High life

The lessons of New York’s carnage

New York I am seriously thinking of visiting a shrink (just kidding) as I now have definite proof that I am crazy. Instead of remaining in England and going to Badminton for the Duke of Beaufort’s 70th birthday bash, and catching a glimpse of the love of my life, Iona McLaren, I find myself in

Low life

My battle with an ant

At eight o’clock in the morning a nurse injected me with a radioactive marker and told me to go away and amuse myself for three hours. The metal chairs in the waiting room were uncomfortable and there was nothing to rest my head against. So I wandered outside the 19-storey hospital to look for somewhere

Real life

British Gas has turned the builder boyfriend into a socialist

A cleverly worded email has arrived from British Gas to explain why, despite the Prime Minister’s announcement, my gas and electricity is going to rise to £3,761.60 a year. When I say this email was well worded, I mean it was a master class in stating the indefensible while making it appear reasonable. You could

Wine Club

No sacred cows

Is Russell Brand really so dangerous?

Once the dust has settled over the government’s mini-Budget, another big political battle looms: the Online Safety Bill. This is the legislation that will make Ofcom responsible for regulating the internet so Britain becomes ‘the safest place in the world to go online’ – at least, that’s how the last government tried to sell it.

Spectator Sport

English rugby is in crisis

Make no mistake: the game of rugby, which many of us love so much, is in serious trouble: it will have to change or die. The game’s scarily existential issue on the field – especially the brain health of those who play it – is one thing. But what is going on inside the heads

Dear Mary


If Blairism were a carvery: the Impeccable Pig reviewed

Labour is 30 points ahead, and in honour of this I review the Impeccable Pig in Sedgefield (Cedd’s field), a medieval market town and pit village south of Durham. It is Tony Blair’s former constituency and Camelot, but nothing lasts for ever. Blairism had pleasingly flimsy beginnings. Sedgefield had yet to choose a Labour parliamentary

Mind your language

Why ‘pop’ is popping up everywhere

The Guardian kindly tells us that green is a colour whose time has come: ‘A blazer or a cotton shirt in Wimbledon grass-court green as a pop of saturated colour against white jeans and chunky flat boots is very Copenhagen Fashion Week.’ For the Express, it’s nails: ‘With polish costing from as little as £1,



We all need to someone to watch our back, says the man on TV. Yours hunches at the wheel as we sail through vineyards dense   with straining vines. Our cases bulge and scrape as we lift them from the boot. You’ve drawn the short straw – the orange one with a dodgy wheel, a