High life

The FBI has a problem with Catholics

On board Aello She was built in 1921, a beautiful wooden ketch that is as graceful to look at as she’s uncomfortable for fat cats accustomed to gin palaces. I’ve sailed her over many years, the last time giving her to my children as I was in plaster having fallen from a balcony in Gstaad.

Real life

How builders plan to get round the Ulez charge

‘What a worry the Ulez must be for you both,’ said a friend with a nod to the pick-up truck parked outside our house. It was kind of him to wonder. The builder boyfriend drives an old Mitsubishi L200 to work in London every day and like almost every other working man he cannot afford

More from life

Fish and chips: the fast food that made me

The last meal my parents had before I graced the world with my presence was fish and chips, so I like to think it forms part of my origin story. Growing up on the coast, fish and chips featured in all its forms: bags of chips clutched on windy beach walks; takeaway fish suppers brought

Wine Club

No sacred cows

Who fact checks the fact-checkers?

Last week, a retired physics professor called Nick Cowern said it was time to get tough with ‘climate denialists’. ‘In my opinion the publication of climate disinformation should be a criminal offence,’ he posted on Twitter. He was ridiculed, but what sounds ludicrously over-the-top today could easily become the norm tomorrow. At least four EU

Spectator Sport

England’s rugby World Cup has disaster written all over it

England’s preparation for the upcoming rugby World Cup is beginning to look like a slow-motion car crash, after two pathetic performances against Wales. Those of a betting disposition might want to bung a bit on Argentina muscling England aside when they meet in their first pool encounter on 9 September. The Pumas aren’t world beaters,

Dear Mary


Mind your language

The problem with ‘black market’

The term black market should be replaced with illegal market because it could suggest racial bias or discrimination, according to UK Finance, a trade body for British banking and financial services. I suppose it is asking for the black never to be used with negative connotations. That will be a black day for the language.


View from a Window

1979 Break time. Out of the staff room window through             The fug of pipes and cigarettes The landscape of industrial decline             Has empty smokeless chimneys signal debts To history that never will be paid             Except by demolition. Cleanliness Of plate glass far prefers the playing fields             Whose straight white lines mean