Page 105. " We moved on from John Masefield's 'Cargoes' to Alfred Tennyson's 'Blow Bugle Blow' "



Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,

Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,

With a cargo of ivory,

And apes and peacocks,

Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.


Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,

Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,

With a cargo of diamonds,

Emeralds, amythysts,

Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.


Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,

Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,

With a cargo of Tyne coal,

Road-rails, pig-lead,

Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.

Blow, Bugle, Blow


The splendour falls on castle walls

And snowy summits old in story:

The long light shakes across the lakes,

And the wild cataract leaps in glory.

Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,

Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.


O hark, O hear! how thin and clear,

And thinner, clearer, farther going!

O sweet and far from cliff and scar

The horns of Elfland faintly blowing!

Blow, let us hear the purple glens replying:

Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.


O love, they die in yon rich sky,

They faint on hill or field or river:

Our echoes roll from soul to soul,

And grow for ever and for ever.

Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,

And answer, echoes, answer, dying, dying, dying.

Page 115. " Laurie Lee reading "
by cm

Listen on Spotify: Laurie Lee reading -

Home from Abroad

April Rise



Page 123. " the Mensa application test "
by cm

If Stephen Fry's views on Mensa haven't put you off, you can try applying.  Mensa accepts applicants with an IQ in the top 2% of the British population... as determined by Mensa of course.

Page 124. " have turned into one of those awful McWhirterish ticks "

The brothers Norris and Ross McWhirter were the co-founders of the Guinness World Records. Known for their photographic memory, they frequently made appearances on the British television show Record Breakers, challenging audience members to test them on their detailed knowledge of the Guinness Book of Records. In 1951 they founded an agency to "supply facts and figures to newspapers, yearbooks, encyclopedias, and advertisers". 

Identical twins, here they make an American television appearance together in the 1960s: