Reginald Bosanquet

Posted by Ed Fri, 02 Feb 2007 23:10:00 GMT

If the name Reginald Bosanquet reminds you of nothing more than a satirical ditty from Not The Nine O’Clock News then you are probably at least as young as me.

But when I saw this 1977 drawing of the man by Barry Fantoni, the cartoonist, pianist and creator of Private Eye’s EJ Thribb, I wanted to know more.

Wikipedia tells us, amongst other things, that he was a news reader:

Bosanquet’s partnership with Anna Ford on ITN News was very popular in the late 1970s, but he became a controversial figure in British television. Viewers were sometimes not impressed by his competence at reading the news, he was often clearly puzzled by the correct pronunciation of foreign names, and by news stories containing technical matters he did not understand. [citation needed] He was also widely rumoured to be a heavy drinker, nicknamed “Reginald Beaujolais” or “Reginald Boozalot”.

Thanks to Ugandan Discussions for this 1979 Private Eye cover.

Maybe I’ll post the NTNON song once I get round to digitising that particular LP.

21st century origami

Posted by Ed Fri, 02 Feb 2007 17:23:00 GMT

how to fold a T-shirt the easy way, or at least the Japanese way:

Super-sharp and aesthetic too 1

Posted by Ed Thu, 01 Feb 2007 10:43:00 GMT

There is plenty of reference material out there if you like to keep your kitchen knives really sharp. For example try Steve’s Knife Sharpening Links at

A sharp knife is safer (less likely to slip) than a blunt one, will increase your speed and generally be much more satisfing to use.

There are many techniques and tools in use. For culinary use I recommend whetstones lubricated with water.

My advice is as follows:

Anyone for ortolan? 7

Posted by Ed Tue, 30 Jan 2007 09:50:00 GMT

I was given a copy of Simon Courtauld’s recent piece in The Spectator about the rarified gastronomy of ortolans. (Don’t bother trying to read it online; you can’t.)

A couple of facts cited in this entertaining piece about eating these tiny and highly prized birds puzzled me.


  1. it is common to put a napkin over your head whilst eating them

  2. the means of killing is often drowning in Armagnac

Larousse sheds light on the first:

Some gourmands cover their heads with their napkins while they are eating the birds so as to lose none of the aroma. The inventor of this ritual is a priest, a friend of the Brillat-Savarin family (citing James de Coquet)

It would be helpful if anyone can shed light on the Armagnac part.

Don’t bother asking your high-class butcher for ortolan. The birds are now protected and you will have to travel to France or Italy with your napkin if you want to eat one.

But before you go crazy with ortolan-envy, bear in mind Larousse’s warning that the bird:

is prized even more by those who know only the name than by those who have tasted it (citing Grimod de La Reyniere)

Less insanely-priced HP toner, no hidden shipping

Posted by Ed Tue, 30 Jan 2007 09:36:00 GMT

Needing a new B&W toner for an HP 2100 (C4096A) and seeing that Viking Direct and Staples were both seeking to gouge me for more than £70 plus delivery, I soon found who sold me the same HP-branded toner for £51 including delivery.

Webrick on XP: starts OK then hangs on first request?

Posted by Ed Tue, 30 Jan 2007 00:09:00 GMT

I had this problem and found the solution:

netsh winsock reset


If anyone knows how to get XP to un-confuse itself without requiring a reboot, then it would be good to know.

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