High life

The glory of Paris has long past

Gstaad A reader’s inquiry as to why I think Paris belongs to yesterday (12 August) has me remembering times past. When did the party end? According to many night owls it was when the ‘Queen of the Night’, Regine, shut down her club New Jimmy’z and moved to London in the 1970s, where she flopped.

Real life

Is it really possible to get Covid for a fourth time?

‘I can’t go through this again!’ I groaned, as I lay in bed encased in icepacks, one on my eyes and the other round the back of my neck. Covid – which seems to be alive and kicking this summer despite being pronounced over by the World Health Organisation – always strikes at my nervous

Wild life

Hassan still has no dhow to captain

Kenya Hassan was our skipper. He’d take us in his dhow out on the Indian Ocean for trips along the Kenya coast, south among the secret wave breaks or north towards Formosa Bay. Once he took my brother on a proper voyage to Lamu island, which needed several days even in calm weather. With his

More from life

Tarte tropézienne, the glamorous dessert named by Brigitte Bardot

Is there a more glamorous piece of pâtisserie than the tarte tropézienne? Born in the inherently chic Saint-Tropez, named by Brigitte Bardot on the set of a film before becoming such a cult favourite that it  graces virtually every bakery on the French Riviera, the tarte tropézienne has star quality. But for some reason, it’s

Wine Club

No sacred cows

I knew I was right about private schools

The Hunstanton Lawn Tennis Tournament has become an annual fixture in the Young household. Known as ‘Wimbledon-on-Sea’, the week-long competition takes place on the Norfolk coast in August and attracts hundreds of entrants. I’m not a contestant myself, but my two youngest are and five years ago my wife won the ladies’ doubles, meaning she’s

Spectator Sport

Dear Mary


Mind your language

How weighing in became wading in 

The Sun reported that a woman sold a pair of rings which, if worn on two fingers, spelt out NTCU. Or they might be swapped round, with ruder consequences. When someone objected, the maker’s followers on TikTok apparently ‘flocked to the comments to weigh in on the situation’. In a report on some other matter,


The Latch

Would he be 60, this mantoe-punting the hook and eye latchsecuring the firm’s caravan door? Such a performanceto keep his balance, he went onto back-heel it instead when in two tickshe could have slipped it freeby reaching out, bending his knees. But this amiable man with familyhatchback and detached bungalowstarted kung fu-ing it until the

Tea Party at the End of Empire

We smashed china cups, saucers, sugar bowls, plates, teapots on slabs of paved-over lawn – ripped apart bodies of teabags, scattered their unholy remains amongst the splintered finery – out of plastic kettles, we sloshed hot water, drenched the mess in pretend, ritual sterilisation – and then we boogied, in the latest footwear, on our