Or, why I’m an Anglophile.
From the Sept. 2008 Oldie:
“[Duncan] Campbell recalls bumping into former bank robber Bobby King in a pub. ‘He had done an Open University degree in prison. He was reading To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. I mentioned this to another bank robber I knew who’d also done an OU degree and, without blinking, he replied, ‘Not her best.'”
From Maureen Lipman’s essay on appearing in a regional production of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, with her dog, and her dog’s understudy: “Chichister audiences accepted a black Labrador in rural Russia with the same aplomb as they’d accepted the barkless dog of the African Congo. … Our favourite comment on the production was made by two white-haired ladies wearing floral dresses as they left the theatre: ‘Well, I thought it was very enjoyable, didn’t you, Mary? But why on earth they had to set it in Russia is beyond me.'”
Jeremy Lewis writing about ‘prolific playwright and diarist Simon Gray,’ who died in August: “But he was also extremely funny. Writing in the Observer, Claire Tomalin recalled how Harold Pinter sent the cricket-loving Gray a poem he had just written, which read ‘I saw Len Hutton in his prime / Another time, another time.’ Hearing nothing, he rang for a reaction. ‘I haven’t finished reading it yet,’ Gray replied.”
Phrase to use more often: barking mad.