High life

High life | 12 November 2015

Those who forget the pasta are condemned to reheat it, tweeted Jon Ronson, a man I’d never heard of until his quip about spaghetti. I read about the tweet in a newspaper, as I’ve never used social media — Twitter, Facebook, Instagram — and hope that I never will. Why would I, unless I wanted

Low life

Low life | 12 November 2015

My sister has a new man in her life: Henry, 60. He lives in a gay hotel. Or rather, it was a gay hotel in the era when homosexuality was illegal; now the Victorian seaside villa is empty save for my sister’s new boyfriend, my sister sometimes, and a transvestite maid called Rita. Sometimes he

Real life

Real life | 12 November 2015

By the time you read this I will have delivered my long-awaited speech to the World Horse Welfare annual conference in the presence of the Princess Royal. I say ‘long awaited’ not because I have some inflated sense of how important I am. But because I have been working myself into a right old lather

More from life

Long life | 12 November 2015

It is hardly uncommon for politicians to lie, especially when their careers are threatened by a sexual transgression — John Profumo about Christine Keeler, for example, and Bill Clinton on not having had ‘sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky’. But there is a particular kind of distortion of the truth that is rare over

Triumphant Twelve

Three personalities dominated the Flat season: Gosden, Dettori and Golden Horn. Victories for the trio in the Derby, the Irish Champion Stakes and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe ensured that John Gosden, a true ambassador for the sport, once again won the trainers’ championship, a title determined by the value of victories won. Frankie

Meet Leo, the youngest member of our household

I’m pleased to announce an addition to the Young household — a ten-week-old Vizsla. For those unfamiliar with this particular breed of dog, they are Hungarian in origin and when fully grown are about the same size as a lab. They make good bird dogs — they’re excellent retrievers — but can also double up as

Spectator Sport

Dear Mary

Dear Mary on cheering up an ageing Adonis….

Q. The other night, as I arrived at the John James exhibition on Fulham Road, I stopped to say hello to an old friend standing outside. We had exchanged only a few words when the man next to him suddenly addressed me in sneering tones: ‘Are you having a senior moment?’ It is true I


Mind your language

Is ‘female’ still an insult?

‘More deadly than the male,’ said my husband archly. He was knowingly quoting Kipling, though I don’t know why he should, since Kipling was not fashionable when he was young. His cue was a remark he overheard from an academic former colleague puzzled by the frequency of female in student essays, where woman might have