High life

High life | 4 June 2015

The last week in Gotham was exceptional fun. I saw a Broadway play, Finding Neverland, compliments of the producer, my NBF Harvey Weinstein.It had me clapping with one hand due to the operation, and standing with the packed theatre for the ovation. Shows how much the critics who panned it know. The audience loved it,

Low life

Low life | 4 June 2015

The entries are crawling in on their hands and knees for the ‘drunkest I’ve ever been’ competition to win a place at the launch party for the Low life column collection. Gawd. Reading your accounts makes me feel as sober and upright by comparison as a sidesman in the Dutch Reformed Church, and that I

Real life

Real life | 4 June 2015

Foolishly, I have this wild notion that one day, if the stars align in my favour, I might be able to reduce my Sky subscription. I know, I know. What a crazy, idealistic dreamer I am. But I just feel it ought to be possible to watch television for less than a thousand pounds a

More from life

Long life | 4 June 2015

I wrote last week about a swarm of bees that had attached itself to a wall of my house, as if this were a rare and momentous event; but since then there have been three more swarms, and the men in spacesuits have been back again to remove them. Well, they’ve actually removed only two

Are the cultural Marxists in retreat, or lying low?

In his Memoirs, Kingsley Amis includes a story about meeting Roald Dahl at a party in the 1970s. Dahl advises him to write a children’s book — ‘That’s where the money is’ — and brushes aside his objection that he doesn’t think it would be any good. ‘Never mind, the little bastards’d swallow it,’ he

Dear Mary

Your problems solved | 4 June 2015

Q. What should I say the next time I run into a woman with whom I was at art school but who obviously does not want to be friends with me now? I heard she had moved in round here and I was shopping in the high street when I saw her for the first


Claret and blues

There is a dive near St James’s which could claim to be the epicentre of international reaction. It is also a temple of pseudo–anti-intellectuality: the only club in London where chaps pretend not to have read books. Always a cheerful place, that is especially true at the moment. Its members still find it hard to

Mind your language

Brain fade

‘Aa-aah,’ groaned my husband, ‘we fade to grey.’ He had never been much of a Young Romantic, even when Visage was vigorous. I had merely told him that Oxford Dictionaries have added to their online collection the phrase brain fade. In April, when David Cameron said that he supported West Ham, having previously assured the world

The Wiki Man

In praise of the ‘Don’t know’ voter

I am scraping the edges of my memory here, but I am fairly sure that opinion polls in my childhood (for the elections of 1970, 1974 and 1979) quoted four percentages: Conservative, Labour, Liberal and ‘Undecided’. Nowadays no figure is quoted for ‘Don’t knows’, and party support is contrived to add up to 100 per