Friday, 24 August 2012


The background to these 1930s police mugshots is that they turned up in a junk shop in north east England and were donated to the Tyne and Wear Archives and Museum who uploaded them to Flickr whence they have gone viral. There's something morbidly fascinating about this collection of down at heel - and presumably long dead - petty criminals. The guy above should have been told that if you are going to wear a tie then a collar as well is a good idea.

The one above is very strange. One thing the mugshots have in common is that the subjects are downright hideous and this guy is no exception. The manuscript note is very odd though: 'Died in action Benwell Hotel'. Now of course 'died in action' would suggest dying in combat but our man was born in 1878 and would have been much to old to see action in World War Ii which would have been the only candidate. The Benwell Hotel, Mr Google tells me, is a pub in Newcastle upon Tyne. The only sense I can make of the note is that our man was killed either committing a crime at the Benwell Hotel or died in a pub fight and black police humour has taken over.

Most of the subjects just look rather crushed but this guy looks cocky. Presumably pleased as his sad nickname the 'Sunderland Kid'. It's notable how many were tattooed (see 'Marks'), which would have been relatively rare then, I think.

This guy looks like the young Peter Hitchens. Perhaps he is - follow the link to see Hitchens having a hilarious - erm - difference of opinion with Russell Brand. I like 'general thief and bad character'.

This guy cracks me up. He looks such a wide-boy. Probably not too good at crime though. Maybe should have stuck to gardening. And who was Evelyn and how did she feel about his bad life? Okay that's enough long dead villains ...

Sunday, 12 August 2012

We know what you did last summer - sorry weekend....

Well you'll know what I did last weekend after you've read this if you pluckily make it to the end. This blog isn't really about me as a general rule but rules are there to  be broken. Last weekend the rabbit and best friend set off on a sort of male Thelma and Louise (without the ending) type road trip to the rabbit's city of birth namely Leeds. Things did not start well when the rabbit grossly over-ran in court and had to tear down to Croydon and then up to Finchley to link with best friend and hire car. Only one and a half hours late. Then boot it up the M1. 

Arriving about 8.30pm, the rabbit recalled that he hadn't eaten since a slice of toast and a banana sometime just after 7 that morning. We head off into the city centre. We found a French place called La Grillade. Never been there before but it was rather wonderful. Finding somewhere really good when you are seriously hungry and would eat just about anything is a wonderful thing. The rabbit had the Bavette a l' Echalotte with fries and salad and half a bottle of the house red. Thus fortified, the rabbit and companion headed back to the hotel to drink beer and talk until 1am. We like to talk.

The next morning, the rabbit went for a solo walk round the city centre as best friend went to visit cousin. I once came across a legend about a man who fell asleep for 30 years and woke up not realising what had happened but finding everything familiar but altered. It's a bit like that when you go back to a familiar place after a long absence. One thing that has not changed is the statue of the Black Prince in City Square. The medieval person had nothing whatsoever to do with Leeds (why the statue is there is obscure - the theory in Wikipedia is that it was bought and put in place to suck up to the future Edward VII) but there he is as some odd sort of local mascot and also very popular with pigeons as can be seen on close examination of pic above.

The rabbit had set off in bright sunshine but on the way back the heavens opened and he - and in particular his trousers got soaked. Who needs to pack a spare pair of trousers for a weekend break? Not the rabbit! Attempts to dry the trousers in the hotel room with a hair dryer were less than a conspicuous success.  But then inspiration came. This is a hotel. Hotels always have irons. The man on reception delegated to to let anyone else in, the rabbit repaired to the laundry room, removed his trousers and dried them in double quick time with a seriously hot iron. Problem solved. Then off to Elland Road, home of Leeds United Football Club. It's in the DNA. It's in the larger small rabbit's DNA too. He complains to me 'what have you done to me? I'm a South London boy'


The rabbit had a piece of unfinished business at the club shop, he having bought the larger small rabbit a Leeds 1975 European Cup Final Replica shirt. The  larger small rabbit complained that it was too large (it was a large) so the rabbit has worn it since (see below). A medium sized shirt was acquired from the club shop and awaits the  larger small rabbit's return from holiday in Turkey. The rabbit also paid homage at the statue of King Billy and then off to do family things.

Saturday evening was spent in Whitelocks (above) - the oldest pub in Leeds (1715) and one seriously cool place. We had been looking forward to this and it did not disappoint. The rabbit had pork belly with garlic mash and something or the other jus washed down with  ... I forget what - one dark and one blonde beer but beyond that ... erm. This is turning into we know what you ate - sort of - last weekend. Then an odd thing happened. We decided on the cheese board. It arrived with frozen grapes. Cue much mystification from Thelma and Louise (male equivalents thereof). The waitress spoke hardly any English as seems to be custom these days. A lady from the next table came to the rescue. 'Jamie Oliver is very keen on frozen grapes' she explained helpfully.

Um righty.

Actually frozen grapes are pretty good.

Then on the Sunday off to the cricket at Headingley as threatened in the last posting here. rather like the trip around the city centre, it was odd but good to be back at Headingley after many years. For American readers, this was day 4 of the Test (5 day international game) between England and South Africa and the main event of the weekend. And again for American readers, yes cricket matches can go on for 5 days without a result. Makes sense to us. And yes the rain can hugely mess with them.

At first, all was well (see above). Then it started raining. The rain started hugely messing with the cricket. Below is the rain coming down, the open stands abandoned, their occupants under cover and the beginnings of ponding middle left just below plastic sheeting put on to try and protect the surface.

After a stop/start the game was abandoned for the day mid afternoon. It's a hazard of following cricket. So it goes but it was fun like it lasted. Cue another long journey back to the rabbit residence. Here are Thelma and Louise (rabbit on right in shades - note the Leeds 1975 European Cup Final Replica shirt) waiting in vain for the cricket to restart. 

Oh and by way of further narcissism, I've been meaning to post the link to a podcast I did on the Charon QC blog a while ago. Now that's enough about me ;)

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Olympics and Headingley

The above is pinched from the Charon QC blog. The person bottom left is named Jeremy Hunt. He is Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and is thus sort of in charge of the Olympics. He is also a total knob but the rabbit digresses. The caption is there because the clowns having the security contract - G4S (Group 4 Security - a shower with a track record of cluelessness and worse) contrived to fail to recruit enough security staff for the London Olympics. This failure was discovered at the last minute and the British Army was drafted in to make up the shortfall.

The next problem was empty seats. To have empty seats is considered unthinkable as the empty seats would tend to suggest that the relevant events were less than riveting (rabbit question: if most of these sports were any good to watch, why aren't they on the tv all the time?). Empty seats being a no-no the poor army gets drafted in to occupy them. The empty seats are apparently not those sold to the public but those denied to the public by virtue of them going instead to the 'Olympic family' (sic), corporate sponsors etc. - who then don't turn up. What is interesting about the photo is that if you look at the faces of the soldiers, most of them look bored to death. One can only wonder why ...

The rabbit is however hopping off oop north for the weekend, complete with ticket for the Sunday of the Headingley Test. Happily nothing to do with the Olympics. For the unintiated, the cricket ground is on the left, the rugby ground on the right ...

Jerry Garcia - 70th birthday

There is an odd contemporary thing that just being dead doesn't stop your birthday being celebrated and today is the late, great Jerry Garcia's 70th birthday and the rabbit can go along with marking that event. Happy Birthday Sir!

Plus today is also Yorkshire Day and the rabbit duly waves the white rose flag with pride!