High life

High Life | 1 August 2009

On board S/Y Bushido Here are some rules of the ocean: always establish the direction of the wind before undoing your flies at sea; never go to sea without more books than days you plan to be afloat; keep in mind that new romances on board last on average less than a week. For now,

Low life

Low Life | 1 August 2009

I handed Trev his usual — a large house vodka and coke. ‘Come outside for a fag,’ he said. We took our drinks outside and Trev got out his Mayfairs. The landlord followed us out and told us ‘for the hundredth time, for crying out loud’ that we weren’t allowed to take drinks out on

Real life

Real Life | 1 August 2009

When I arrive on my deathbed the thing that will torment me most is the amount of time I’ve spent on the phone to Vision Express arguing about when my eye test is due. It reduces me to tears when I think of the wasted hours spent trying to reason with twenty-somethings puffed up into

More from life

The Turf | 1 August 2009

Horses, of course, have more sense than to bet on people. But how much do they know about what is going on? Watching the contenders parading before the Betfair-sponsored King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, the richest race in the UK calendar, you could not miss the frothy sweat already streaming down the flanks

Status Anxiety | 1 August 2009

Like most middle-class parents, I feel duty-bound to take my children to the theatre occasionally. Why is this? I tell myself it is a way of broadening their horizons, but really it is all about class. It is the same reason I encourage them to play with wooden toys and eat broccoli and say ‘please’.

Dear Mary

Dear Mary | 1 August 2009

Q. I recently attended with my wife the summer party of a London literary society. The event offered wine and buffet supper between 6 and 9 p.m. Arriving at 6.50 we found the buffet table almost stripped bare, with guests seated around it, munching copiously, à la Babette’s Feast. Food stocks were not replenished. Therefore

Mind your language

Mind Your Language | 1 August 2009

Outside a theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue that offers a dubiously amusing entertainment a poster proclaims: ‘Pant-wettingly funny.’ This is interesting, because what one might have the misfortune to wet is not a pant but pants. The grammar, though, is undoubtedly correct. Nouns used as adjectives generally remain in the singular. This rule makes honest nouns

The Wiki Man

The Wiki Man | 1 August 2009

Exhibit A in Rod Liddle’s case against Twitter two weeks ago was a painful (but hardly representative) post by Stephen Fry. Exhibit A in Rod Liddle’s case against Twitter two weeks ago was a painful (but hardly representative) post by Stephen Fry. Exhibit B was a quotation from a sceptical ‘youth’ report written by a