High life

High life | 14 April 2016

New York Harvey Keitel, the actor, rang up to invite me to a Marine shindig where General Petraeus would be guest speaker. The venue was Carnegie Hall, and I arrived late having had a tough session at the karate dojo. I was also very dehydrated. Next to me was a beautiful young woman by the

Low life

Low life | 14 April 2016

On Monday morning I was in a blind panic. The deadline for posted manuscript entries to the Daily Mail First Novel competition is 1730 GMT on Saturday 16 April. But I was in France again. A letter sent from France to Blighty takes between three days and a week. Therefore I had to get my

Real life

Real life | 14 April 2016

I am becoming the Basil Fawlty of Airbnb. Almost everything that tormented Basil has tormented me since I started taking in guests. I am thinking of nailing up a sign saying Kitey Towers, with the ‘y’ askew. If you don’t know what Airbnb is: some whizz-kid in America hit upon the idea of charging people

More from life

My confession: I began dodging tax aged eight

As someone who still entertains hope of becoming a member of Parliament one day, I’d better come clean about my own tax affairs. It’s a torrid tale, as you’d expect, but rather than wait for my political opponents to winkle the story out of me bit by bit, I thought I’d get it all out

Long life | 14 April 2016

The Royal College of Nursing (founded in 1916 with 34 members, but now with 440,000) is busy celebrating its centenary; and, at its grand headquarters in London’s Cavendish Square, there was another little celebration last week. This was to mark the centenary of a small, short-lived and generally unremembered medical institution, the Anglo-Russian Hospital of

National review

With great victories in Flat racing you witness hats-in-the-air exultation. You see the pride of trainers who nurtured the winner to full potential or of jockeys who timed their challenge perfectly. Sometimes you even spot the quieter satisfaction of the owners and breeders who framed the mating that brought it all about. But much of

Spectator Sport

Well done Danny, but Jordan will come back

Well here’s a thing: we’ve just had the first English bloke to win the Masters. Sure, an Englishman has won it before, but not a proper English bloke with a tattoo and the easy patter you’d expect from the man who comes to fix your dishwasher. And there were five Englishmen in the top 14

Dear Mary

Dear Mary | 14 April 2016

Q. I have a daily problem with knickers. I am size eight so not obese, but I find the sort of tiny lacy thongs I am expected by my peers to wear to be really uncomfortable since they always ride up. What should I do? — C.B., Oxford A. The tyranny of thongs has already


The bitter taste of victory

The Parliament Hill Café is a drab glass box at the bottom of Hampstead Heath, near the farmers’ market and the running track. But it is something else too. It is a paradigm. The Corporation of London announced that the D’Auria family, who have run the café for 33 years, would not get a new

Mind your language


‘The Archbishop of Canterbury has discovered he is the illegitimate son of Sir Winston Churchill’s last private secretary,’ Charles Moore told us last weekend. As a bonus in this Trollopean tale we learnt that, by Church of England canon law, ‘men born illegitimately were for centuries barred from becoming archbishops’, or indeed bishops. The affair also reminded