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Family

Flying-from-Hawaii

Pacific-sized love

29 November 2014

Grandpa turns purple in the sun. He says it is because we are Filipino, but my skin never colours that way. I watch him mystified as he calls to the… Read more

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Did you do something for the last time today?

22 November 2014

The end of the year seems a good time to think about lasts. Not many of us ever do. Firsts are always landmarks: the first time you taste alcohol, drive… Read more

Alexander Masters

15 November 2014

Two million pounds can buy you consideration for a place on a medical trial! Every year untold numbers of potential cancer therapies are abandoned. There is simply not enough money… Read more

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Why there’s no such thing as an Etonian

11 October 2014

Finally, just in the last few years I’d say, we’ve all begun to accept the role of nature in the great nature/nurture debate. Though we’ve squirmed and baulked, we mostly… Read more

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I was a liberal atheist. And then my stepson found radical Islam

4 October 2014

Two years ago this week, my stepson came home wearing an Arabic black thawb. He walked into the sitting-room, smiled defiantly at me and at his father, and asked us… Read more

(Photo:  Frazer Harrison/Getty)

Today’s Disney princesses look like Russian mafia wives. This is their café

4 October 2014

The Disney Café is a gaudy hell on the fourth floor of Harrods, Knightsbridge. It is adjacent to the Harrods Disney Store, and also the Harrods Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, in… Read more

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Rextail: a restaurant for billionaire children

20 September 2014

Rextail is a restaurant for billionaire children, such as Richie Rich. Its owner, Arcady Novikov, has already opened a restaurant for billionaire men and their spindly billionaire wives — the… Read more

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My amazing dad has found the secret of a happy life

13 September 2014

This week I wanted to tell you about my amazing dad. He hasn’t died or anything. I just thought I’d get in there with my panegyric quick while he’s still… Read more

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Countries shape character (so get ready to like Scots less)

13 September 2014

As I write this, I am sitting outside a weinhaus in Kaub, a half-timbered town on the wooded slopes of the middle Rhine. If you don’t know the place, I… Read more

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I know that Richard Dawkins is wrong about Down’s syndrome, because I know my son

6 September 2014

No household that contains a 13-year-old boy is eternally tranquil. There had been a bit of temperament that evening, an outright refusal to go to bed, hard words for his… Read more

30 August 2014

Q. When someone gives you anti-ageing cream as a present, is that an insult or a compliment? — A.O., Provence A. It is both, but such creams make pointless presents.… Read more

23 August 2014

Q. My neighbour is really lovely and always helps me chainsaw trees. He used to be the herdsman at the farm but was laid off last summer when they sold… Read more

16 August 2014

Q. We have taken a flat in Edinburgh for a month and a young girl, temporarily homeless and a friend of one of our sons, has moved in with us.… Read more

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What’s the point in being married if I can’t feel superior to my single friends?

9 August 2014

I’m due to speak at an Intelligence Squared debate on Saturday and I’m worried that I might be on the wrong side. The motion is ‘Monogamy equals monotony’ and I’m… Read more

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Want to be a neglectful parent? Come to a festival and learn

2 August 2014

I spent last weekend at Port Eliot in Cornwall. This is supposed to be a literary and music festival and my reason for being there was to talk about my… Read more

How can I train my brother to not eat like a pig?

26 July 2014

Q. I live far away from my brother and his family, but went to stay with them recently for the first time in many years. Having supper was like eating… Read more

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I used to think I was a Nietzschean superman. Now I know I'm just a dad

7 June 2014

In The Wolf of Wall Street, there’s a poignant shot towards the end in which we see an FBI agent going home on the subway. This law enforcement officer —… Read more

The Passion of Jesus is performed on Good Friday to crowds in Trafalgar Square

Yes, Britain is a Christian country

26 April 2014

I can’t say it was a great surprise to read a letter from a group of well-known authors, academics, comedians and politicians in the Telegraph earlier this week complaining about… Read more

Sutton Hoo Helmet on display at the British Museum Photo: Getty

For my family, the Vikings exhibition was about as much fun as being raped and pillaged

12 April 2014

Have you managed to book tickets to the Viking exhibition at the British Museum yet? If you haven’t, my advice is: don’t bother. I know what the critics have been… Read more

12 April 2014

Q. Our son, aged l6, has a medical condition which, although not life-threatening, requires surgery by a specialist to pre-empt it becoming lifestyle-threatening. The NHS waiting list is long. He… Read more

Grandmother

Why working class grandparents are better than middle class ones

22 March 2014

When I told a friend that my nine-year-old son was staying with his grandparents for the whole week of the half-term, she said: ‘A whole week! My son would be… Read more

Boris Johnson Supports Shelter'S Overcrowding Children Campaign - London

Why Boris is wrong to say that the children of jihadis should be taken into care

8 March 2014

Do your children have a bleak and nihilistic view of the world? It’s hard to tell, really, when they spend 30 per cent of the day blamming away at those… Read more

Sesame Street Live charactors (L-R), Ern

Agitprop for toddlers: the oddly strident politics of CBeebies

25 January 2014

I think I might be a bad parent; whenever my wife is out, I plonk our two-year-old daughter in front of the television. The other day we watched a rainbow… Read more

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When trolling pressure groups cause real harm

18 January 2014

My grandmother, Nanny Nancy, is 99 and going strong. But it can’t be denied that while she’s all there mentally, physically she’s not the lithe young thing she was in… Read more

Enoch Powell and a farmer (Photo: Express/Express/Getty)

Why should Nigel Farage have to fight the ghost of Enoch Powell?

11 January 2014

One of the genuine seasonal pleasures to be enjoyed as 2013 slipped around the U-bend was Enoch Powell making his familiar comeback as the Evil Ghost of Christmases Past. Enoch… Read more