High life

Low life

Sharon’s back, altered in mind as well as body

Sharon’s back. As soon as I heard, I went straight round to the house and let myself in. She was standing in the kitchen wearing that deceptively vulnerable look that she has. Also in the room was a little girl aged about three with ruby red hair and a Boxer dog. The Boxer was built

Real life

Must every man take spring off to give birth?

Really, I do wish people would stagger their baby-making. Absolutely every professional person whose services I have required in the past few weeks has declared themselves out of action for procreational reasons. And before I get accused of sexism, most of them have been men. It is a very strange thing, this trend for paternity

More from life

The rich have given up their freedom

The appointment of Sajid Javid as the new Secretary of State for Culture has been much criticised on the grounds that culture is not his forte; and in an interview with the Times the other day he confessed that he had never been to the opera. This is a little surprising because, as a former

Wine Club

May Wine Club I

We’re thinking ahead with this offer, with summer firmly in our sights. Think of barbecues, picnics by the river, summer fêtes and lazy days on the beach. And think of red wine. Chilled. I’ve never understood our obsession for serving red wines at room temperature or even warmer. The habit started long before the days

Spectator Sport

Dear Mary


Mind your language

Why –y? The evolution of a suffix

Hitler was ‘dark, shouty, moustachioed’ in Churchill’s eyes, or rather, that was Jonathan Rose’s view of how Churchill saw Hitler, according to Sam Leith, writing in the books pages on 19 April. Shouty is not a word Churchill would have used in exactly this sense, for which no example is recorded by the Oxford English



Nothing I write will be as durable as the rhyme for remembering the genders of third declension nouns, stuck in my head ever since Miss Garai’s Latin class. Masculini generis I used to fancy I shared it with generations of English schoolboys, the colonial servant dispensing justice under a tree in the African bush, are