High life

Low life

Real life

Could this pandemic be the death of veganism?

‘Do you want some of the private stuff from out the back?’ said the butcher to the builder boyfriend, leaning forward over the counter and winking theatrically. The builder b winced a little for this was starting to feel like the terrifying scene in League Of Gentlemen when Mr Briss starts selling a mysterious and

Wild life

Our exile in NW1

Laikipia The sweetest sound to me now is the dawn chorus of birdsong at home on the farm. I lay awake in bed and listened, as a light rain fell on the coconut thatch above me. When I walked out into the garden the three dogs burst out of the house to go off exploring.

Wine Club

Wine Club 11 April

Well, I never expected to spend my 60th birthday under lock and key, that’s for sure. I had a slightly troubled youth, it’s true, with several run-ins with the rozzers during my teens — culminating in a salutary scolding at Maidstone Magistrates’ Court in August 1976 — but after a (fairly) blameless middle age, I

No sacred cows

Dear Mary


Mind your language

The animal ferocity of ‘ramping up’

My husband is fond of an old pub in Northumberland called the Red Lion, once a drovers’ inn, it says. In fact my husband is fond of lots of pubs, many of them unattractive. The red (or gules) lion of the Scottish royal banner is rampant, ‘rearing up’. This rampancy is connected in complicated ways

The Wiki Man

My Japanese toilet has made me a lockdown hero

Compared with every other household chore, progress in bum-wiping has been glacially slow. It’s only in living memory that schools and institutions stopped using something called Izal, a box of medicated toilet wipes similar in texture to greaseproof paper, and thus spectacularly ill-suited to its purpose. It was characteristic of the Britain of my childhood,