Today is the one and only, official, World Pasta Day. And, no, that's not an internet invention. Today really IS World Pasta Day. And to commemorate it, the great and the good of the pasta-making world will be gathered to enjoy a riveting day based around the theme of "Pasta: the perfect choice for a tasty, healthy and sustainable diet".
Looking for hand-crafted, fresh egg tagliatelle? The perfect ragù recipe? Today is, probably, not for you, because today is all about the dried stuff, made with durum wheat, which Sicilians were eating as early as the twelfth century. Over in these parts, we love a good pasta. But we love Italian liquor even more. And so, in the spirit of Italian cuisine we're skipping straight to dessert with a Affogato cocktail.
For a fix of sardonic humour, and some of the UK's finest investigative journalism never to have relied on phone-tapping, Private Eye is a must-read - despite, or perhaps because of, its resolutely old skool approach to typesetting, the internet and suchlike.
Its first edition, cut and pasted using typewriters and Letraset, rolled off the presses on this day fifty years ago, a simple selection of jokes and cartoons. Despite these inauspicious beginnings, Private Eye is still going strong today. It is the UK's best-selling current affairs magazine and sells over 200,000 copies a fortnight. It continues to poke fun at those in power and expose fakes and frauds of every kind.
Happy Birthday, Private Eye. We are toasting your twisted humour with a Twisted Sobriety, and wishing you fifty more years of success.
Geoffrey Chaucer was crucial in establishing the legitimacy of vernacular Middle English, when the dominant literary languages in England were French and Latin.
Widely considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages, and most famously known for his Canterbury Tales, on this day in 1400 Chaucer became the first poet to be buried in Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey. Canterbury Tales differs from other literature of the period in terms of its naturalism, its varied characters and the variety of stories the pilgrims tell. Today we are toasting this great work with a Pilgrim cocktail.