High life

Broken society

Who the hell does David Cameron think he is to tell Benji Mancroft to think more before opening his mouth? Did Cameron think when he asked us to hug a hoodlum? I’ve been lucky and never had to go to a hospital in the UK but, unless I was bleeding to death and needed emergency

Low life

Oasis of calm

At the local swimming-pool, various sessions throughout the week are reserved for the exclusive use of women, schoolchildren, naturists, beginners, GP referrals, naturist GP referrals, youths, water-polo players and early risers. Because I happen to be none of these things, the only sessions open to me until recently were the so-called public swimming sessions, which

Slow life

Dizzying spectacle

As it is something we all crave, even demand as a right, a lot of research has been conducted into what makes people happy. I’m surprised everybody isn’t aware, and apologies if you already are, that there are three different classes of experience that are all guaranteed to fill our wells of content. First, some

More from life

Senior moment

I used to be quite keen on jogging, working on the theory that you add a minute to your life for every mile run. My enthusiasm weakened after a TV colleague pointed out that the net result of my endeavours would be an extra six months in the nursing home in my eighties at £4,000

Status Anxiety | 8 March 2008

‘Few shows of such embarrassing, authorial ineptitude can have hit the London stage since the Blitz.’ That was the verdict of Nicholas de Jongh, the Evening Standard drama critic, on the satirical play about the royal family that Lloyd Evans and I wrote in 2006. It wasn’t the only bad review we got, but it

Wine Club

March Spectator Mini-Bar Offer

This month we feature luxurious wines from France — some well-known, others which deserve to become much better known. This month we feature luxurious wines from France — some well-known, others which deserve to become much better known. They’re from Yapp Brothers in Wiltshire. The celebrated Robin Yapp, who founded the firm, and his son

Dear Mary

Dear Mary | 8 March 2008

Q. I share a student house with three others. My room is next to the kitchen and one of my housemates often eats lunch while surfing the net on my MacBook. Some of the keys have been gunked up with the effluent and spores from his meals but he is the landlord and I don’t

Mind your language

Mind your language | 8 March 2008

A medical friend of my husband’s came to me in some distress, having stumbled upon an advertisement in the New Yorker mentioning a ‘documentary débuting November 6’. He was amused by the careful use of an acute accent, puzzled by the word’s pronunciation and shocked by the brutal transformation of a French noun into an

The Wiki Man

The Wiki Man | 8 March 2008

As you probably know (to your cost), Amazon purchases above a certain value incur no delivery charge. This offer works because so many people buy extra books to lift their order above the free-postage threshold. Predictably, in every country in which the retailer has launched the scheme, there has been an immediate and sustained uplift