The International Churchill Society – celebrating individualism

This week I attended a champagne reception for the International Churchill Society (of which I am member) at the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill. The event launched the new Churchill book ‘How Churchill Waged War’ by ‘Allen Packwood’. The evening was opened by Randolph Churchill, and then Mr Packwood provided an overview of his book and the research he had undertaken into the subject (he is the senior archivist at Churchill College).IMG_1813

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About me

Welcome to my blog, a growing and evolving collection of my thoughts, ideas, experiences and suggestions on the work and lifestyle of a CEO working in the not-for-profit sector.

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From top left: With Molly (my dog); The Georgian Ambassador to the UK; Visiting the Chelsea Pensioners; With Dr Frank Thies, Aberdeen University; Dr Mark Downs CEO Royal Society of Biology; At JJ Fox Cigars in St James (Churchill’s Birthday celebration); Escaping at Escape-London having cracked the Di Vinci Code; Bury St Edmunds Christmas Market; With my Fabulous wife 

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Thomas Clipper – thank you for introducing me to the joy of traditional shaving

A few years ago I made a conscious effort to slow down in life, to ‘enjoy the moment’, and part of that journey has been a rediscovery of classic items which by their definition encourages a more relaxed, and perhaps sedate, refined or even dignified, approach to life. My Filofax, my fountain pen, handwriting notes, not owning a car, enjoying lunch (again), are just a few examples. It was inevitable that I would eventually turn to the art of shaving. However, this recently happened quite by chance and in an unplanned manner.

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The timeless appeal of Filofax

Filofax is a unique element of ‘Englishness’, notwithstanding how incorrect that term may now be in our liberal post-Brexit world. I am not afraid to say I am proud to retain a open respect to my country’s origins and its history and traditions. Culture remains a very important element of our identity and I genuinely fear the implications of that loss of identity to the wider tolerance in our society.

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Return of the Cravat – a contemporary look

Of all the decisions I recall making in my recent journey to explore the boundaries of style and what it means to a middle aged man, I think the most challenging has been whether or not to embrace the wearing of a cravat. The cravat, once an easy to wear item of leisure clothing, now has several connotations:
  • Will wearing a cravat make one look ridiculously old fashioned?
  • Is the cravat (as suggested by Bernard Roetzel in his book ‘Gentleman’) something only a film director, a playboy in a film script, or a military officer at weekends wears?
  • In our ‘relaxed’ society where everyone seems now to be dressed ‘casually’ is there a need to define we are in relaxed/casual mode by donning a cravat?
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The great Terry Thomas

I am, as regular readers will know, inspired by the vintage styles of the 1920s and 1930s, and constantly on the look out for ways to take these vintage images and adopt them to today’s more contemporary style. The cravat, notwithstanding my above hesitations, is so prevalent in that era it naturally became an item I wished to adopt. But why wear one today at all?

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Is there a link between slobbish behaviour and casual dress?

Following on from the recent strange decision by the Speaker of the House of Commons to allow MPs to discard ties in Parliament, you can probably imagine my joy when I read the headline ‘golfer wears a tie in the Open’. Perhaps, I thought, all is not lost in the declining sartorial state of the world. My joy was however short lived when I eventually found an image of the said golfer and his tie.

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How I became one of the best dressed men at Newmarket Races

In the space of just a few minutes yesterday I went from casual ‘punter’ at the Races to being faced by a media scrum (for the first time in my life!). They all wanted to take my photograph. But why?

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The third Friday of July is one of my favourite days of the year. My wife and I travel the short 55 minute train journey from home in Ipswich to Newmarket to attend the July festival of horse racing. We enjoy a leisurely two hour lunch in the excellent Mozart’s in the Premier Enclosure and then head the finish line on the course and watch the 6 races thunder by. A modest wager on each race is necessary, and we traditionally win one or two of those – certainly enough to cover all the wagers of the day! Continue reading “How I became one of the best dressed men at Newmarket Races”