"The Awesome Hen"

A chronicle of life in a tiny English village

Royal Ascot Hats!

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Royal Ascot Hats!





Royal Ascot Hats!





Hats Off to Lady Eftie Nudge’s Royal Ascot Hats!

Lord and Lady Eftie Nudge have been racing all week. They flew the Castle Coop flag for us all at Royal Ascot.

Lady Nudge cipher

I am delighted to feature ‘A Stylish Selection of Ascot Hats’ below so we can all enjoy seeing the remarkable headgear Lady Nudge wore throughout the Royal Ascot week.



The Queen Anne Stakes



The Prince of Wales's Stakes

Ladies’ Day:

Ladies' Day


King Edward V11 Stakes



The Chesham Stakes

Picture source: Lady Eftie Nudge



If you look hard enough at the pictures of Ascot race-goers in this link below


perhaps you’ll see Lady Nudge waving from a box near the Queen’s one in the Royal Enclosure.



Yours wondering if I should take up hat-wearing (although my social events mostly take place chatting by the supermarket check-out).

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Books and Cornflake Packets…

Posted by in Castle Coop News | 10 comments

Books and Cornflake Packets…








Books and Cornflake Packets…

Good Heavens!

The outgoing Eton Headmaster, Tony Little has drawn up a list of books which he believes every bright 16-year-old should read.

Unfortunately, just looking at his list makes my brain feel as if it’s overheating.

Eton book list

Hurrah! There are c. 400,000 Wunderkinder in the UK

Those born in 1999 (c. 400,000 in the UK alone),  for most of whom this list has been specifically dreamed up, must be wunderkinder !

Or maybe one or two bright 16 year olds will read his recommendations and feel dizzy too…  What do you think? Take a look at Tony Little’s recommended titles…

Mr. Little’s  List:


Gulliver’s Travels– Jonathan Swift

David Copperfield– Charles Dickens

Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad

The Age of Innocence – Edith Wharton

Atonement – Ian McEwan

Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro

The Bonfire of the Vanities – Tom Wolfe

Literature in Translation:

The Elegance of the Hedgehog – Muriel Barbery

The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Tschick – Wolfgang Herrndorf

The Master and Margarita – Mikhail Bulgakov

The Path to the Nest of Spiders – Italo Calvino

The Sin/Crime of Father Amaro – José  Maria de Eça de Queirós

Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World – Haruki Murakami

Wolf Totem – Jiang Rong

Beirut 39 – Samuel Shimon and Hanan Al-Shaykh


Bad Science – Ben Goldacre

The Power of Place: Geography, Destiny and Globalisation’s  Rough Landscape – Matt Ridley

Six Easy Pieces – Richard Feynman


Sophie’s World – Jostein Gaarder


Rethinking Life and Death – Peter Singer


The Case for Religion – Keith Ward

The Sea of Faith – Don Cupitt

History of Art:

Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling – Ross King

The Story of Art – Ernst Gombrich


Blimey! – From Bohemia to BritPop – Matthew Collings

The Horse’s Mouth – Joyce Cary


The First Crusade: The Call from the East – Peter Frankopan

The Realities Behind Diplomacy – Paul Dennedy


Almost Everyone’s Guide to Economics – J K Galbraith

The Affluent Society – J K Galbraith


In Defence of Politics – Bernard Crick


The Power of Place: Geography, Destiny and Globalisation’s  Rough Landscape – Harm de Blij

On the Map: A Mind-Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Looks – Simon Garfield


The Iliad – Homer trans. Martin Hammond

Confronting the Classics – Traditions, Adventures and Innovations – Mary Beard


To Infinity and Beyond: A Cultural History of the Infinite – Eli Maor

Algorithmics: The Spirit of Computing – David Harel and Yishai Feldman


A Very Short Introduction – Nicholas Cook


The Language of Things – Deyan Sudjic

& as a Breakfast time Bonus:

 Cereal Packets –    ‘Children should be encouraged to read from their cereal boxes at breakfast time, the headmaster of Britain’s most prestigious private school has claimed. ‘  Source: The Daily Mail

My wasted youth

 Just think of today’s lucky 16 year olds who get to hide all these riverting reads under their desks during latin lessons. 

If only  ‘The Power of Place: Geography, Destiny and Globalisation’s  Rough Landscape ‘  had been published when I was young, I’m quite sure I should now have an improved mind.  Alas, books such as ‘The Catcher in the Rye’  and ‘To Kill a Mockingbird‘ made up my 16 year old reading diet; I can see now that they simply do not cut the mustard.  

 I could kick myself – why oh why did I not think to read ‘The Realities Behind Diplomacy’  instead of wasting my time with ‘Anna Karenina‘?  To think I never even had the nouce to take up cereal packet reading to build up my reading stamina muscles..!

 Mr. Little’s booklist is to be found in a tome he has written called, ‘ An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Education ’, which is currently being serialised in The Times. Unfortunately, I can’t even understand the title.

Please could somebody enlighten me – does the ‘intelligent person ‘ in the title refer to the author (Tony Little ) or the reader?

Much as I’d like to think it’s the latter, since this reading list has outed me as a total thicko, I’m assuming it’s the former.

Yours, wondering – since this list has been drawn up with ‘bright’ 16 year olds in mind – which books should the precociously intellectual teenager be asking for at the library?

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