Peter Robins

As Andrew Murray rose to his first great Wimbledon defeat, we subs faced a difficult question.

What
was Henman Hill called now, exactly? “Mount Murray” seemed the early
consensus, but the Daily Mail is pushing for the classier “Murray
Mount” (it won’t be the too-good-tohurry Mount until he wins over five
sets). At The Guardian, with more forgiving headline counts, they tried
harder: “Murray field of dreams”.

Maybe too hard?

North
Notts lad Robert Hendy- Freegard was also attracting epithets: “King
Con”; “The Most Evil Conman Ever”. The end of his trial brought
sumptuous write-ups almost everywhere. But I was most impressed with
Michael Horsnell of The Times and Gordon Rayner of the Mail, because
they remembered a detail that lessens his victims’ humiliation. Hendy-
Freegard, among other things, convinced three agriculture students that
he was a spy and they needed to hide from the IRA. It sounds less
stupid once you know there was a bombing nearby not long before, and
police raided student halls of residence.

I was pleased to hear
Notts voices on Today this week, and for more honourable reasons.
Residents of Laneham recalled Armengol, the Catalan propaganda
cartoonist given refuge from Franco in their village pub. He fished,
apparently, but when he had an idea, he would dump his gear on the bank
and rush inside to draw. Very Ealing comedy.

The best thing was to see one of my favourite columnists resurface.

Emily Yoffe writes frustratingly occasional “Human Guinea Pig”

pieces for the US webzine Slate. Her schtick – “I do things the rest of you have too much dignity to do yourself”

– isn’t original. Her dares – entering a beauty contest, busking – would be pedestrian to a lads’ mag.

But
she spares herself nothing, writes without hype or machismo, and builds
mean comic momentum. This time she gives a jazz recital, despite a
singing voice “like a police scanner searching for a frequency”.
Because it’s online rather than print, you can even listen to her
performance. Better still, because it’s online rather than broadcast,
you don’t have to.

Peter Robins is a sub-editor on the Nottingham Evening Post

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