High life

High Life | 17 January 2009

Gstaad So what’s a few hundred dead Palestinian children when Tzipi and Ehud have gained eight to ten points in the polls? They were terrorist babies, anyway. So what if the Egyptians and Saudis are ignoring them while spending millions on hookers, palaces and yachts? The Gazans don’t deserve such goodies, certainly not palaces on

Low life

Low Life | 17 January 2009

I’m in the barber’s chair, getting a trim, studying the reflections of the waiting customers in the mirror. One man, about 60 years old, his head in the Daily Mail, looks vaguely familiar. We’ve met somewhere before, I think. Then I remember. It was at one of our lurcher, terrier and ferret club summer shows.

Real life

Real Life | 17 January 2009

Another night without sleep because of the upstairs neighbours’ remarkable capacity for impromptu nocturnal romance. What I don’t understand is, why do these people always end up living in the flat above mine? Everywhere we read about the declining libido of the human species, the fact that fertility is down, that people are too tired

More from life

The Turf | 17 January 2009

One of my favourite spectator sports is sitting, glass in hand, watching Mrs Oakley in the kitchen. There will be a stock reducing here, a pan with a few chopped leeks and onions there. A pinch of this, a sprinkle of that. A handful of coriander and a scrinch of lemon, a shlurp of rather

Status Anxiety | 17 January 2009

How a reality show gave me back my title as least popular person in America When I was asked if I wanted to appear as a judge on Top Chef, an American reality programme, I said ‘yes’ without giving it much thought. The producers assured me it was ‘the highest-rated food reality show on cable’,

Dear Mary

Dear Mary | 17 January 2009

Q. I know someone who is a theatre producer, an extremely generous man who never says no to anyone, whose secretary is besieged with calls from friends of his wanting (often free) tickets for Oliver! How can she deal with this without offending them? How can he continue coming off like a saint? It is

Mind your language

Mind Your Language | 17 January 2009

When my husband can’t put his chair-side whisky glass on the old familiar mat, he gets quite agitated. It seems like Asperger’s disorder. My own irritation is more rationally provoked, I hope. A recent irritant was the foolish philology that I came across in the Daily Mail: ‘Politicians and the Catholic Church have warned that

The Wiki Man

The Wiki Man | 17 January 2009

Last month saw the usual spate of newspaper articles ridiculing the circular letters sent with Christmas cards. A series of books by Simon Hoggart now documents the worst of these. Funny as his examples are, he’ll be hard put to beat the instance sent in by a reader of the Daily Telegraph: ‘I suppose the