Page 253. " the forthcoming Alternative Miss World contest. "
Miss World
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeMiss World - Credit: hqhuyanh

The Alternative Miss World title retains the traditonal elements of the standard beauty competition - swimwear, day wear etc... - but dispenses with the entry requirements and allows everybody a chance to compete.

Page 254. " a marvellous new oriental idea "

 

Feng Shui
Public DomainFeng Shui

It's not that new.  Devised in China over 3,000 years ago, Feng Shui is the practice of arranging your surroundings, in order to promote harmony and wellbeing and allow 'good' energy to flow freely.

It became very popular in the UK in the 1990s.

                                 

Page 256. " Bonfire night and not invited to any bonfires "
Fireworks
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeFireworks - Credit: Ali

 Bonfire night, 5 November, celebrates the failure of a plot by a group of Catholic restorationists, to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605.

Charged with causing the explosion, Guy Fawkes was discovered and arrested a few hours before it was set to take place. Effigies of the unfortunate Fawkes are sometimes burnt atop traditional bonfires, which are usually accompanied by firework displays.

Page 256. " the Alternative Miss World Title had gone to Joan of Bloody Arc "

Joan of Arc
Public DomainJoan of Arc
Joan of Bloody Arc packed a lot into 19 years, leading the victorious French army during the Hundred Years War (guided by divine visions) before being burnt at the stake by the English in 1341. She was later hailed as a Catholic saint.
Page 261. " retrospective Rocky Horror Show make-up "

A celebration of the kinky, the cross-dresser and the tarnished innocent, The Rocky Horror Picture Show began as a musical theatre production, and was made into a film of the same name in 1975. Most of the cast are heavily made up with lipstick and eyeshadow, regardless of gender.

Listen on Spotify: Time Warp

 

         

Page 267. " Find me the Sixties Guy Fawkes Bobbit "

In 1993, John Wayne Bobbitt achieved worldwide notoriety when his wife, Lorena, apparently in a crazed state after suffering years of abuse at his hands, cut off his penis with a knife and later threw it out of her car.

Picture of the unfortunate John Wayne Bobbitt

Page 271. " Am disastrous failure. Michelin-star cookery? Kwik-fit, more like. "

Michelin Dinner
Creative Commons AttributionMichelin Dinner - Credit: Meg Zimbeck
Michelin is a car tyre manufacturer, with a sideline in guide books to the best restaurants and hotels.  Michelin stars are awarded to outstanding achievers.

Kwik Fit, on the other hand, is a British car service and repair company, offering low prices but no stars.

Page 272. " from the Holloway visitors' room "
Holloway prison
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeHolloway prison - Credit: M.J.S.

  Holloway is a female-only prison in North London.

It opened in 1852, but was completely rebuilt between 1971 and 1985