High life

Champion secrets

New York I’m not sure which of the two sights was funnier: hundreds of Brit bargain-hunters huffing and puffing and laden with enormous shopping bags while taking advantage of the shot-to-hell dollar, or the English football heroes huffing and puffing and being sliced up by the national team of a tiny country which didn’t exist

Real life

Glum night out

Ten minutes into Les Misérables my boyfriend turned to me and whispered, ‘Is it just me or is this Charlie Rap?’ As the thunderous clatter of a large prop being unceremoniously dropped backstage reverberated around the mournfully tatty Queen’s Theatre, I concurred that the legendary musical was indeed a load of Mr Charles. It was

More from life

Spectator Sport

Nowhere to hide

Clueless about who, where or what to turn to next, I wonder which was history’s first body to announce a ‘full and far-reaching commission of enquiry’ in which to cover itself with a sub judice blanket until the army of furious castigators either runs out of rotten tomatoes or turns their bombardment of scorn to

Dear Mary

Your problems solved | 1 December 2007

Q. My very nice Polish cleaner wants my husband and I [sic] to come to her house for dinner one evening and, to be brutally frank, we don’t want to. Her English is very limited, my Polish non-existent, and I think it would be a night of sheer hell for all of us. Please can


Talking turkey | 1 December 2007

With the holidays approaching, foodies are grumbling again about turkey. The domesticated bird is overweight, too fat to fly; in cooking, turkeys easily dry out; their meat, especially the breast, is tasteless. Why bother? So I thought many years ago, when I served instead at Christmas a suckling pig, beautifully stretched out on the platter,

Mind your language

Mind your language | 1 December 2007

He’s the man who gave us The Meaning of Tingo, full of words that look funny in English (bum, Arabic for ‘owl’) or encapsulate an idea that it takes a sentence in English to explain. Very amusing it was too. My husband kept reading bits out while I was peeling the potatoes. Then doubts crept