Craig Brown

Quote Topics Cited
A decent beard has long been the number one must-have fashion item for any fugitive from justice.
Alan Whicker may be the last Briton to have worn a silver-buttoned blazer with complete confidence.
All the wealthiest people in the U.S. seem compelled to brag about how humble they are.
Andrew Lloyd Webber is one of those odd moth-like creatures who seem to combine extreme discomfort with the spotlight with an unstoppable compulsion to leap into it.
As a rough rule of thumb, I would say the smaller the pond, the more belligerent the fish.
As life goes on, we accrue more and more loseable objects. Providence dictates that objects that are too large to lose, such as houses, always come with tiny little keys, specially designed to give you the slip. Life
By and large, the artistic establishment disapproved of Margaret Thatcher.
Children are perfectly happy to sit next to spiders; it is only grown-ups who are frightened away.
Cleanliness is the scourge of art. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Comedy is the slave of time. What seemed funny then is unlikely to seem funny now, just as what strikes us as funny now would not have seemed funny then. Time ;Humor
Everyone must know by now that the aim of Scrabble is to gain the moral high ground, the loser being the first player to slam the board shut and upset all the letters over the floor.
For some reason, it is always thrilling to spot your home town in the news.
Historians are the consummate hairdressers of the literary world: cooing in public, catty in private.
How I hate the Beautiful Game! I hate its cry-baby players and its gruff, joyless managers, its blokish supporters and its sinister owners, its whistle-peeping referees and its chippy little linesmen, its excitable commentators and - perhaps most of all - its unpluggable 'analysts.'
I have twice met Jeffrey Archer, and on both occasions was struck by the firmness of his handshake - and the way he looked me straight in the eye, too.
In its heyday, the blazer had come to symbolise a kind of conventional decency. Yacht club commodores and school bursars wore blazers. People who played bowls wore blazers.
In real life, nothing would be more tedious than trailing around after two strangers as they went house-hunting in Hertfordshire. But for some reason, television is more compelling than real life. Life
It is hard being a football loather, a football unfan. I sometimes feel as lonely as the sole survivor in the last reel of a Zombie film, as, one by one, old friends reveal themselves, with their glassy stares and outstretched arms, to have succumbed to the lure.
It is only if you happen to be a newscaster that the tongue-twister spells peril.
It strikes me that golf's great virtue is that it gets you out of the house, away from everyday bothers, away from the endless round of looking for this, that and the other.
Just as there is something about an empty skip that makes you want to fill it, so there is something about a full skip that makes you want to empty it.
Like Christians, Soccerians argue that you should not judge the essence of their faith by the loopy activities of its followers. But the Beautiful Game is in fact quite the opposite. It is badly designed and riddled with flaws. Religion & God
Like many men who play tennis, when I hit a ball into the net, I tend to look daggers at my racket, reproaching it for playing so badly when I myself have been trying so hard.
Like many men, I am highly skilled in the art of losing things but prefer to outsource the recovery process. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Like the firm handshake and looking people straight in the eye, the blazer had originally been a symbol of trust. Because of this, it had been purloined by the less-than-trustworthy and became their preferred disguise. Trust
Like the periwig and the bowler bat, the plus-four and the bow-tie, the blazer is on the way out, and those who persist in wearing it do so with a smattering of self-consciousness, a touch of obstinacy, even a pinch of camp.
Looking back, some of the happiest moments of my childhood were spent with my arm in packets of breakfast cereal, rootling around for a free gift.
Many people see the chance to eat something for nothing, without the need to cook or wash up, as the great consolation of going out to dinner. But they forget quite how difficult it is to talk to a stranger and eat at the same time. Time
Men know something that women don't know. Never ask directions of a stranger. Women
Monopoly may also end in tears, but its tensions are cruder, lacking the infinitely subtle shadings of irritation and acrimony provided by Scrabble.
More and more, I find that the news reads like a particularly random game of Consequences.
More often than not, theatre critics bubble with enthusiasm about plays that are, when all is said and done, really pretty average.
My father, a captain in the 5th Battalion of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, landed in Normandy the day after D-Day.
