High life

Covid-19 shows us that virtue trumps freedom

Look at it this way: we’re all doing Desert Island Discs nowadays, and unless you’ve got the bug, it’s a damn good thing, too. I did the desert island bit around 30 years ago, when Sue Lawley was the presenter, and we got along fine, even after I commented on air that she had nice

Low life

Real life

This pandemic is showing us for who we really are

The spaniel curled up in her basket with one of my shoes, one of his socks and a packet of biscuits, as if stockpiling. Every time I give her a treat she rushes outside to dig it into the garden. Tucking some essential treasures into her bed with her, she peeped back at me with

Wine Club

Wine Club 4 April

These are strange days indeed and Mrs Ray and I are positively hoovering through the vino. Thanks heavens, then, that independent wine merchants are still delivering. They are nothing less than the fourth emergency service and I give them a hearty hip, hip, hurrah. And enormous thanks, too, to Esme Johnstone of FromVineyardsDirect. So tasty

No sacred cows

Dear Mary


Drinking in isolation is far less appealing

Spring sense, caressing sunshine: last week, London enjoyed village cricket weather. Even in normal circumstances, the season would not have begun; the anticipation would. Soon, one would be watching the run-stealers flicker to and fro, a pint of beer at hand. ‘A pint of beer’, four simple words, but in these times my tastebuds were

Mind your language

The Wiki Man

The turf

Does horse-racing have a future?

Asked, after his Imperial Aura’s impressive win in the Northern Trust Novices’ Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, if he had been worried about one particular challenger in the race, Kim Bailey wryly replied: ‘Of course I was worried. I’m a racehorse trainer.’ Trainers now have a lot more to worry about. When we finally