Low life

What is the correct accent for a Spectator writer?

27 May 2017 9:00 am

‘Jeremy, I want you to sit here next to me — unless you’re frightened of me?’ We were briefly introduced…

In praise of Prozac

20 May 2017 9:00 am

Chez Frank is a popular local boar-hunters’ bar, tobacconist and general store at a lonely crossroads in the forest. It…

My feminist, girl-power, girlie theme night

13 May 2017 9:00 am

I was sitting between mother and daughter on the sofa, and we were having a ‘wee night’ as Glaswegians put…

What a Marine Le Pen rally taught me about the outcome of the election

6 May 2017 9:00 am

‘Emmanuel Macron est le plus grand con du monde,’ said the elderly gent taking the vacant seat on my right…

When a pitch-black child’s closet is the place to be

29 April 2017 9:00 am

I went to a barbecue. Everyone was patient and well disposed towards the silent, depressed, two-toed sloth in their midst.…

I’d rather be depressed than develop a buffalo hump

22 April 2017 9:00 am

When I was depressed 20 years ago, the (then) new antidepressant drug Prozac sorted it easily. It took six weeks…

Naming and shaming the fat women of Europe (and that includes the Italians)

15 April 2017 9:00 am

I ran for the airport terminal shuttle bus; the doors shut behind me as I skipped on. I sank into…

A local copper reminded me of the sordid story of my stalker

8 April 2017 9:00 am

My brother and I were taking a short cut through an alleyway and saw a copper coming towards us through…

Dispatches from the land of legal (and illegal) highs

1 April 2017 9:00 am

Repatriated after two months sur le continong, I walked down the sunny high street marvelling at English cheerfulness. A poster…

I fit the left’s conception of a populist like a bespoke glove

25 March 2017 9:00 am

My joints were aching suddenly and unaccountably — fingers, wrists, elbows, knees, toes — so I cried off the dinner…

Would I be bitten by the bug that bit Katherine Mansfield?

18 March 2017 9:00 am

After circuiting Spain by train, I went east to Italy, stopping on the way at the French border town of…

Confessions of a Feyenoord hooligan-turned-Rastafarian

11 March 2017 9:00 am

In Spain, I stayed in youth hostels in Barcelona, Alicante, Almeria and Seville. But that first hostel in Barcelona, where…

The many people I slept with in Spain

4 March 2017 9:00 am

All told, I find that in the last week I’ve slept with a Chinaman, three black women from the United…

Hostelling Scientology-style

25 February 2017 9:00 am

I stepped off the train in Barcelona at 7.30 in the evening and followed directions to the hostel. The February…

Up close and personal with Marine Le Pen

18 February 2017 9:00 am

A deep frost in the winter of 1821–22 killed the orange trees in Nice. The Anglican minister to the English…

Dinner with Enoch Powell's postman

11 February 2017 9:00 am

Dr Ivan Mindlin was the in-house casino doctor at the Stardust in Las Vegas in the early 1970s. Mention any…

A love song to the Holy Spirit

4 February 2017 9:00 am

Dr Mindlin called. I needed cheering up? If I fancied a week in Antigua as his guest I should be…

How to cure depression

28 January 2017 9:00 am

‘If life is a race, I feel that I’m not even at the starting line,’ I said to the doctor…

The healing power of gin

21 January 2017 9:00 am

Our friend Anthony was reportedly dying and a party of four drove over to the nursing home to say cheerio.…

The therapeutic effects of Modafinil and a mob doctor

14 January 2017 9:00 am

Still depressed, or, as Matthew Arnold put it, ‘the foot less prompt to meet the morning dew’, I got out…

I couldn't bring myself to say 'depression'. And the GP wouldn't give me an appointment

7 January 2017 9:00 am

On the Monday before Christmas, the black dog came around again and I couldn’t get out of bed. I lay…

England: a populous totalitarian state on a war footing

31 December 2016 9:00 am

I drew back the curtains. Yet another absolutely still, sunny day. Early-morning mist lying in the valleys. An echoing report…

There’s a bad smell about Grasse

10 December 2016 9:00 am

We’re driving east, destination Grasse. Hairpin bends circling oak-clad hills. Autumn gold and scarlet. Exciting cambers. Blinding winter sunshine. The…

Rats and flying slugs: what the world is like on Parkinson’s drugs

3 December 2016 9:00 am

My mother is a bore magnet. They travel from miles around to sit in the chair opposite hers and tell…

The schizophrenics who taught me to play pool

26 November 2016 9:00 am

Six months ago I bought a garden chair on eBay. When I went to the address to pick it up,…