High life

High life | 2 April 2011

New York They say that when sexual attraction sets in all other brain functions shut down. It’s nature’s way of ensuring procreation. My brain shut down last week — and for a Hollywood actress, to boot. Of German extraction, Sandra Bullock is not the classic Aryan goddess, but most attractive in the flesh, more so

Low life

Low life | 2 April 2011

‘OK, Jeremy, you sit there. Next to Sophie.’ We’re sitting down to lunch, eight of us, to celebrate our host’s birthday. The seating plan is male then female in alternate places. The host is a performance poet and about half of the other guests have been introduced to me as poets, but I’ve forgotten which.

Real life

Real life | 2 April 2011

One of the joys of spring is my annual nose around other people’s houses. Or it used to be. It seems things have changed in the house-hunting world. Estate agency has become automated. I had spotted a nice three-bedroomed place near Tooting Common and had rung the agent to ask them to show me round.

More from life

Status Anxiety: Karate lessons

Last Saturday, I took my six-year-old son and seven-year-old daughter to the gym at a local school so they could take a karate ‘exam’. If they passed, they would be eligible for a white belt with red stripes — the first rung of the ladder in the Shukokai Karate Association. I have to confess to

The turf: Irish raiders

Racing folk sometimes wince as the whiskered commentator John McCririck, a professional chauvinist, refers to his wife Jenny as ‘The Booby’. He was at it again in the racecards for this year’s Cheltenham Festival, but I will worry on her behalf no more. Two days after the Gold Cup, I was lecturing on Cunard’s Queen

Motoring: Battle of the giants

When I was young I knew an elderly Scottish gentleman who had the good sense to fall for and marry, despite his advanced years, an American widow of verve and charm. Nor did he lack those qualities himself: although half crippled by childhood polio, he became a pilot and a keen motorist. His cars smelt

Spectator Sport

Spectator Sport: Showdown season

There are few better feelings than the sporting mood swing that takes place at this time of year. The clocks go forward and leave behind frozen pitches, abandoned race meetings and the set menu of men chasing balls of varying shapes in fixtures of no relevance. Now is when things start to matter. Defeat at

Dear Mary

Dear Mary | 2 April 2011

Q. Thank you for your advice regarding my ‘fecundity’ question (24 March), but I did refer in my question to a gastronomic salon i.e. a private house. The location was not a restaurant and no need to drop credit cards around! —R.S., Bombay A. I must apologise to readers for advising R.S. how to shake