apollo One Spacecraft Fire

Apollo 1: Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee. In summer 1966, NASA chose the crew for the first manned Apollo space mission – a mission that was to end in disaster. Gus was the oldest of the team at forty years old. He had been the second American to fly in space. Ed was thirty six and he had the distinction of being the first US astronaut to walk in space. The youngest crew member was Roger Chaffee who at thirty one was...

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Who Was Gertrude Ederle?

Gertrude, or Trudy as she was more usually known, was a sportswoman who should have been famous and remembered today but despite her achievements she faded into obscurity. In the 1920s she was seen as a pioneer in showing the world that women were not ‘the weaker sex’.  Strangely, women were still considered to be so. Gertrude was the first woman to swim the English Channel She was the first woman to do so and she...

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Mini Printers, by Debra Schoenberger

On Tour With “Walk With Me” Debra Schoenberger has shared an article with us here at Jaquo, as part of the virtual book tour she is currently on for her new book, Walk With Me. The beautiful book of photographs will be a welcome addition to your home.  The variety, the colors, the black and whites, all will strike you differently each time you look at the photographs included.  ​Enjoy her article here below… I take a...

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Walk With Me, by Debra Schoenberger

On Tour With Debra Schoenberger It’s a pleasure to once again present a photographic collection from author Debra Schoenberger. We were first introduced to her on her virtual book tour for India (Our review here). Walk With Me is even more, in that it includes photos from wherever the author might travel, along with photos from her regular walks in her hometown of Victoria BC. The photos are wonderful. Some appeal for the setting,...

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Mint Lime Grilled Mahi-Mahi

Mint Lime Grilled Mahi-Mahi This recipe will work well with any firm white fish but the author recommends mahi-mahi. I suspect that many of us could do with more fish in our diets and this is a wonderful way to serve it. It’s perfect for summer grilling or for those of us who are lucky enough to live somewhere where we can cook outdoors all year round. Save Print Mint Lime Grilled Mahi-Mahi Rating  5 from 1 reviews...

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The Kidnapping of Princess Anne

The 1974 kidnapping attempt on Princess Anne. Princess Anne is the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II and in March 1974, four people were shot by a man who was trying to kidnap the princess for ransom. Anne, or the Princess Royal as she is known today, is not one of the younger, more popular members of the royal family such as Harry, William and Catherine, but she’s widely acknowledged to be the most hard-working member with a...

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Who Was Percy Shaw?

Who was Percy Shaw? If you’re from Yorkshire, like me, the chances are that you know perfectly well who Percy Shaw was – and what he invented. If  you don’t know who he was,there’s still the strong likelihood that you see and use his most famous invention every day. There must be millions of them throughout the world. Although you see them every day, you might be so familiar with them that you don’t even...

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The Internet for All

Computers for seniors I really don’t understand why so many older people these days don’t use computers or tablets. Well, I do to some extent. I understand that a) they can not always afford the devices and b) that for some elderly people it might seem as though it’s a technology they will never be able to understand. Are those two problems really too huge to be overcome? Aren’t there so many advantages that...

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Who Was Pablo Fanque?

Who was Pablo Fanque? There’s a question. But the chances are that you might well have heard the name before. There he is on the right. I imagine he looks unfamiliar to you but I think that you might have heard his name, especially if you’re a fan of the Beatles. So what on earth can a bloke who was born in England in 1796 possibly have to do with the Beatles? And how is it that you’ve probably heard his name? Read...

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The Great Sheffield Flood of 1864

The Great Sheffield Flood of 1864. At about 5.30 in the afternoon of 11th March, quarryman William Horsefield  noticed a crack in the embankment of the Dale Dyke Dam, part of a recently built reservoir near Sheffield in Yorkshire. It was only a small crack, he reckoned that he’d be able to slip the blade of a penknife into it and that’s all but nevertheless, he alerted some of the men who worked at the dam. Just over an...

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Who Was Colonel Tom Parker?

To start with, he wasn’t a colonel. And actually he really wasn’t called Tom Parker. He wasn’t a musician but his name has gone down in musical history. He was also an illegal immigrant, an army deserter and quite possibly a murderer. Some people who knew him say that you couldn’t wish to meet a nicer guy and that his generosity was legendary. Others say he was tough, ruthless and only interested in making...

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The Museum of Extraordinary Things

 The Museum of Extraordinary Things: Review This book, written by Alice Hoffman, is an exceptional fiction, bracketed at the beginning and the end with real events. It’s hard to know which are the more horrifying sections – the fact or the fiction. Set in the early years of the twentieth century. the book tells of a strange character indeed – a man who makes his living at Coney Island running a sideshow of...

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How to be Parisian

How to be Parisian – wherever you are Have you ever admired that effortless style that women from Paris seem to have? Everything they do seems to be so stylish and effortless. Whether sitting at a sidewalk café sipping a glass of wine or shopping for the best French bread,  they exude a special something and what’s more, they do it with a twinkle in their eye. Sophisticated they may be, but they are also fun. They are...

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The Triangle Fire

Death in Manhattan: The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Disaster. Thirty five horse-drawn fire fighting vehicles were dashing through the streets of Manhattan.  It was March in 1911 and the streets were quiet on that Saturday afternoon. But nevertheless, the firefighters were unable to save lives that day. They were headed towards the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory where fire had broken out in the ten-storey building. The business, which made...

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Urbio: Designer Wall Storage

Storage plus indoor gardening – perfect for small space living. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to own a Uten.Silo – that wonderful wall storage system designed back in the 1960s. But now I’ve discovered Urbio, I’ve found that it’s far more flexible, so very stylish and it comes at a very reasonable price. What’s more, the Urbio can be bought as modular pieces allowing you to stretch...

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The Corfu Trilogy by Gerald Durrell: Review

The Corfu Trilogy by Gerald Durrell: Review In later life, Gerald Durrell was a respected naturalist and conservationist but in 1935 he was a ten year old boy when he and his somewhat eccentric family went to live in the Greek Island of Corfu. He was the youngest child of the family and, even though life in  the Durrell household was bizarre enough, introduced various creature and animals into the home with disastrous – and...

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Book Spotlight: Snap! By Gary Small and Gigi Vorgan

On Tour With Gary Small, M.D. and Gigi Vorgan You won’t want to miss Dr. Gary Small’s new book, Snap! Change Your Personality in 30 Days.  Co-written with Gigi Vorgan, the book is bound to change lives and minds. Scientists have discovered that it IS possible to change some of our long held personality traits, and in far less time than you would expect. It’s a book we should all have since it provides a clear path to...

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