Chargé d’affaires will no longer come out quarterly. 

It will for now be made up of dispatches posted here every now and then.

A pool party
An L. A. pool party, Ruddock


The Late Summer Issue

London snows beat us to it. Meant for October, it just slipped by; our gathered notes from overseas.
Callum & Oliver 

La Famossisima Repubblica Angelina

“A young Botticelli, hungover, sips a macha and snaps a few selfies. The Medicis bicker, worried about the profitability of their chain of health spas, chomping on SweetGreens, topping themselves up with lip fillers. ”
Callum Ruddock

New York


A first poem for Chargé. Much needed. From
a Californian at Brasenose, whom Oliver met at Merton’s ball.
Madeleine Lamm


“Severe population shrinkage, uncontested materialism, and the widespread phenomenon of young people checking out of society (and even life) are problems that all nations will soon face. When it comes to societal crises, Japan is again simply ahead.”

La Famossisima Repubblica Angelina
Callum Ruddock

Iimagine XVth century Florence wasn’t too different from Los Angeles. In between two palm trees and a Chevron, Masaccio would have sat down for his morning iced coffee. Renaissance men jog topless. It is hot. The air is hot. Leather car seats are hot. A young Botticelli, hungover, sips a macha and snaps a few selfies. The Medicis bicker, worried about the profitability of their chain of health spas, chomping on SweetGreens, topping themselves up with lip fillers. Angelinos as much as Florentines enjoy the end of summer in their city state.

At the Brentwood Country Mart I suck up a takeout lunch. A big bowl of leafy greens. All water cress. Heaps of the stuff. With cheese. Fork in one hand, book in the other. A peripheral celebrity has wandered in. She orders a big cup of soda; spills half of it all over herself. It must be easy with fame so commonplace, fame with less attention; big names cheaper by the dozen, one amongst a crowd of many influencers, Los Angeles is a haven. My fork hand is slapped. I am told to stop gawking, that I cannot fully appreciate the food whilst looking, but I am not convinced; it is not the sustenance I am interested in. Absorbing two things at once: bagels and Rosecrans Baldwin – a writer and L. A. resident whose name is so American the likes of Butch Van Artsdalen, Robert August, and Corky Caroll begin to sound foreign.

Rosecrans tells me, “Los Angeles is covered in gold if you’re a writer.” I try very hard to find it. I look at the sea, try to taste it in the supermarket, but it is too much and I am forced to retreat to the air-conditioning of my friend’s station wagon, always ending up in Brentwood where the city’s life swirls and stops. Los Angeles has plenty of patrons here, way up in the Hills, people with money to pay for the city state’s trinkets and ornaments, for its shows and restaurants. And then there is me chomping on what remains of Los Angeles’ salad.

Another Day on Danger Island

ear N.,

This is my finally writing to you from Japan. I apologise it has taken so long. Whilst the last four months I have enjoyed that deep feeling of freedom you get from breathing new air and looking over previously only imaginable frontiers, it has also been a relentless struggle to build from scratch that which back home was carefully cultivated over many years.

Whenever I arrive in another country–it doesn’t matter where–I find myself breathing a sigh of relief for having made it out of Britain. I think there is something about its size I find oppressive.

Despite the first feeling of boundless possibility moving somewhere new, the horizon quickly recedes; the borders of our new lives creep closer and closer until is clear what the limits of our small existences will be. In my panicked search for the exit, it seems I have escaped one stifling rock in the middle of the sea for another.

Nevertheless, I do not feel any of us are qualified to judge this nation, for we truly have no idea. When travelling, I am often disconcerted by the startling lack of culture shock: nowadays you can go to any developed place in the world and live an almost identical life to the one you left behind. But Japan is still a country shrouded in mystery, and the more you see, the more you realise what cannot be seen.


New York. In the rain. Now the snow. She is
at it again. Heartbreak. Soulsong. Sunlight dancing

down the late night grocery store aisles laughing stop
filming me. Phosphorescent in matching blue lace.

In half-hearted rakes of ringed fingers
through chopped blonde waves.

Circular and herself in the not quite natural
light of rippling moon on lamplit streets.

Who couldn’t love you looking like this.
Selkie, slippery, elegant, proud.

Madeleine Lamm

Distracting tattle or long-sighed views of lost worlds from odd corners. Chargé d'affaires is a practice in cosmopolitan reporting and eclectic essays. It is both a dispatch and a bulletin. A commentary and a briefing. An account of the globe. Or quite simply, life looked at.

Chargé d'affaires - Depuis 2020