High life

High life | 6 December 2008

New York A funny thing happened to me on my way out from a party on 17 November in London. I was temporarily confused until I ran into Naomi Campbell in the Royal Hospital Gardens. She was carrying some packages into her car and offered me a ride. ‘Are you going on to Andrew’s?’ she

Low life

Low life | 6 December 2008

We first encountered Ahmed, our dragoman in Cairo, when he stepped forward to greet us at passport control. He was dressed soberly in dark suit, black tie, black shoes. Shaved head. Designer glasses. His manner was brisk and unsmiling. But now and again an engagingly complicit smile lighted his hawkish face to remind us that

Real life

Real life | 6 December 2008

My friend Stephen rang me in a tremendous huff, just as I was trying to eat a mince pie. ‘I no longer wish to be a part of this society. You can cease referring to me as a British citizen. I no longer accede to the precepts of this system we call Britain.’ I tried

More from life

Status Anxiety | 6 December 2008

In a recession, head for the mall where you can buy seven Crunchies for £1.49 I was awestruck. As a long-term resident of West London, I had been looking forward to my first glimpse of this emporium, but it was even better than I imagined. I simply had no idea shopping centres could be this

Spectator Sport

Spectator Sport | 6 December 2008

There’s got to be some direct relationship these days between the bad behaviour of the Twickenham crowd and the feebleness of the English team. When the Twickers faithful launched into an insanely enthusiastic rendition of ‘Swing Low’ as the All Blacks went into the haka last weekend, you knew there was trouble in store. The

Dear Mary

Dear Mary | 6 December 2008

Q. I have a well-established and generally wonderful cleaning woman whose job, in her view, includes chatting. This was fine in the past when my children were out at school all day but now my 16-year-old son is attending sixth-form college and comes back to work at home between lessons. I have asked my ‘treasure’