My life is a monument to procrastination, to the art of putting things off until later, or much later, or possibly never. Life ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Often, I grow irritated before the first tile has been placed on the Scrabble board. This generally occurs when one of my opponents has insisted upon bringing a dictionary to the table, making it clear that he will be consulting it throughout the game.
One of the many joys of tongue-twisters is that they serve no purpose beyond fun.
One of the tricks of life is to have sense and money in roughly equal proportions. Life ;Money, Coins & Minting
Over the years, the idea seems to have grown up that brightly coloured flowers are vulgar, and that the only flowers to be admitted to the walled garden of good taste are discreet and pastel-hued.
People think of waves as going in an orderly crash - whoosh - crash - whoosh, but in fact there are lots of different crashes and whooshes, all at different stages, and all going off at the same time. Time
Personally, I belong to the speedy school of golf. If it were left up to me, I would introduce a new rule that said every golf ball has to stay in motion from the moment it leaves the tee to the moment it plops into the hole, thus obliging each player to run along after his ball and give it another whack before it stops rolling.
Poets, for example, are generally considered starry-eyed and sensitive, but only by those who have never encountered one.
Some of the most untidy writers have also been the most productive. Iris Murdoch, for instance, wrote a good 30 books in a house strewn with rubbish.
Some people see life as a game of chess, while others prefer to see it as a game of cricket; but the longer I live, the more I think of it as a game of Consequences. Life
Somewhere in the back of their minds, hosts and guests alike know that the dinner party is a source of untold irritation, and that even the dullest evening spent watching television is preferable.
Speaking for myself, I spend a good ten minutes a day deciding whether or not to read the results of new surveys, and, once I have read them, a further five minutes deciding whether or not to take them seriously.
The best critics do not worry about what the author might think. That would be like a detective worrying about what a suspect might think. Instead, they treat the reader as an intelligent friend, and describe the book as honestly, and as entertainingly, as possible.
The British love of queuing and discomfort and being bossed around seems to have found a new outlet in the pop festival. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
The first sign builders are on their way is when - hey, presto! - a skip appears outside your house.
The first thing I hear when I wake up is the sea, which is so close to our house that its reflections from the sun dapple our bedroom ceiling.
The news is increasingly full of mismatched people saying daft things to one another.
The only behaviour that is truly common is to avoid doing something because you think others might consider it common.
There are few things quite so effortlessly enjoyable as watching an eminent person getting in a huff and flouncing out of a television interview, often with microphone trailing.
There's nothing wrong with procrastination. Or is there? I'll leave it to you to decide, but only if you have the time. Time
Traditionally, wake-up calls are meant to wake you up rather than send you to sleep: the clue is in the wording. But those who talk of wake-up calls tend to have an easy-going way with words.
Tweeting is the go-to medium for the show-off and the shyster.
What would we do without plaques to tell us who lived where and when? They introduce the past into the present, and are the quickest and most interesting way of reminding us that our streets exist above and beyond the here-and-now.
When cars honk and hoot and drunks squeeze out of car windows and scream, you can be sure that football is in the air.
When I tell people I don't own a mobile phone and wouldn't know how to text, they react as though I have just confessed that I can't read.
When I was a boy, I used to stay with a school friend in Bexhill, in Sussex, which was then well-known for being the town with more oldies than any other. Aged ten, I felt slightly embarrassed by this, though I'm not sure why.
When I was young, I used to expect Parisians to wear little black berets, to bicycle about with strings of onions around their necks, and to brandish long sticks of bread, just like they used to do in school textbooks.
Whenever television cameras are interviewing people in their homes, I tend to look over their shoulders and have a good snoop at their living rooms. I am always astonished at how clean they all look, with nothing out of place or unnecessary or dropped down any old how.
Women are more sensitive, more practical, more intelligent, more balanced, better able to deal with people, better cooks, better parents, better carers, better leaders, and so on and so forth. Women
Words have a life of their own. There is no telling what they will do. Within a matter of days, they can even turn turtle and mean the opposite. Life
You might think that religion was the one area in which professional jealousy would take a back seat. But no: ecclesiastical memoirs are as viperish as any, though their envy tends to cloak itself in piety. Religion & God