High life

Remember the Alamo

It’s good to be in Texas. To a European like me, Texas is why we came to America. It’s a huge state, but more importantly it’s a state of mind. It is a fount of freedom and imagination. For most of the inhabitants of America’s two coasts, Texas is worse than flyover country. Texas represents

Low life

Bed hopping

I came up to London last week for a four-day jolly: two football matches, two parties. I can’t afford London hotel prices, so I booked myself into a youth hostel behind Portland Place. A smiling Uruguayan beauty checked me in to an eight-berth dormitory on the second floor. I laid claim to one of the

Real life

Sky at night

I will always remember what I was doing the night I tried to downgrade my Sky package. Scorched into my memory with pain it is, just like the day Elvis died. It started ominously. I had turned on the television. I only turn on the television once every six months. Every time I do so

More from life

Betting blow

It was one of those moments when a clunking great pile-driver comes up and thuds straight into your duodenum. I can weave through the form for a 24-runner handicap at the sputtering fag end of the season. I can summon the maths to cope with a series of cross doubles at, say, 13–8, 11–4 and,

At last they will believe me: I was never Belle de Jour

The decision of Britain’s most notorious anonymous sex blogger to reveal her identify came as a great relief. It finally puts paid to the suspicion that Belle de Jour c’est moi. The first time my name was linked with the site was in a Mail on Sunday article in 2004 entitled: ‘Who does Belle the

Dear Mary

Dear Mary | 21 November 2009

Q. I have a son at day school in London. Every couple of weeks or so, one or other of his friends will invite him to their 18th birthday party. Because we have met many of the parents over the years, my husband and I are often invited too. While we are more than happy

Mind your language

Mind your language | 21 November 2009

The man who brought us The Meaning of Tingo is at it again, closer to home. Adam Jacot de Boinod’s previous excursion among unlikely foreign words turned at times into a wild Boojum chase because the meanings claimed for some words softly and silently vanished away once confronted. That was the case with tingo itself,

The Wiki Man

The Wiki Man | 21 November 2009

Most debate about modern architecture revolves around aesthetics. This misses the point. I quite like the way many modern buildings look — what I hate is the way they work. Say what you like about traditional architecture, no one has ever approached the portico of the British Museum and asked, ‘Any idea where the entrance