High life

High life | 6 October 2016

New York Back in the Big Bagel once again preparing for the greatest debate ever, one that will decide the fate of the western world once and for all. In the meantime, the mother of my children is doing all the heavy lifting back in Gstaad, moving to my last address ever, that of my

Low life

Low life | 6 October 2016

The first and only time I went to a meeting of Sex Addicts Anonymous, this chap stood up and gave a blow-by-blow account of his sexual history. He had started life as a heterosexual, he said, and became hopelessly addicted to pornography and prostitutes. Then he decided to give gay sex a try and soon

Real life

Real life | 6 October 2016

After a year dealing with estate agents I can only say: a plague on all their houses, except the one of mine they’re trying to sell. I do hate being obvious and lashing out at oft maligned groups because it really is too clichéd. I belong to several of these hated groups myself, after all.

More from life

Long life | 6 October 2016

In olden days, before the internet arrived, shopping was quite simple. You’d go into a shop and buy something, and that was it. If you liked the shop, if it sold things you wanted to buy at a fair price, and if the shopkeeper was efficient and agreeable, you might return. But otherwise you wouldn’t.

A good read… but I don’t buy the plot

I’m writing this from the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham where the mood is buoyant, to put it mildly. Everyone seems delighted with the new captain and completely unfazed by the perilous waters ahead. If anyone is sad about the demise of David Cameron and some of his key lieutenants they’re not letting on. It’s

Wine Club

Wine Club 8 October

Although many wine merchants are tightening their post-Brexit belts and rationalising their cellars, Yapp Bros have thrown their net ever wider. They might be the 2016 International Wine Challenge Loire Specialist of the Year and ditto for the Rhône, but Yapps have recently been fishing outside their traditional waters, making first-time forays deeper into France

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: Your problems solved | 6 October 2016

Q. A family of five from Brazil who are close friends of mine are visiting London next week. They have been kind and generous to me in the past so we arranged to take them to lunch at a Michelin starred restaurant. However since this plan was made, in true Latino fashion they have invited


Eat, drink and be worried

We were surpassing Sydney Smith. His idea of heaven was pâté de foie gras to the sound of trumpets. Our version was an un pâtéd foie: even more delicious. Though no one had laid on Jeremiah Clarke, there was music: a bottle of Doisy Daëne ’75. In most of the Bordeaux area, 1975 was an

Mind your language

Critique | 6 October 2016

‘Americans,’ said my husband in much the same tone that Betsey Trotwood said ‘Donkeys’. It was his way of explaining my dislike of the verb critique. I had bridled most recently in reading a rather good review by Professor Sir Paul Collier in the TLS, where he said that ‘leading economists have critiqued the euro’.

The Wiki Man

Let there be light, and at better times of day

We already drive on the left, give road distances in miles and drink pints. So one good feature of Brexit is that Britain will be able to develop a whole series of exciting new idiosyncrasies to annoy continental Europeans. For instance, I am planning to bring a private petition to Parliament demanding that Britain formally