High life

Taki’s recipe for the survival of the Greek nation

The good news is that a Greek suppository is about to relieve the EU’s economic constipation. The bad is that there’s a Castro in our midst posing — just as Fidel did 56 years ago — as a democratically elected populist. Back then it was Uncle Sam who was the bogyman. Now it’s the EU.

Low life

My initiation into the fellowship of wine (I swallowed)

This month’s wine club lecture was on red burgundy. The members were settling themselves at two large tables when I arrived, about ten to each one. I took an empty seat at the table farthest from the door and looked diffidently around, hoping to meet a welcoming eye. Not one. Presumably members were tired of

Real life

118 000 is, I now realise, the number of the beast

‘Orange 1-1-8 thousand how may I help you?’ said the cheerful voice. Carefree as you like, I asked for the number for Sky customer services to report my parents’ broken digibox. This was back on Christmas eve morning. I had been walking the dog around Kenilworth Castle when my dad rang in a panic saying

More from life

Spectator Sport

We should be grateful for Andy Murray (and Kim Sears)

It wasn’t that long ago when the most exciting event in any British tennis fan’s life was whether Jeremy Bates would make the second week of Wimbledon. If he did, cue weekend raptures and much use of a British bulldog holding a Maxply and encased in the Union Jack (copyright all cartoonists). And that was

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: How can I stop my neighbour pacing the ceiling?

Q. The woman who lives above me has insomnia and walks around all night. I’m also disturbed by her rather noisy cat, which seems to be constantly jumping around. Together they are keeping me awake and my work is suffering. But we are in a small house converted into two flats and I don’t wish


Mind your language


The Shading Out of Poetry by Deadline

Like old-time washerwomen floodwater is sousing trees and shrubs out on the drainage. Floating wrack dribbles seaward from their labour. Last time rains poured day and night in this way, the country was refilling after years of drought. This deluge spreads mirror over roads. Human effort gets its pages turned and blanked under microgroove and