Brain food:Epoisses

Beta bear: Danny

I should never be allowed out to shop unsupervised. My last solo outing went off piste in classic style.

Drawn by the gravitational pull of Waitrose cheese counter I picked a promising goat, some Duchy brie and a saggy and mega-stinky Burgundian Epoisses. This was placed in a pong-dampening pot and looked like a section of brain in a specimen jar. Next, to the butcher for two marbled steaks each the size of a gorilla’s flipflop (thong if you’re in Oz).

But the eyebrow-raising purchase was a large, sad, slumped teddy bear reduced to clear. Danny Bear now sits in the office beta-reading my sixth Danny Lancaster crime thriller which is bumping along nicely. The working title FIDO has been set aside in favour of THE HUNT FOR DANNY LANCASTER. Roll on Christmas!


I WAS on a train opposite a young man with an American Tourister R2D2 Star Wars cabin bag (I Googled it later). A thin guy in a baseball cap hesitantly asked: “Do you mind if I take a photo of your case? My partner would love it. She’ll be so jealous.”
Strong with Baseball Cap Guy the Force was.


MY brother and I visited the Imperial War Museum which we first toured as kids awed by the array of killing machines. Today’s museum is more peace, less war, but too many topics are squeezed to incoherence.

WWI is packed with stuff but needs more space. The Middle East campaign is a foot of Hejaz rail track and Lawrence of Arabia’s headdress rope.

WWII is a mishmash in the space of a large living room. Hidden in shadow is the Union Jack that surrendered Singapore. Afghanistan is pretty much a film and the Camp Bastion sign. On the plus side, Lord Ashcroft’s VC collection is impressive. It includes Iraq hero Johnson Beharry, SOE agent Violette Szabo, William Leefe Robinson who shot down a Zeppelin and John Chard, officer commanding Rorke’s Drift made famous by the film Zulu.

My brother and I don’t need to be taught the importance of peace. We had expert teachers in the parents and grandparents who fought. But it would be helpful to understand the history and the hardware.


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