June 2016


Hello from a not-so-sunny London

I’m back after a glorious week in Scotland where it was 22 degrees every day (see photo above). I don’t normally do plugs for places I’ve visited here but I’m going to make an exception for Corrie House B&B, run by Barrie and Joan. They were charming, their breakfasts were the stuff of dreams and they looked after us so well that all I want to do is hop on a plane and go straight back.

Anyway, to resume normal service, here is my list of things that caught my eye this month:

Sin, sex and symbolism: on the cultural power of red shoes

Jane Little first took her turn as a bassist in an orchestra on February 4th 1945 at the age of 16. She continued to play until earlier this month—becoming the longest-serving orchestra musician. She died during a performance with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. They were playing “There’s no Business Like Show Business”

Amazon is having an effect on book-cover designs: they’re becoming yellower

Regular readers will probably have clocked the fact that I am obsessed with podcasts and, well, I’ve discovered another favourite. Criminal is an off-beat true crime (another fixation) podcast hosted by the silken-voiced Phoebe Judge. To see what I mean listen to this episode

$20,000: what your “vintage” iPod could be worth

Turmeric milk latte has become the new matcha latte (if you’re curious — I know I am — here’s a recipe)

Dung beetles are incredible. Not only is it believed that they evolved to eat dinosaur poop, but now it seems they navigate by memorising celestial snapshots

On Ms Rodham Clinton

Scientists have found a way to make wood transparent

In Finland you can eat a Burger King burger in an in-store sauna

The allure, and expense, of smelling like old books

And, from me:

Erotic fiction after 50 Shades

How the West developed chromophobia

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