Life

Vocational schools are not to be sneered at

18 August 2018 9:00 am

When I was 16 I failed all my O-levels, bar a grade C in English Literature, and concluded I wasn’t…

The Battle for Britain

18 August 2018 9:00 am

Why data doesn’t always reveal the truth

18 August 2018 9:00 am

In late 1973 the graduate admissions department at UC Berkeley discovered that for the forthcoming year it had awarded places…

Dear Mary: What do I say when people want to visit my family’s stately home for free?

18 August 2018 9:00 am

Q. My husband and I were among the first to arrive at a recent large house party in Scotland. We…

Wine, women and willow: a perfect combo for a perfect English summer day

18 August 2018 9:00 am

The first time I went to Lord’s was in 1970, just before the unofficial Test series which replaced the cancelled…

Petrichor: an awkward word for a pleasant phenomenon

18 August 2018 9:00 am

I’m not too sure about the word petrichor, invented in 1964 as a label for the pleasant smell frequently accompanying…

Amazon and Facebook: the twin evils of our age

11 August 2018 9:00 am

They used to say that the primary function of a boat was to be beautiful. I suppose that is why…

How to survive a French heatwave

11 August 2018 9:00 am

Me in a black polo-neck jumper looking sour; Oscar wearing a floppy hat; her youngest daughter nude and stooping to…

Welcome to customer services, Guantanamo Bay-style

11 August 2018 9:00 am

The engineer from Beko arrived and got to work trying to mend the new fridge. Having spent a very long…

Bridge

11 August 2018 9:00 am

Over the many years I’ve been playing competitive bridge, I’ve managed to cobble together a system-file which now runs to…

Royal shame

11 August 2018 9:00 am

Nine-year-old Shreyas Royal, widely regarded as the UK’s best hope to become a future world chess champion, is being deported…

no. 518

11 August 2018 9:00 am

Black to play. This is from Howell-McShane, British Championship, Hull 2018. This was the conclusion of the game that enabled…

A new Jerusalem

11 August 2018 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3060 you were invited to provide an updated version of ‘Jerusalem’ starting with the words ‘And did…

2371: In a paddy

11 August 2018 9:00 am

In loving memory of 20 41 Considine (10/10/27–24/7/18), the doyenne of crossword compilers. The unclued lights and those clued without…

to 2368: Cobbled together

11 August 2018 9:00 am

The unclued lights (6, 20/9, 21, 23/31, 30D/13, 34/3 and 42/32) are characters in Coronation Street with its COBBLED streets.  First…

Thanks, Ryanair, for wrecking our holiday

11 August 2018 9:00 am

The Young family’s annual summer holiday could not have got off to a poorer start, thanks to Ryanair. As veteran…

Battle for Britain

11 August 2018 9:00 am

Sport will not survive if it keeps being sold to the highest bidder

11 August 2018 9:00 am

It’s just too hot and too early to get worked up about football, so the two highlights of the late-summer…

How should you deal with a competitive best friend?

11 August 2018 9:00 am

Q. Good friends, who moved away from our city suburb a couple of years ago, retain a pied-à-terre the better…

Temper, a new pizza restaurant in Covent Garden, land of the itinerant rich

11 August 2018 9:00 am

Temper is a new pizza restaurant in Mercers Walk, Covent Garden, and it is as glib and polished as you…

‘Crest’ and the absurd language of heraldry

11 August 2018 9:00 am

A friend of my husband’s, yet a well-educated man, said in conversation as we walked to Tate Modern: ‘Is that…

Sailing past the charred eastern coast of Greece

4 August 2018 9:00 am

On board S/Y Puritan   I’m sailing off the charred eastern coast of Athens where so many died last week,…

Confessions of a cave-dweller continued

4 August 2018 9:00 am

The cave house next to ours is let out to weekly renters. A green-eyed German with a ponytail came out…

The only guarantee I have is that there is no guaranteeing my guarantee

4 August 2018 9:00 am

Beko. I always want to sing that song by Peter Gabriel from the movie about the South African freedom fighter…

The power of Sir Michael Stoute

4 August 2018 9:00 am

On a foggy November day in 1965 the young son of a Barbadian police chief was one of six contestants…