High life

Good guys, bad guys

Taki lives the High Life  An interesting week, to say the least. A Carlton Club speech on multiculturalism which didn’t quite come off, a kidnapping in Gstaad, a party in London to celebrate David Tang’s knighthood, the mugging of John McCain by the man who committed adultery with Emma Gilbey, a great Pug’s club lunch

Low life

Open for business

I can go for fortnight without a drink — three weeks at a push. After that I begin to feel disconnected. I try to ignore the feeling, hoping it’s a symptom of Seasonal Affective Disorder, or the onset of a cold, or overdoing it at the gym. But it persists and, after several days, changes

Real life

Cut-price torture

My favourite television advertisement at the moment is for EDF energy, which promises us that it can make our bills lower. All we have to do is use less gas and electricity. Please, do not snort. I snorted initially. Then a few days later I received my gas bill from EDF. It was the largest

More from life

Status Anxiety | 1 March 2008

I can’t afford to send my children to private school — and I’m relishing the cachet This morning I received a letter from Norland Place, a much sought-after private school on Holland Park Avenue, informing me that my son Ludo had been awarded a place in September 2009. There was a time when this would

Spectator Sport

Spectator Sport | 1 March 2008

With Shilpa Shetty, Lachlan Murdoch, Aussie feist-meister Andrew Symonds and more Indian billionaires than you can shake a stump at, the eye-watering player-auction for the new Twenty20 Indian Premier League (IPL) in Mumbai last week was never going to be something tailored for the Long Room at Lord’s. But this should be good for cricket,

Dear Mary

Dear Mary | 1 March 2008

Q. I suffer from a form of visual Spoonerism (in New College chapel Warden Spooner concluded, ‘in the sermon which I have just been preaching, wherever I have said Aristotle I have meant St Paul’). I often recognise a person as somebody completely different. The other day I went to a private view at a


Cheating at food

‘Ecraser l’infâme!’ Voltaire proclaimed in his war on corrupt priests and crooked government officials. Delia’s Smith’s new book How to Cheat at Cooking opens up a whole new field of infamy: the culinary crime. As in 18th-century politics, so in 21st-century cuisine, it’s the public who gets cheated. Madame Smith’s sassy title is meant to

Mind your language

Mind your language | 1 March 2008

My husband went to a medical conference, paid for by a pharmaceutical company, in Padua, where the university has been teaching medicine since the 14th century. So I went too and popped over to Venice, taking with me Mrs Ruskin. I mean Effie, who, poor thing, ran away from John Ruskin in 1854 after six