High life

The right woman

Unlike Peregrine Worsthorne, I thought the Duff Cooper diaries were interesting and terrific, and also made me envious as hell. Oh, to have lived back then. People sure had fun. I particularly liked the part where Duff puts down a certain party as boring because of the presence of spivs. Well, lucky old Duff. If

Low life

Off night

The active volcano Stromboli, one of the Aeolian islands, rises out of the sea off the north-east coast of Sicily. It is forbidden to make the three-hour trek to the top without a guide, so I signed on with a chaperoned party of 30 tourists for a night climb. Our piratical-looking guide was a fierce

More from life

Dance macabre

Having cruelly blackwashed the combined British Isles Lions tourists just four months ago, New Zealand’s athletic young rugby sadists are back in the old country intent on inflicting further pain with a Grand Slam against the four ‘home’ nations on successive weekends, beginning today in a defiantly hyped-up Cardiff. It is a centenary show: on

Your Problems Solved | 5 November 2005

Dear Mary… Q. You suggest (22 October) that scrap suppers be served on site following private views in art galleries. May I suggest the very same practice might well reverse the decline in numbers of young people attending classical concerts? For friendless, new to London perhaps, but unpushy lovers of classical music, it would surely

Hot Property | 5 November 2005

These days the most conspicuous presence on the gritty streets of King’s Cross is not call girls and crack dealers but buttercup-yellow huddles of hard hats. Through the clouds of cement dust you can just about make out signs explaining that the hat-wearers are ‘considerate constructors’, motto: ‘Improving the image of construction’. This attempt at

Mind your language

Mind Your Language | 5 November 2005

The word panjandrum has been popping up recently. I have noticed it from the pens of Andreas Whittam Smith, Andrew Graham-Dixon, Brian Sewell, Simon Hoggart and funny old Roy Greenslade. It sounds like a proper word, one with an ancient etymology, although it is fairly widely known that it was invented in 1755 by Samuel