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Jonathan Ray

Luxury Goods SpecialPerfect time

As befitted someone who spent half his life looking at it, my father had a beautiful watch. Although I don’t recall the make, I do remember how sleek and elegant it was. My father’s whole life seemed to be ruled by time and by his pathological hatred of being late. I remember once sitting in

Luxury Goods SpecialSinking spirits

To say that there is a crisis in the Cognac world is to understate the case. The word scarcely hints at the sorry spectacle that is unfolding. This is more than just a tale of falling sales and mounting stocks, though the extent of the industry’s financial woes are real enough. More than anything, the

Luxury Goods SpecialConfessions of a dustjacket junkie

Like all junkies, my most important relationship is with my dealer. He must be cajoled and wheedled to remember me first, I must pay any price he asks and be grateful for the chance, and in no circumstances can there be the faintest whisper of complaint about the quality of the supply. To be sure,

Maximum Fiennes

I find it difficult to remember, in retrospect, why I thought it would impress Ranulph Fiennes – a man who has crossed the Antarctic unaided and who sawed the ends off his own, frostbitten fingers – if I arrived to interview him on a bicycle. I could have gone by cab and been waiting calmly

Perverts and the course of justice

One of those bad courtroom dramas on television might have used the scene as a denouement, and then been panned by the critics for its unrealism. A good and faithful servant, accused of felonious behaviour and facing prison, is acquitted thanks to a surprise intervention by a third party. The third party happens to be