High life

Western folly

Gstaad ‘Let me put it in, just a little bit’ was known as the second biggest lie after ‘the cheque is in the mail’ and it comes to mind when the Archbishop of Canterbury asks for just a little bit of sharia law. Enough said. People far more qualified than me have already commented on

Low life

Flying circles

Thinkers living in the nearest market town are anxious about something called ‘Peak Oil’. Last week they held a public meeting on the subject: To Fly Or Not To Fly? The venue was a centuries-old meeting room beautifully decorated in the Tudor style, with an elaborate moulded plaster ceiling and monumental stone fireplace. About 30

Real life

Delaying tactics

Why can’t anyone agree to the smallest thing any more without asking you to put it in an email? I rang a friend and asked him to have lunch with me this week and he said, ‘Can you put that in an email?’ Well, I told him, I suppose I could put it in an

More from life

Status Anxiety | 16 February 2008

Where is the next generation of Toby Youngs? It’s my turn to dismiss their drivel In 1988, Weidenfeld and Nicolson published a book called The Oxford Myth. Edited by Rachel Johnson and containing essays by a variety of precocious undergraduates, it was the worst reviewed book of the year. ‘A singularly worthless volume,’ wrote Niall

Spectator Sport

Spectator Sport | 16 February 2008

My friend Simon has a lovely bench in his garden made up of the blue-painted wooden seats he sat in with his dad when they went to Rugby League decades ago. He bought them when the old Swinton ground was knocked down. That’s what a lot of sport’s about: you mustn’t let the past disappear.

Dear Mary

Dear Mary | 16 February 2008

Q. I am currently living, with two others, in a ‘high end’ house in an elegant garden square in Chelsea. We are all friends of, and pay rent in some form to, our absentee landlord, an old-school landowner and pig breeder who, when not charming the birds from the trees, is generally blasting the life

Mind your language

Mind your language | 16 February 2008

In my husband’s coat pocket when I took it to the cleaner’s I found a piece of paper that he had brought home from the dentist’s. It contained remarks about the word merry, for his dentist is a well-read man of letters. I should have written about this before Christmas, but it was still hidden