High life

Security counse

New York A letter from an English couple, who are long-time friends of mine, arrived, thanking me for lending them my London flat. (They live in America.) ‘We also managed to fit in a wedding near Oxford and a long private chat with the Queen at Windsor…who, in contrast to the incumbent at the White

More from life

Grounds for gratitude

Wales hosts an English Cup Final for the last time today. The builders swear that a spanking new Wembley will be ready for the FA’s 2006 final. We shall see. Border-crossing supporters will be relieved. Jolly nice stadium Cardiff, sure, but the appalling clog of road traffic on match days has been a disgrace, while

Your Problems Solved | 21 May 2005

Dear Mary… My husband and I have been invited to stay for Royal Ascot-at-York this year with an old friend who lives close to the racecourse and with whom we have stayed many times before on non-racing occasions. The invitation was extended some months ago, but I have just received a letter from our hostess

The tuna the better

A few years before his assassination in 1908, King Carlos of Portugal published a book on the tuna, its distribution and the various species of the fish. I am not aware of any other reigning monarch having written a book on fish, and it may have been Carlos’s most important legacy. In those days, the

Mind your language

Mind Your Language | 21 May 2005

This week: the mystery of the missing banister. But first an example of equable temperament, compared with many inquirers into language, from Dr Sylvia Moody. She mildly wonders why we sometimes say ‘a friend of the family’ and sometimes ‘a friend of the family’s’. The latter construction (like ‘a habit of mine’, ‘a play of