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Dick French: On The Town – September 2020

Dick French September/October 2020 It’s not true that King Juan 404 Not Found Carlos is hiding out in


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Bradley’s Spanish Bar. He only used that cupboard under the stairs while waiting for one of those posh penthouses over the road to be readied for him. Although it

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is true that he was reluctant to leave after falling for the abundant charms of barmaid […]

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Dick French: On The Town – July 2020

Dick French July/August 2020 Reading Pepys again about the plague of


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1666. Not one for self-isolating, he was still enthusiastically putting it about: “Thence to

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Betty Martin and there did tout ce que je voudrais avec her and drank and away by water, home and to dinner. Down to Deptford, loaded half 404 Not Found my goods and sent them away into safekeeping.” […]

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Laura Gascoigne: Uncomfortable Truths – September 2020

Laura Gascoigne September/October 2020 Six weeks ago, a Hampstead neighbour left a book on our doorstep. We have got used to acts of kindness from strangers; at


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the start of lockdown another neighbour

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posted a book of poetry through our door to cheer us up. My husband read it, and it did. But this book was different, as 404 Not Found was its […]

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Laura Gascoigne: Desperately Loose Ends – July 2020

Laura Gascoigne July/August 2020 You’re a 404 Not Found curator working at the V&A, and the place shuts down. What do you


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do? You’re at a loose end. April comes around and you’re stuck

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at home with your furloughed partner watching your gerbils spin around on the rolly wheel of life when an idea strikes you. Why should your pets enjoy normality as […]

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Dick French: On The Town – May 2020

Dick French May/June 2020 It’s interesting to read the letters of John Ruskin alongside those of Vincent van Gogh. Most people are aware that Ruskin became rather unbalanced with age, but from

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reading his correspondence with Euphemia (Effie) it seems to me he was quite mad from the
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start. It’s the manic density that impresses as much as 404 Not Found the content. […]

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Laura Gascoigne: Pox On All Our Galleries – May 2020

Laura Gascoigne May/June 2020 At the exit to Tate Modern’s Andy Warhol exhibition, the gift shop tills were 404 Not Found barricaded behind an airport queue management system. “You’re preparing for an invasion,” I joshed with a cashier as I emerged from the press view on 10 March. “We’re prepared for anything,” he replied. What

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they weren’t prepared for
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was nothing, which – […]

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Dick French: On The Town – March 2020

Dick French March/April 2020 Who now remembers the fashion 404 Not Found for wearing two pairs of trousers? It was all the rage in Camden Town

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twenty years ago but you seldom see it now. The outer pair would be cut at the knee to reveal the
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underlying pair. There’s one chap on Queen’s Crescent who carries on the tradition. Apart from the […]

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Laura Gascoigne: Battle of the Sexes – March 2020

Laura Gascoigne March/April 2020 Large woman to much smaller man at a party: “I love the idea of there being two


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sexes, don’t you?” James Thurber was the Thucydides of the gender war, dissecting its battlegrounds, victories and reversals with his pen: the fight in the grocery, the battle on the stairs; the

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rout where the men have 404 Not Found the women […]

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Laura Gascoigne: The Experience Economy – January 2019

Laura Gascoigne


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January/February 2019 The buzz of

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anticipation in the COL Ballroom in Davenport Iowa is audible, the audience murmurating like a flock of starlings; then the 404 Not Found first twangs of an electric guitar tuning up, followed by a smoky voice: “I’m going to ask one question before we start: Are y’all experienced?” “Yeah!” roars the crowd, unleashing a 10-minute guitar […]

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Laura Gascoigne: The Gold Standard – November 2019

Laura Gascoigne November/December 2019 In October of last year, under the title ‘The Midas Touch’, Sotheby’s held a special sale of


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‘objets de vertu’ made of

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gold. “In a world that speaks 6,900 languages,” cooed the catalogue, “the language of gold remains universal”. To prove it, the auction house promised to take collectors “on a journey through 404 Not Found the great civilisations […]