Real life

Real liferss

ThinkstockPhotos-186333494

My podgy thumbs will never be iPhone-compatible

23 May 2015

You can’t always get what you want. And you can never get what you want if you want a phone with buttons. I’ve been nursing along an old BlackBerry. Well,… Read more

Chuka Umunna: Future leader?  (Photo: Getty)

My rich leftie neighbours must be in a state of psychotic denial — or stoned

16 May 2015

The ‘I’m Voting For Chuka’ posters in my rich neighbours’ front windows pushed me over the edge. There is nothing so likely to galvanise one’s inner Tory than the sight… Read more

ThinkstockPhotos-86513883

I only left Emily unattended in the open for 60 seconds

9 May 2015

In the seemingly endless search for somewhere nice to live in modern Britain, where parking is not subject to martial law, I went house-hunting in the Surrey Hills. I began… Read more

This rabbit may, or may not, support the Greens (Image: Thinkstock)

Why I'd never own a rabbit hutch – or vote Green

2 May 2015

‘I suppose,’ said my dad philosophically, ‘I could always vote Green.’ ‘Oh, for goodness sake! Not you as well!’ I screamed, as the entire restaurant looked round to see what… Read more

Real

Maybe it is time to hang up my fighting boots

25 April 2015

As a wise person once said (or if they didn’t, they should have), there is only one thing worse than being wrong and that is being right. I always get… Read more

real

I’m just not cut out to be a local activist

18 April 2015

By and large, I’m not really sure the world is ready for me to join the steering committee of a community project in Lambeth seeking Lottery funding. It sounds like… Read more

Emergency Call

OK, Aviva, that’s well over £1,400 that you owe me

11 April 2015

After I phoned the Aviva call centre for the ten thousandth time, a girl called Adele had to sort it in the end. If she hadn’t, I would have climbed… Read more

Hello Dorking...

Farewell, Cobham — oh flat, boring, lovely Cobham; hello, Dorking

4 April 2015

Farewell then, Cobham. You were the place I ran to when the metropolis became too much, and urban life overwhelmed me. You were to me a shining beacon of blandness… Read more

real

I gave the blasted Paltrow method a go and allowed a bit of conscious uncoupling to creep in

28 March 2015

The builder boyfriend has a new girlfriend. I suppose he was bound to move on eventually. I just never thought he would move on this quickly. From the day I… Read more

139388800

I held my breath ready for the explosion. But no explosion came

21 March 2015

Darcy was obviously listening to every word I said. After we got back from the ride from hell, in which she threw the mother of all tantrums, she was very… Read more

450834991

A lot of animal lovers go on about how great it is to rescue a horse from the racing industry

14 March 2015

All was going suspiciously well with the thoroughbred. I suppose it had to be the calm before the storm. I bought Darcy as a yearling, you may remember, from the… Read more

178704827

My life in ailments

7 March 2015

My request to see my medical notes was granted in the end. I honestly don’t know why I wanted to see them, really. I’m just one of those people who… Read more

GettyImages_177087995

My request to see my medical notes has sparked all-out panic at my GP surgery

28 February 2015

My request to see my medical notes has sparked all-out panic at the GP surgery. ‘What do you mean?’ said the receptionist who answered the phone when I called to… Read more

451330877

Confessions of an insurance junkie

21 February 2015

Never add up your insurance premiums. I just did and the annual cost of all of them came to more than the cost of most man-made or natural disasters. That… Read more

Emergency Call

Hallelujah! And the children of Vodafone did walk again in the light!

14 February 2015

‘Hello, Vodafone customer s…, can I h…you?’ This is typical, I thought. I’m ringing to complain about them charging me £137.08 for one phone call to directory inquiries and I… Read more

86539209

118 000 is, I now realise, the number of the beast

7 February 2015

‘Orange 1-1-8 thousand how may I help you?’ said the cheerful voice. Carefree as you like, I asked for the number for Sky customer services to report my parents’ broken… Read more

485470649

The dead iPad Sketch

31 January 2015

My iPad is dead, that’s what’s wrong with it. The plumage don’t enter into it. But since the blasted thing fell off its perch last November, it has somehow run… Read more

178055061

I’m opening the pony X-Files: mine may be psychic

24 January 2015

My ponies may be psychic. I think they are communicating with each other telepathically. And before you call me delusional, let me tell you I have witnesses. It has happened… Read more

475415581

I dreamed that my broken mop was borne aloft unto the dustcart of Lambeth environmental services

17 January 2015

Clearly, I am going to have to report my broken mop handle to the authorities. It has been sitting outside my house for seven weeks now and the binmen have… Read more

Horse's Heartbeat

Rule number one for horse-owners: every accident that happens to a horse is a freak accident

10 January 2015

Every accident that happens to a horse is a freak accident. Rule number one. Once you grasp that as a horse-owner you are on your way to understanding the nature… Read more

522714059

Draft and save is as good a New Year’s resolution as any

3 January 2015

Draft and save. That is as good a New Year’s resolution as any. Never send an email or letter in anger. Always leave it a few hours. Sleep on it… Read more

184693111

Here’s what I’ve learned in 2014

13 December 2014

The countryside is all very well so long as you know you can leave it. Funnily enough, exactly the same can be said for the town. I realise I have… Read more

Man and dog bird hunting

How I lost my hat (and my dignity) in a field of maize

6 December 2014

After our spectacular season opener, the spaniel and I were on probation. Cydney, you may recall, retrieved a hen bird stuck in a stream but then ran off on a… Read more

Salon Du Chocolat 2012 - General Views

Finally! My opportunity to say, ‘Monsieur, with zis Rocher you are really spoiling us!’

29 November 2014

The ambassador’s receptions are noted in society for their host’s exquisite taste that captivates guests. You know that, I know that. Anyone who enjoyed the cheesier television adverts of the… Read more

x516398861

If the tofu munchers had their way, horses would sleep on mattresses in bespoke tents like a Glastonbury VIP area

22 November 2014

Before I go any further, I would like to make clear that no animals were harmed in the making of this column. You might think that goes without saying, but… Read more