No life

Lloyd Evans

My (surprisingly) decent proposal

‘Like being chained to a lunatic.’ That’s how a man feels in relation to his libido. And the lunatic latches on to anything, irrationally, and without warning. In Cambridge recently I dropped into a lecture given by a beautiful historian, Lea Ypi, from Albania, whose discourse included this observation about revolutionaries: ‘Once they attain power

Real life

Lefties don’t know anything about farming

The artists and hippies are re-wilding their land, which is to say doing nothing at all to it and watching it fill up with brambles. The builder boyfriend and I are un-wilding our land, which is to say pulling out every bramble we can find and cutting back the overhanging tree branches. ‘Seven hundred trees,’

More from life

How Linzer torte stood the test of time

Linzer torte has quite the claim to fame: some assert that it’s the oldest cake in the world; others that it’s the oldest to be named after a place. It feels churlish to split hairs, but those two assertions are quite different, aren’t they? In any event, it’s certainly very old. For a long time

Wine Club

Sell-out bottles for Spectator subscribers

We’ve some cracking South African wines on offer this week, courtesy of Private Cellar, including yet another bona fide Spectator scoop: the exclusive on the 2023 Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. For one week only, The Spectator is the only place where these wines – made in tiny quantities and destined to sell

No sacred cows

Even Orwell’s Thought Police didn’t go as far as Trudeau

You’d assume the reaction to the SNP’s new hate crime laws would make other authoritarian governments hesitate before introducing similar legislation. Humza Yousaf has become a laughing stock and his approval ratings have fallen by 15 points. But apparently not. The new Irish Taoiseach, Simon Harris, is determined to railroad through the Criminal Justice (Incitement

Spectator Sport

It’s no wonder Manchester City are top of the league

Well it was fun while it lasted, the closest three-way race for the Premier League in history, a title challenge as exciting as anything you will see on Netflix. It’s not over yet but it certainly feels like it. With six games to play, there’s still many a slip… But deep down even their most

Dear Mary


‘Five stars, no notes’: Arlington reviewed

Arlington is named for the 1st Earl of Arlington and his street behind the Ritz Hotel. It used to be Le Caprice, which was opened in 1947 by the Italian Mario Gellati, who would not, by the new rules, get into Britain now, but this is not a column about pain. In 1981 Le Caprice

Mind your language

Amol Rajan is right to change his ways on ‘aitch’

My husband thought it brave and manly of the BBC’s Amol Rajan to resolve publicly to change his pronunciation of the letter-name aitch. He’d said haitch all his life, but declared in a blog: ‘Dear reader, I’m here to tell you: it’s aitch.’ This attracted wide attention. He also announced that biopic is pronounced bio-pic,



These are the days when no words will do.Such horrors accrue by the phone’s blue lightconstant as the wind tonight rattles throughthe alleys, a side gate banging to. Rain whitein the gutters, the new year’s promise a kiteflapping in a thunderstorm as you, farwith only second-hand knowledge, rewritethese lines, for all the good they’ll do.

The turf

The magic of Aintree

However hard some people try to make it a business, jump racing remains a sport and the Grand National its greatest race. Two fences out this year 20 horses were still in contention, ten still seemingly in with a serious chance of winning. As Ruby Walsh noted: ‘If that doesn’t convince people it’s a wonderful