More than 11 years after getting sober, memories of my more disgraceful drunken nights can still make me blush with…
A few weeks ago, feeling stale and stressed, I escaped to our dilapidated cottage in Dorset for a few days…
You know those sad, confused people you sometimes see, standing on street corners and shouting dementedly at passing cars. Well,…
Whisper it ever so quietly, but I think we might just be through the worst that winter has to throw…
We are already more than halfway through January and I am still managing to stick heroically to my new year’s…
One of the unwritten rules in our house is that Christmas should never be mentioned until a few days before…
Thanks to the generosity of friends, Mrs Spencer and I went to the opera the other week, an exceptionally rare…
I don’t know about you but I have to steel myself these days to turn on the Today programme in…
Here in suburban Surrey it is already the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. The damson tree in our front garden is so weighed down with fruit that the branches almost reach the ground, as if it were impersonating a weeping willow, and my dear old mum has made two jars of delicious jam, with the promise of many more to come.
When one thinks of Tim Rice, one doesn’t exactly picture a man who has had a tremendous struggle to make it to the top.
It’s the small things that drive you mad.
In ‘Poetry of Departures’, in which Philip Larkin imagines escaping his existence as a librarian for a life of wild daring and adventure, he writes:
We all hate home
And having to be there;
I detest my room,
It’s specially-chosen junk,
the good books, the good bed.
It seems to me that society can now be divided into three different types of people on principles that have nothing to do with class, wealth or status, and everything to do with one’s ease — or lack of it — with modern technology.
The drugs don’t work sung the Verve on one of their best songs, and I’m feeling the same myself at the moment.
I was in New York the other week, furtively sneaking into a preview of the doomed new Spider-Man musical, which features music from Bono and The Edge of U2.
I have long believed that a part of you dies in winter and doesn’t come back to life until you feel the sun on your face and a mid-westerly breeze in the air.
Sitting on my desk as I write are two objects of wonder and delight.
The extraordinary thing about rock’n’roll is its longevity.
Three months ago I wrote here about my chronic Amazon habit, in which I recklessly buy books, DVDs and CDs I will never have time to read, watch or listen to. It has been costing me as much as drink did when I was still a practising alcoholic.
Last month, when unveiling my all-time top ten favourite albums, I predicted that the list would probably have changed by the autumn.
Regular readers may have noticed an embarrassing lacuna in this column.
As was so often the case with Bertie Wooster when he faced an interview with his fearsome Aunt Agatha, I feel a sense of impending doom as I write this on a beautiful morning in late June.
By and large, I try to keep the night job out of this column.
That splendid old bruiser Michael Henderson, no stranger to Spectator readers, and as passionate about music and poetry as he is about cricket, has, as so often, a bee buzzing in his bonnet.