High life

High life | 15 October 2011

New York Here is the 64 million dollar question: is there a moral case against soaking the rich? I can’t think of a better place to ponder such an issue than right here in the womb of capitalism, the Big Bagel, taking into account that within the narrow corridor that is Manhattan Island some of

Low life

Low life | 15 October 2011

A very sporting publisher has put together a collection of Low life columns and is publishing it in hardback on 3 November. In the evening there is to be a drinks party at The Spectator offices in Westminster to celebrate the occasion. The boardroom can comfortably accommodate around 50 vertical drinkers. Of these 50, the

Real life

Real life | 15 October 2011

Stupidly, I left a pile of money on the fridge while I was in Italy and told the cleaner to come as usual. I thought it would be nice for her not to lose the business. But my cleaner is not some fly-by-night who takes money for nothing. My cleaner is serious about cleaning. She

More from life

The turf | 15 October 2011

Trainer Sir Mark Prescott once noted that the greyhound races for the anticipated pleasure of sinking its teeth into a fluffy white bunny tail ahead. The human athlete races for the hope of fame and riches. But what’s in it, he asked,  for the horse? One thing that has been in it for the racehorse

Toby Young: A weekend in sole charge

Caroline went away last Friday, leaving me alone with our four children for the weekend. Given that they’re aged eight and under, and I’d never been in sole charge before, it was something of a test. Could I cope? I hadn’t realised quite how regimented my children’s weekends are until I sat down and digested

Spectator Sport

Dear Mary

Dear Mary | 15 October 2011

Q. I live in a two-bedroom flat. It is not spacious but happens to be in the centre of Mayfair. By and large I welcome overnight guests. However, among their number is a couple who were essentially friends of my former girlfriend rather than me but who have become used to the convenience of the


Tanya Gold on food

Dorsia is the fictional restaurant in Bret Easton Ellis’s excellent novel American Psycho. The psycho, a banker called Patrick Bateman, longs to secure the 8.30 p.m. slot at Dorsia, but he can never get it; instead he walks through Manhattan killing other bankers, and sometimes prostitutes. Dorsia is like Jay Gatsby, an ever-receding metaphor, except

Mind your language


‘A gibbous moon,’ my husband observed the other night, as indeed the moon must be for almost half the time. But when he asked me where the word came from, I could hardly say. That is because, as a girl, I was denied a proper classical education. I did know where to find out, though,