High life

In praise of Londoners

Southampton, Long Island ‘Why, oh why, do the wrong people travel?’ sang Noël Coward back in the early 1960s. Lucky Sir Noël, he never met the present bunch. Just as the Bolsheviks deemed the aristocracy and the intelligentsia to be enemies of the people back in 1917, good manners and conservative dress are viewed today

Real life

No sacred cows

Did the BBC silence lockdown sceptics?

Did the BBC breach its own impartiality rules by keeping critics of the government’s pandemic response off the air during the first lockdown? I first made that accusation in 2020 in a witness statement I submitted to the High Court in an effort to challenge Ofcom’s ‘coronavirus guidance’, which I argued was a factor in

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: how do I stop my husband stripping off in the sun?

Q. I own a small boutique in north London selling secondhand clothes which are exclusively couture. An acquaintance is a frequent shopper but has a tendency to return items a few days after buying them with reasons like ‘My husband didn’t like the colour’ or ‘I think it’s too young for me.’ I have been


The beauty of rosé and roses

What an idyllic setting. We were amidst the joys of high summer in England, with just enough of a breeze to save us from the heat of the sun, and the further help of a swimming pool. Water without, wine within. We were also surrounded by roses, England’s flower, luxuriating in their beauty and innocence.

Mind your language

Where was the original kangaroo court?

‘Their purpose from the beginning has been to find me guilty, regardless of the facts. This is the very definition of a kangaroo court.’ So said Boris Johnson, in announcing his departure from parliament, with reference to the Commons Privileges Committee. What have kangaroos got to do with it? Perhaps a kangaroo court’s essence is


An open verdict

I have a flat now, three rooms and a view,a place, should your ex-wife think to enquire,of paint tins, crazy paving, sprays of blueconvolvulus on sagged and laddered wire,a bedroom lit all night by passing cars,a kitchen diner, mug-rings, missing tiles,a lounge with peacock feathers in a vaseto add, the landlord says, that touch of

The Wiki Man

The turf

The high and lows of a Hong Kong jockey

You can take a jockey who has ridden there out of Hong Kong; it’s a lot harder, I reflected, after a chat at Newbury with Neil Callan, taking Hong Kong out of the jockey. Even though this is his second season back on home territory after spending ten years in that racing pressure cooker, Neil