There's no theme to this post. It's just a hotchpotch of things I've noticed during the last few days.
First, another candidate for my gallery of bad art, courtesy of the Lewes branch of Pizza Express:
It must have taken all of five minutes to do the curved lines, then click and fill the gaps with different colours.
It's a pity, as the Pizza Express itself is lovely. They deserve better than this:
"We are retiring Golly because we found families with kids no longer necessarily knew about him. We are not bowing to political correctness, but like with any great brand we have to move with the times."
On the subject of moving with the times, I've noticed that in the 1960s, it was the Panther imprint that took the lead in spicing up innocuous novels with saucy covers:
Next, a wonderful advert from a novel published in the 1890s:
(*NB - I have now been informed that this endorsement would have been from 'The Queen' magazine. Another dream shattered.)
Sadly, Mr Heath's business didn't survive the hatless postwar years, but you still see the beaver statues that graced the top of his premises. There is also an interesting piece about Henry Heath's hats here.
Next, one of my favourite bookmarks so far: a menu from the RMS Ascania, for Friday November 27th, 1925:
I haven't been on a cruise, as I abhor any holiday in which one is forced to socialise with other tourists, particularly when the only means of escape is overboard. I don't go abroad to make friends with someone from Leatherhead.
The one time my wife and I went on a group holiday, it was a disaster. The trip turned out to be mainly composed of Daily Mail readers (I think it was a special offer in the paper) and I spent the entire week hiding from people.
I started off with good intentions. However, an agonising group lunch, during which a woman boasted that her husband was "big in concrete" exposed the gaping void between our worlds. I was later caught hiding from everyone in a vineyard, while my wife explained that I was "shy".
The trick is to travel with a small group of like-minded people. I once shared a villa with some people who worked at the House of Commons, via a tenuous connection with someone I knew in my teens. We met at Gatwick Airport and by the time our plane had landed, we were laughing and trading good-humoured insults like old friends. Every day was a real laugh.
At the end of the holiday we swapped names and addresses and agreed to meet up in London, but naturally none of us bothered.
It can be quite comforting to let your hair down with complete strangers without the messy business of maintaining a friendship, which leads to my final bookmark: an agenda for the British Association for Behavioural Psychology's annual conference at Exeter, in 1976.
The agenda for Saturday 24th is a punishing schedule of symposiums and lectures, including the following:
- Group relaxation with agoraphobics
- Marital group therap
- Group relaxation with stammerers
- Training the compulsive gambler
- Imaginal exposure with dental phobics
- Cost effectiveness of behavioural psychology
- The aetiology and treatment of sex disorders
"Oooh-hoo, Nobody knows it. When I was down. I was your clown. Oooh-hoo..."