Life

Dear Mary: how can I make my timid husband ask for a longer haircut?

13 April 2019 9:00 am

Q. We sent out email invitations to our drinks party and have had too many acceptances. The venue has said…

Durdle Door, Dorset (istockphoto.com)

Independence for Dorset? I’ll raise a glass to that

13 April 2019 9:00 am

There was a shrewd old Tory MP called John Stokes. He was not on the left of the party. Indeed,…

(istockphoto.com)

‘Augury’ is to do with birds? That’s a flight of fancy

13 April 2019 9:00 am

Was the cascade of water that made the Commons suspend its sitting an omen or augury? When I asked that…

Mortimer Sackler and me

6 April 2019 9:00 am

New York   It was 51 years ago, in the Hôtel du Cap d’Antibes, that I first met the man…

Am I about to be usurped by Philippe, our handsome French gardener?

6 April 2019 9:00 am

We have a gardener, Philippe, who comes once a week. He lives in a ruin a little way down the…

The builder boyfriend and I have left the EU – and it’s great

6 April 2019 9:00 am

After all that waiting and arguing, I must say I thoroughly enjoyed leaving the EU. The builder boyfriend and I…

My time in Somalia with Michael Meacher, Tony Benn’s ‘vicar on earth’

6 April 2019 9:00 am

East Africa   The late Michael Meacher represented almost everything I loathe in a politician. Before his death in 2015,…

Bridge

6 April 2019 9:00 am

Each March, a roll call of bridge superstars come to compete in the Vanderbilt Knockout Teams, one of America’s most…

Advance planning

6 April 2019 9:00 am

One way to improve your results is to develop a specific opening repertoire and learn it thoroughly so as to…

no. 548

6 April 2019 9:00 am

White to play. This position is a variation from Mamedyarov-Li Reufeng, PRO League 2017. This game also started with White…

Spring villanelle

6 April 2019 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3092 you were invited to submit a spring villanelle. The villanelle lends itself to themes of loss…

2402: Test pilots

6 April 2019 9:00 am

Eight unclued entries are of a kind. A 9-letter word for their position must be highlighted in the grid.  …

to 2399: Lines of Work

6 April 2019 9:00 am

The unclued lights form the folk rhyme ‘Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggar-man, thief’.  A.A. Milne (MILNE…

It’s time to revive Communist literature - it’s never been more relevant

6 April 2019 9:00 am

I was surprised to learn that the novelist Milan Kundera celebrated his 90th birthday on Monday. I had no idea…

Battle for Britain

6 April 2019 9:00 am

Have referees just given up?

6 April 2019 9:00 am

Sometimes you fear for Neil Warnock. The embattled Cardiff manager is 70 and operates at level 11 all the time;…

Dear Mary: how can I stop my husband from hijacking my punchlines?

6 April 2019 9:00 am

Q. A woman I’ve known for years is getting divorced and rings me every day to talk about it. I…

The joy of garlic and easy listening: Pucci in Mayfair reviewed

6 April 2019 9:00 am

I grew up in south-west London in the 1970s when Italian restaurants had exposed brick walls and paper tablecloths in…

‘Shame’ is no longer one’s greatest fear, it’s offence culture’s default response

6 April 2019 9:00 am

In 1663, just before Samuel Pepys visited the stables of the elegant Thomas Povey, where he found the walls were…

My prescription to make New York happy again

30 March 2019 9:00 am

New York   This place feels funny, a bit like Beirut, where Christians, Jews, Muslims, Druze and encamped Palestinians live…

I’m making a cave disco in the south of France

30 March 2019 9:00 am

I’ve swapped my carer’s tray in Devon for a barrow and spade halfway up a cliff in the south of…

You should train your man like you train your Labrador

30 March 2019 9:00 am

‘This clean sock regime is really annoying,’ said the builder boyfriend, as he rummaged through his newly inaugurated top drawer.…

Will horse welfare become racing’s Brexit?

30 March 2019 9:00 am

As jockeys, trainers, punters and media folk gathered at Newbury on Saturday to say farewell to Noel Fehily, the ultimate…

Bridge

30 March 2019 9:00 am

Susanna and I don’t play on the same team very often, but once a year Fiona Hutchison puts together a…

Wine Club 30 March

30 March 2019 9:00 am

I’m acutely aware that we rarely offer champagne in these pages, other than the occasional treat from our beloved Pol…