High life

High Life | 9 August 2008

On board S/Y Bushido Sailing into Athens, renamed ‘cemento-polis’ by green-loving Athenians, can be a traumatic experience, for one’s crew, that is. Coming in from the west, crossing Pireaus, my German cook Daniel could not believe his eyes. ‘Was ist das? Das ist furchtbar, abscheulich!’ Daniel is young, a very good cook and as good

Low life

Low Life | 9 August 2008

As we went in, our hostess mentioned that the restaurant had three Michelin stars, but at 78 years of age the chef felt he would rather live without the daily pressure of living up to three stars and had requested Michelin to reduce it to two. We were shown to our table and I chose

Slow life

Slow Life | 9 August 2008

Colin wanted to meet me in Aldsworth. I’d never heard of it but it was only about five miles away, between where I got married and where the reception was. Colin was the guy behind the British Mars shot a few years back — Colin Pillinger, the man who, given half a chance, could do

More from life

The Turf | 9 August 2008

Where there’s a will . . . Observing a short-eared owl beating over the marshes like a huge, predatory moth, an osprey finishing off the fish meal he had snatched a few minutes before from Loch Don, an otter carrying home his supper across a rippling inlet were highlights of a few days on the

Status Anxiety | 9 August 2008

At first, I thought the reason the British Consul General in Los Angeles had agreed to have lunch with me was because he knew who I was. Before setting off on my annual pilgrimage to Hollywood, I had emailed Bob Peirce to see if he might be able to squeeze in a quick drink. I

Dear Mary

Dear Mary | 9 August 2008

Q. My daughter has left her appalling husband and come to live with me while her new house is being made ready. Today a parcel arrived with the usual sort of impenetrable wrapping which needs to be cut through with secateurs. I attacked the packaging with gusto and threw it on to the fire. Only

Mind your language

Mind Your Language | 9 August 2008

Those Miliband boys are clever. I was trying to discover what they stood for, and I thought I’d found something interesting in a speech by Ed Miliband. Then I realised I was mistaken. ‘I want a society where there is intergenerational equity,’ he said in a speech to Compass (not the investor and analyst group

The Wiki Man

The Wiki Man | 9 August 2008

Toby Young in last week’s Spectator remarked on the peculiar malice, as he saw it, of the online comments posted in response to his articles. He has a point. The people who post comments are not the same reverential folk who form a paper’s traditional print readership. On the other hand, at a time when