High life

It will survive

New York The Big Bagel is facing one of the worst financial crises since the city teetered on going broke during the Seventies, when it actually defaulted on its bonds, and President Ford famously told the place to ‘drop dead’. I remember being in Elaine’s at the time, and when the headlines came in with

Low life

Lying in

We were supposed to report to the Household Cavalry barracks in west London at 8.45 but didn’t wake up, in south London, with a crucifying hangover, till nine. I’d been sick in the taxi on the way home, and when I went to put on my suit found that a good deal of it was

More from life

Your Problems Solved | 17 May 2003

Dear Mary… Q. I cannot believe that you condone the habit of ‘high-profile guests’ who keep their hosts waiting while they decide whether or not to accept an invitation (26 April). Their so-called ‘ruthless insistence on flexibility where social arrangements are concerned’ shows a weakness of self-importance. The hosts would no doubt have other guests

Gothic tales

Like most people, I first heard or rather read of the Gothic novel in Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. The heroine and her friend are gabbing away about The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole – at least I think it was The Castle of Otranto. Years ago, the BBC produced a serial based on Northanger

Mind your language

Mind Your Language | 17 May 2003

Sir Ned Sherrin is beautifully vindicated by Mrs Beeton. He had wondered (Mind your language, 15 March) whether ‘morning performances’ of plays mightn’t, like other morning social activities of the mid-19th century, have been undertaken in the afternoon. His particular interest was the matinée performances staged by Squire Bancroft at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre,