No life

Lloyd Evans

The reality of food banks

The old man next door asked me to collect his parcel from the food bank. ‘Sure,’ I said. I joined a queue of 20 starvelings outside a chapel in the East End. Most were migrants carrying rucksacks or bags for life, and there were a few Cockney mums with fidgety nippers in tow. Everyone in

Real life

I’ll do anything to get a decent plumber

The plumbers come and go, but mainly go, and I am now so desperate for a bath that I will do anything for a man carrying a pipe wrench. If only I had more Botox in my face and my highlights done, I found myself thinking, as we sat at the kitchen table one night

Wild life

Viazi the dog had a lucky escape from a baboon

Laikipia Viazi is a Samburu mongrel bitch with a curly tail. She is one of the most delightful, wonderful creatures I’ve known in my life. Her energy is boundless, she is always cheery and she’s been my great friend. When our collie Sasi had her litter of puppies in a heavy thunderstorm on the farm

More from life

How to (correctly) make a Cornish pasty

When it comes to traditional food, there is always regional pride to contend with. Many recipes are intrinsically connected to the area from which they have sprung: Pontefract cakes, Chelsea buns, Lancashire hotpot, Welsh rarebit. They represent heritage and tradition – edible history. You must tread carefully to avoid offending regional heritage, or just making

Wine Club

Delicious wines to celebrate the end of Dry January 

Water wagon? What water wagon? With Dry January now just a ghastly memory, let’s start cracking open the vino. And, crikey, we’ve a corking offer with FromVineyardsDirect to tempt you. If you don’t salivate immediately, well, I don’t think you like wine at all. FVD need to clear the decks to take in newer vintages

No sacred cows

Spectator Sport

Farewell to rugby’s King John

You couldn’t miss the heartbreaking irony of one of the greatest rugby players who ever pulled on his boots passing away just as the latest tournament was getting under way featuring 18-stone behemoths smashing into each other. Barry John, who retired at 27 and died last Sunday at 79, could have walked through brick walls

Dear Mary


Mind your language

The unforeseen nature of consequences

In March 1847 the world first read of Mr Toots saying: ‘It’s of no consequence.’ He went on saying it for the next 13 months until the last number of Dickens’s Dombey and Son had been published. His embarrassed sallies into affairs of the heart had gained a catchphrase. Mr Toots’s remark meant ostensibly, ‘It


The Mattress

How do the methodical make love? Do they peel off their clothes In separate corners, before Slipping under the sheets and Turning off the bedside light? Do you like the woman to lie there, To pump her between kisses until She asks you to do it from behind? I always pictured us in an alley,

Wonderful Tennessee

Distillation of a play by Brian Friel, first performed at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, on 30 June 1993 Silence. Sound – waves tumbling over each other, seagull, singing, laughing, as three couples run onto the beach. They are celebrating the birthday of Terry. Angela and Berna are sisters. Angela and George are having a secret