Hit & Run: Love you, Bunnikins
Thursday 21 May 2009
To find that Carla Bruni calls President Sarkozy by the nickname chouchou ("little cauliflower") is endearing, if only because it's hard to imagine Sarah Brown doing the same – no matter how much of a legume we may think her husband. Nicknames perform a humanising function: they give grim, unsmiling public figures a cute counter-identity, just as stern teachers in junior school are given nicknames to subvert their awful authority.
It's good to know that Michelle Obama refers to her husband as "Pumpski" though nobody has a clue what it means. Maybe it's something rude, as with "Rosebud", William Randolph Hearst's nickname for his mistress Marion Davis, or, more precisely, for her clitoris. It's nice to know Winston Churchill was "Pug" to Clemmie, while she was his "Cat." How odd to find the sainted Lady Churchill shares a nom d'amour with Lillian "Pusscat" Crawford in The Archers. Celebrities seem more approachable when we know they have names bestowed by their spouses. We think better of Sting after being told that his wife Trudi calls him "Pookie," after the pathetic winged rabbit in the 1945 children's book (I recall that he gets less pathetic, and his wings grow huge, ahem, when he meets Belinda the woodcutter's daughter.) Guy Ritchie used to call Madonna "Madge" when they were together; now it's more likely to be "It..." And did you know the Duke of Edinburgh has a name for the Queen? Apparently, it's "Cabbage." Nom d'un chien! So that's where Carla got the idea.
Do aviators wear Aviators?
Uniforms are rarely on-trend. A Co-op fleece or a policeman's helmet will never be a fashion staple, but what about the lucky few with groovy workwear? "Do aviators wear Aviators?" Slate.com asked recently and the answer is yes, they do. And the classic Ray-Ban (named because they banish sunlight for squinty pilots) has become a seasonless classic, even for those without their wings. Then there are Barbours, whose democratisation from Lord of the Manor to Lily Allen has helped towards ending Britain's feudal system. What next, hi-vis jackets and hard hats? Possibly – Prada sent waders down the catwalk while Miu Miu showed tabard-like aprons. Trout farmers and dinner ladies will be mollified, at least.
Shove affair gone sour
It ranks alongside a 147 at snooker or 180 at darts as the pinnacle of sporting achievement. But the thrill of scoring a perfect five at shove ha'penny could be lost to future generations after the last remaining league called it a day because young people prefer pool. The object of the game, which has been played in pubs since the 15th century, is to propel a pre-decimal ha'penny so it lands between the lines of nine oblongs etched onto the board. Opponents take turns to despatch their five ha'pennies using outstretched palms in a bid to become the winner by landing three separate coins in each zone. The enduring appeal of the game lies both in its simplicity and its skill, and, of course, the fact it can be played while drunk.
- 1 Reader dilemma: 'Our son is 34 with an IQ of 85, and spends all his time in his room. What will happen to him when we're no longer here?'
- 2 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 3 Russian officials ban yoga because it's too much like a religious cult
- 4 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 5 Ginger Pride festival to take place next summer, organisers say 'time of bullying gingers is over'
Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
People are American flagging their Facebook profile pictures in response to those rainbow flagging them
Ginger Pride festival to take place next summer, organisers say 'time of bullying gingers is over'
Historic meeting between Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox head 'getting closer'
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS
Tunisia beach attack: How can British Muslims respond to the latest outrages?
£40000 - £50000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - West London - £...
£17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£55 - 65k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: A HR Manager / HR Business Partner i...
£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Company's vision is to be t...