Life

Why you should never read your own diary

15 December 2018 9:00 am

At the turn of the century, I started a diary. I’ve mostly typed it on old typewriters, bashing out a…

How Ebenezer Grayling destroyed the Kite family Christmas

15 December 2018 9:00 am

Ebenezer Grayling sat busy in his counting house. It was a cold, bleak day at the Department for Transport. Big…

Aidan Hartley and dead cobra

Me vs an eight-foot spitting cobra

15 December 2018 9:00 am

Laikipia, Kenya ‘The End,’ I typed. The book had taken me 14 years to write. I rose from my desk…

Tom Scudamore riding Know The Score wins the Visit Our Shop 'Star Sports Mayfair' Standard Open NH Flat Race at Towcester racecourse, 14 February, 2018

‘Concussion doesn’t count’: memories of a racing dynasty

15 December 2018 9:00 am

The Scudamores are one of the bedrock families of jump racing. After being shot down and spending two years as…

Bridge

15 December 2018 9:00 am

The other day, I opened a Christmas card showing Santa carrying a sack full of presents, and was immediately reminded…

Christmas quiz

15 December 2018 9:00 am

Set by Christopher Howse. Illustrated by Castro

Word of the year: shouty

15 December 2018 9:00 am

‘Remind me what incel means again,’ said my husband. There was no point, since he’d forgotten twice already. I suspected…

Wine Club 15 December

15 December 2018 9:00 am

It’s the music that gets me, the bloody piped music. Christmas carols on an endless loop. It’s a wretched constant,…

Leviathan

15 December 2018 9:00 am

Last week I compared the Norwegian world chess champion Magnus Carlsen to a lurking crocodile, ready to grab its oblivious…

Puzzle

15 December 2018 9:00 am

White to play. This is a variation from Carlsen-Caruana, World Championship (Game 11), London 2018. Carlsen set a small trap…

O come let us adore zhim

15 December 2018 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3078 you were invited to submit a politically correct Christmas carol.   One of Donald Trump’s election…

Christmas spirit

15 December 2018 9:00 am

Unclued lights (six of two words, one of three), correctly linked, make ten members of a seasonal set, one light…

to 2386: Outside what we know

15 December 2018 9:00 am

ROUND THE HORNE (32/40/37) starred 6/37, 6/23, 1A, 14 and 8/13. The title suggested their other comedy show, Beyond Our Ken.…

Why the end of 2018 is also the end of a sporting era

15 December 2018 9:00 am

It may be the end of the year but it’s also the end of some major sporting eras. Alastair Cook…

The Battle for Britain

15 December 2018 9:00 am

How to lose more friends and alienate more people

15 December 2018 9:00 am

This used to be the busiest time of the year for me. If you do anything in public life —…

Fortnum and Mason

This is capitalism as its most gaudy: Fortnum & Mason reviewed

15 December 2018 9:00 am

I admit I had a falling out with Fortnum & Mason a few years ago over its new brasserie on…

The most underpriced Christmas gift you can buy

15 December 2018 9:00 am

During the second Gulf war, simply out of curiosity, I found myself visiting the website of a giant American mercenary…

In the midst of Brexit agony, one thing remains certain: disputation needs drink

15 December 2018 9:00 am

It is enough to drive a fellow to the bottle. I am not given to agnosticism. My view is that…

Problems solved for Michael Fabricant, Liz Truss, Piers Morgan, Richard Madeley, Anthony Horowitz and others

15 December 2018 9:00 am

From Michael Fabricant MPQ. When I go for intimate meals at a restaurant with a friend, I am invariably asked…

Christmas quiz – the answers

13 December 2018 4:00 am

You don’t say 1. President Donald Trump, in a tweet 2. Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, in…

Times Square

New York: the fact – and fiction

8 December 2018 9:00 am

New York At times I used to think the place was real. The New York of films, that is. The…

We lost our elderly, dementing French charge

8 December 2018 9:00 am

I entered the cave house carrying groceries and panting from the climb to find an old hippie woman displaying rugs…

My Christmas tree health-and-safety nightmare

8 December 2018 9:00 am

Decorating a tree on the unfinished minstrels’ gallery was an appealing idea if only for the health and safety violations.…

How 250 cows may have changed the course of racing

8 December 2018 9:00 am

It may yet turn out that the most significant development in racing this year was the sale of some 250…