High life

Wild and crazy

New York I thought Catherine Meyer made the week’s most intelligent remark: ‘If Cabinet ministers can sell their memoirs, why can’t civil servants?’ Or words to that effect. She’s a good German, probably the old-fashioned kind, but the old-fashioned kind has been unpopular since the war, although never with me. Now she’s more unpopular than

Low life

Match made in heaven

My friend and I arranged to meet outside the Boleyn pub, which is on the corner of Green Street and the Barking Road, 15 minutes before kick-off. I was about five minutes late and he wasn’t there. I had both our match-day tickets, so I couldn’t go in without him. I stood in the pub

More from life

Red devils

From the 1870s, soccer’s insular ‘home’ unions had simply played among each other. Incredibly, England did not invite a foreign nation over here for a game for fully 50 years after they’d first played Scotland in 1871. Even after beating plucky little Belgium by 6–1 at Highbury in March 1923, the haughty English were not

Your Problems Solved | 19 November 2005

Dear Mary… Q. As an elderly art-lover, I was thrilled to be invited to the private views of exhibitions by both Julian Barrow and his brother Andrew. Alas, I see these take place on the very same night next week and, as I am now nearly 90 and practically bedridden, I really cannot risk the

Caviar crisis

Many of us, not being regular purchasers of the sturgeon’s eggs, will be unaware of the gravity of the caviar crisis. I have only just learnt that the population of the beluga sturgeon, which produces the best-quality caviar and lives mostly in the Caspian Sea, has suffered a 90 per cent decline in the past

Solid and dependable

Since its launch in 1989, Land-Rover’s popular Discovery has demonstrated that critical issues for motoring correspondents, such as handling and reliability, count for little when it comes to looks, comfort, usability and aspirations. Actually, that’s a little hard on the dear old Disco of that era. The V8 petrol version performed well and, although the

Mind your language

Mind Your Language | 19 November 2005

In Michael Wharton’s novel Sheldrake, the hero, Major Sheldrake, finds himself in the northern town of Borewich where he is given unsought information about the local speech. ‘Food for thought! That’s an old Borewich expression the Major won’t have heard of,’ he is told. ‘Ah, Major, come and have some tea. The cup that cheers