High life

High life | 10 November 2016

 New York Americans have been to the polls. Everything is over but the shouting — by the loser, that is: honest Hil. I predicted that the best Trump could have hoped for was winning the popular vote but losing the Electoral College but I got it wrong: the Donald has triumphed. An underfunded campaign —

Low life

Low life | 10 November 2016

I didn’t fancy the hotel breakfast, so I wandered into Arles old town looking for a café. The weather and the season had changed overnight. The day before had been hot, golden and still. This morning an icy wind was yanking the last of the dying leaves from the plane trees and my thin canvas

Real life

Real life | 10 November 2016

A wonderful email has arrived from Airbnb entitled ‘Discrimination and Belonging — What It Means For You’. Having tried to make sense of it, I feel it can mean only one thing with any certainty. And that is that the Airbnb party is over. The web business started by a whizz kid in his New

More from life

Oh, the shame of not being Pointless

I give an after-dinner speech occasionally called ‘Media Training for Dummies’. That may sound condescending, but the dummy in question is me. It’s a compendium of anecdotes about my disastrous media appearances, each more humiliating than the last. At some point I’m going to turn it into a PowerPoint presentation, interspersing the talk with clips

Long life | 10 November 2016

At the beginning of November 1980, one week before Ronald Reagan won a landslide victory in the presidential election, Henry Fairlie, then writing regularly for The Spectator from Washington, finally slid off the fence and made a firm prediction. ‘Jimmy Carter will be the next President of the United States,’ he wrote in the first

Twelve to follow | 10 November 2016

When Theresa May came to power the Turf community was full of hope. Had she not been, if only briefly and in partnership, a racehorse-owner herself? Perhaps, then, she might revive the question Margaret Thatcher used to put to her ministers about any intended senior appointment in Whitehall: ‘One of us?’ Sadly, those early hopes

Spectator Sport

Football’s new Special One

Jurgen or José: compare and contrast (and please write on as many sides of the paper as possible). Is there any more charismatic man in Britain right now than Jurgen Klopp? A real Special One and currently sitting on top of the Premier League. He gives good interview, loves his players, loves the fans (they

Dear Mary

Dear Mary | 10 November 2016

Q. A man I know (but not very well) has invited me and another girl to stay in a villa he’s been loaned. He says the only thing I’ll have to pay for is my flight but I suspect that though we’ll probably have picnics on the beach each day for lunch, we’ll go to


The cheesecake of the apocalypse

Harry Morgan is a Jewish delicatessen and restaurant in the style of New York City on St John’s Wood High Street in north London. St John’s Wood is home to wealthy Muslims and Jews, who are attracted by a lone mosque, many synagogues and more cake shops than even the greediest hedge-funder could eat his

Mind your language


‘If there’s one thing I can’t stand,’ said my husband, ‘it’s scented candles.’ Now, we have never knowingly harboured a scented candle in the house. He was merely rebelling against the notion of hygge, named by Collins’ dictionaries as one of the words — English words — of 2016. The motive for naming it may