Life

The Battle for Britain

17 August 2019 9:00 am

Looking for a new idea? Try borrowing an old one

17 August 2019 9:00 am

Recently I suggested a new approach to commuter-train overcrowding. It simply involved reformulating the problem by accepting that not all…

Dear Mary: How can I politely turn down friends’ sponsorship requests?

17 August 2019 9:00 am

Q. I want my guests to feel welcome when they stay with us and certainly don’t want to nag them.…

Like Team Boris, I’m staying in London this summer

17 August 2019 9:00 am

Foolish me. I could have been writing this by the shore of Lake Trasimene, with only one problem: how to…

What to call an inferior politician?

17 August 2019 9:00 am

‘What about poetaster, then?’ asked my husband accusingly, looking up from his whisky and the Spectator, in which I’d ruminated…

Credit: scaliger

Standing on the Acropolis brings out the Greek in me

10 August 2019 9:00 am

Athens I am struggling up the slippery marble steps of the Acropolis with the Geldofs and the Bismarcks. We gaze…

Credit: mingazitdinov

Do I have cancer in my left eye?

10 August 2019 9:00 am

My luck had to run out one of these fine days. Everybody’s does sooner or later. I’ve had a fantastic…

Credit: whitemay

The travellers could teach the locals a thing or two about being responsible citizens

10 August 2019 9:00 am

The travellers were blamed for fly-tipping when all that was left on the common after they went back up north…

Bridge

10 August 2019 9:00 am

‘Table presence’ is a funny old expression. It sounds as though it refers to a player’s magnetic appeal or domineering…

Adams Avalanche

10 August 2019 9:00 am

Mickey Adams won the British Championship, which finished last week in Torquay, for the seventh time. Leading scores (out of…

no. 566

10 August 2019 9:00 am

White to play. This position is a variation from Adams-Pigott, Torquay 2019. How can White crash through to gain a…

Redoing the hokey-cokey

10 August 2019 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3110 you were invited to provide a version of the hokey-cokey filtered through the pen of a…

2420: Crafty

10 August 2019 9:00 am

Four unclued lights are thematic and are defined by two others. They are found in The 21 and 2 (also the…

to 2417: Six nations

10 August 2019 9:00 am

The unclued lights are LAND OF (25A): MILK AND HONEY (11A), CAKES (12A), HOPE AND GLORY (39A), ENCHANTMENT (7D), MY…

Donald Trump isn’t to blame for America’s mass shootings

10 August 2019 9:00 am

The BBC’s flagship news and current affairs programme wasn’t in any doubt about who to blame for America’s latest bout…

The Battle for Britain

10 August 2019 9:00 am

Steve Smith during the first Test Match between England and Australia last week (Getty)

Any true English cricket lover has to acknowledge that Steve Smith is a great hero

10 August 2019 9:00 am

During the World Cup (remember that?), Virat Kohli, the very model of a modern major cricketer, appealed to Indian fans…

Dear Mary: How can I deal with overly demonstrative colleagues?

10 August 2019 9:00 am

Q. A friend constantly walks around with his bootlaces undone. His wife declines to nag him on the grounds she…

Lunch on Leonard Cohen Island: The Pirate Bar reviewed

10 August 2019 9:00 am

The Pirate Bar is an oddity, even for this column: a bar and restaurant themed in homage to a pirate,…

Where did Boris Johnson’s ‘gloomsters’ come from?

10 August 2019 9:00 am

When Boris Johnson hit out at ‘the doomsters and the gloomsters’, I was willing to believe that the word gloomster…

Words of wisdom, and plenty of them, from the Irishman who saved Africa

Chatting to Bob Geldof about Boris and Brexit

3 August 2019 9:00 am

Coronis   We are steaming on Puritan towards the private isle of Coronis for a long Pugs weekend and the…

Dartmoor Prison: nice setting, but only for a visit

A trip to Dartmoor Prison with my grandson and his cousin

3 August 2019 9:00 am

To find oneself in a cast-iron cell in a granite prison on Dartmoor: hard to retain a sense of humour

No village fête for us this year!

The village fête has been cancelled due to an ‘unauthorised incursion’

3 August 2019 9:00 am

The village fête had to be cancelled because of what they called an ‘incursion’ on to the green. The way…

Frankie Dettori aboard Enable, the greatest filly ever

Saturday’s King George was the finest contest I have ever seen on a racecourse

3 August 2019 9:00 am

It is stupid to become attached to inanimate objects but when modern technology finally forced me to ditch the Olivetti…

Bridge

3 August 2019 9:00 am

TGR’s Bridge Club in Paddington is the daily home to those of us who want to play bridge but cannot…