High life

High Life | 9 May 2009

New York We had a preview of sultry August here last week, with temperatures going as far up as 93° Fahrenheit in Central Park, filled to the brim by girls in their summer dresses, and others less modest in their tiny bikinis. For some strange reason, one doesn’t notice men in their summer best, not

Low life

Low Life | 9 May 2009

I met Digger 30 years ago in a plastics factory. We put in 12-hour shifts on adjacent injection moulding machines, which is a good way to get to know somebody, and we knocked about together after work, mainly in pubs, for a year or so, and then I went away and we lost contact. Six

Real life

Real Life | 9 May 2009

Being a naturally negative person I make it my business to subscribe to something called ‘Marty Dow’s positive-thought service — We can change the world one thought at a time!’ These are nice little ‘affirmations’ which arrive in my personal email exhorting me to breathe, fill my thoughts with light, visualise myself as a child

More from life

The Turf | 9 May 2009

There are trainers who greet winners by noisily embracing their owners, planting smackers on everything in sight from the horse to the clerk of the course and suddenly becoming voluble blood brothers with racing writers they have previously shunned like slugs in their lettuce. And then there is John Oxx, the Irish maestro from whom

Status Anxiety | 9 May 2009

As with all road accidents, there was that initial feeling of euphoria — a kind of ecstatic languor. Why is that? Is it to do with losing control? It’s gone almost before you notice it, and then the internal audit begins. I knew I’d hit my head quite hard because I had to struggle to

Dear Mary

Dear Mary | 9 May 2009

Q. I am spending the weekend with an old friend. She has a policy of putting clean sheets on her spare beds on Mondays, ‘and I don’t change them again until the following week, whatever happens’. I happen to know that this week has been busy for her and I cannot face the idea of

Mind your language

Mind your language | 9 May 2009

A heads-up is one of those slangy terms that are disreputable not from their semantic content but from the company they keep. It is a cliché in the mouths of dull management types. The meaning has changed in its short life. Currently it means ‘an informal briefing’: ‘I’ll just give you a heads-up on the

The Wiki Man

The Wiki Man | 9 May 2009

I have just passed a pub in Gosport. ‘Beer garden with free gas barbecue’, reads a notice outside. ‘Bring your own food.’ Perhaps the landlord has just been reading an advance copy of Chris Anderson’s upcoming book Free, subtitled Why $0.00 is the future of business. This book (an expanded version of a Wired article