High life

The Qatar way

Gstaad Talk about dumbing down. Here’s a moron commenting on Sky following the Greek victory in the women’s javelin: ‘Oi didn’t know Greeks could speak English, not that oi can speak Greek….’ Miréla Manjani is an articulate young Greek woman who won the gold medal in the World Athletics Championships in Paris last week. She

Low life

Doctor in the house

There is very little in the way of conversation at home. Uncle Jack sometimes appears in the hall to ask someone where he is, what he is doing here, or what time of the year it is. The rest of us communicate so rarely we are rapidly losing the power of speech. Occasionally someone might

More from life

Putting on L-plates

It seems a bit odd, learning to drive in one’s thirties. Readers will wonder why I have put it off for so long. The answer is that, as Eliza Doolittle thought, it is jolly nice being driven around in the back of a taxi. The expense of the fares was justified by the cost of

Your Problems Solved | 6 September 2003

Dear Mary… Q. Our 15-year-old daughter was invited as a guest to accompany a schoolfriend on holiday with her friend’s father and stepmother (whom we have not met) as the elder sister did not wish to go. In a telephone conversation to discuss possible dates that would not conflict with our own family holiday, my

Mind your language

Mind Your Language | 6 September 2003

I can’t say that I care for the outbreak of ‘Mumbai’ that has been pouring from the telly since those terrible bombs in Bombay. Why should we suddenly call it Mumbai any more than we should now call Burma Myanmar? Twenty years ago there was a passing vogue for calling Cambodia Kampuchea. The dictionary that