Issue Two


Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking You’re Thinking?

For this trick you will need: two children, aged three and four respectively; mini felt-tip pens; an empty tube of Smarties. Put the pens into the Smarties tube, close the lid, and find the four year-… Read article

Too Much Like Hard Work

When I was very young, the best footballer in the world – probably the best ever – played for my local team. My first set of colouring pencils bore his name; they were the only ones you could buy.… Read article

Sestina: Frimaire

There’s a cloven-hooved print dried into the mud, and it’s not Pan. They’ve gone topsy-turvy, wrecked the garden. What if they insisted on staying? Would it be any better than fly-by-night … Read article

Chasing Shadows

Between the ideaAnd the realityBetween the motionAnd the act  (‘The Hollow Men’, T.S. Eliot, 1925) Boxers are liars. They have to be, eventually. They lie about their condition, for promotion, … Read article

The Red Headed League

‘Every shade of color they were - straw, lemon, orange, brick, Irish-setter, liver, clay; but, as Spaulding said, there were not many who had the real vivid flame-colored tint.’ (‘The Red-Headed… Read article

Bloodlust on Safari

Funny the things one learns. I had always assumed that life in South Africa meant monkeys in the driveway and hippos in the pool, in the way that we, back in England, get squirrels on the fence and th… Read article

What’s Hecuba to Him?

The trouble with telling if those mourners at Kim Jong-Il’s funeral were faking it is that real grief can look so damn fake. It is too sudden, too forced, too messy. There are not enough tears, too … Read article

On Not Being Jewish

At school I was bullied for being Jewish. Sure, I didn’t have to put up with the animal noises that my father had to stomach at a minor boarding school in Hertfordshire in the 1960s. But ‘Jew’ o… Read article

At the Aq

On October 24, 1875, the New York Times published a notice on behalf of the Royal Aquarium Society, announcing the birth of a grand project ­­­– and seeking American investors. The Royal Aquarium… Read article


It takes a galanthophile to know the difference between Galanthus alpinus and Galanthus reginae-olegae, between Galanthus koeianus and Galanthus krasnovii. Galanthus, literally ‘milk flower’, is t… Read article