High life

When I played softball for Esquire, against Screw

Al Goldstein, who died recently and made the front page of the New York Times, was among the world’s most disgusting men. But hardly as repellent as Charles Saatchi and certainly without the coward’s bullying manner — against women, that is. Goldstein founded Screw magazine during the Sixties and pushed hard-core porn into the mainstream

Low life

The joy of showing my grandson how to wield an axe

Until a fortnight ago there was a healthy, graceful, 70ft-specimen of Eucalyptus dalrympleana — or mountain gum — in the garden. Now there isn’t. Or rather, the remains of the trunk and branches are lying in sections on the ground. To knock a few quid off the tree surgeon’s bill, I’d grandiosely told them not

Real life

Wild life

More from life

Want to create the next Mark Zuckerberg? Teach Latin!

I was disappointed to read an article in the Times about a new free school in Hammersmith being proposed by Ian Livingstone, one of the founders of the UK games industry. This isn’t because I’m worried about Livingstone’s school luring pupils away from the West London Free School, also in Hammersmith. I’m all in favour

Dear Mary


Mind your language

Where did ‘No justice, no peace’ come from?

The chant No justice, no peace by supporters of Mark Duggan, the drug gangster shot dead by police in 2011, sounded more like a threat than a prediction. No one knows the originator of the slogan, but that is not surprising. It is a commonplace of the struggle. In 2011, for example, a pair of


American Night

All in the half-dark, we watch the dead playing the parts of the living, in roles we have seen before: The Quiet Man, or The Song of Bernadette. A stranger in a blue Thames van came from somewhere to the west as night drew in, to unload the big, flat cans with reels in them

The Wiki Man