1. Ernest Eldridge’s monster Fiat, Mephistopheles Back in 1923, British racing legend Ernest Eldridge bought an old Fiat racing car cheap after it had ‘blown’ a couple of cylinders at Brooklands. He lengthened the chassis and installed a 21.5 litre aero-engine developing 350 hp, driving the rear wheels by chain. He promptly broke the standing-start … More Three deco-era things I don’t own… yet…
Branding has always meant the experience people get when they engage with ‘the brand’. You know – if you buy this product, you’ll have a wonderful barbecue experience on the beach with great friends, even though (to me, anyway) this has nothing obvious to do with products such as carbonated cola drinks containing sugar and … More How to get a very strong visual brand for your books
When I was a kid, I was always fascinated by the colour schemes of various public buildings around New Zealand – libraries, rest rooms and such like. They were true late-deco era structures, and often they featured late-modernist style mosaics or murals of soldiers and people from the early 1940s, all in period colouring of … More The art deco war – remembered for today
I’ve seen suggestions of late that we shouldn’t call today’s intolerant authoritarians ‘Nazis’, because the word is specific to the political party that came to power in Germany in 1933. Actually, I think ‘Nazi’ is great term to describe such behaviour. Why? Because the underlying forces involved are the same. The crimes against humanity perpetrated … More Why we have to call out intolerance and hatred
It is 104 years since the First War began, this month – and a century, this year, since it ended. The nations involved in it had all variously been involved in longer wars before. And the main combatants fought a longer war later: the Second World War, which pitted the same major nations against each … More Echoes of the guns of August – why we remember the First World War so poignantly
A decade or so ago I wrote a book on the psychology of military heroism. How is it, I wondered, that ordinary, everyday people, can find strength in themselves to do the extraordinary? It is a test to which many everyday people were put during the dominating wars of the twentieth century, when whole populations … More The search for the hero
Over the years I’ve written a fair number of books – over fifty, in fact. Almost all have been published traditionally. And that’s given me an immense back-list. Which, I’m pleased to say, is back. I had to say that, didn’t I. You know – back list… back… But I digress. The hot news is … More A really big piece of hot news. Really. Big.