High life

High life | 19 November 2015

Blind is an indie movie that has an original screenplay by John Buffalo Mailer and is directed by his older brother Michael Mailer. It stars Alec Baldwin and Demi Moore, and the cast includes yours truly. Personal feelings aside, and from all reports and rushes, this is going to be a really good one. Alec

Low life

Low life | 19 November 2015

The car: a ’06 rosso red Seat Ibiza 1.9 TDI Sport, bought three weeks ago from a man who had bought the car from the Stig’s mum. If the Stig, with all his motoring experience, had carefully chosen the car for his dear old mum, it was an inspired choice. For an inexpensive, inoffensive-looking little

Real life

Real life | 19 November 2015

I got on a bus. Well, I wasn’t to know, was I? I just saw a bus stop by the Science Museum and thought, ‘I know, I’ll get on a bus.’ That’s how long it has been since I’ve ventured on to the London roads. Since driving became unfeasible due to congestion charging, I’ve been

Wild life

The Kenyan night is like a busy shipping lane, but silent

Night falls like a fire curtain at seven and I go to bed not long afterwards, serenaded by bullfrogs after rain. Having risen long before dawn, ranchers tend to sleep early, following a thin gruel of a supper. In upcountry Kenya it used to be that pyjamas and dressing-gowns were permissible for even quite posh

More from life

How the Germans made Glyndebourne

This is hardly the time of year for picnics on the lawn, but I have nevertheless had a week dominated by Glyndebourne. First I went to London to see David Hare’s play The Moderate Soprano, about the creation of the Glyndebourne opera festival by John Christie in 1934; and then to a Glyndebourne production in

Are we looking at the end of liberal democracy?

[audioplayer src=”″ title=”Toby Young and Kemi Badenoch discuss the role of integration in the rise of Isis” startat=1470] Listen [/audioplayer]As a graduate student in the Harvard Department of Government in the late 1980s, I became slightly jaded about the number of visiting academics who warned about the imminent demise of the West. The thrust of

Dear Mary

Dear Mary | 19 November 2015

Q. I work in the London art market. Often, when I run into a fellow dealer and ask how they are in a friendly way, I get a reply along the lines of ‘It’s been totally mad. I’ve just come back from New York and I’m about to go to Hong Kong, then it’s Dubai


Mind your language

‘Clean eating’ is a great word of the year… for 1906

The word of the year, according to Collins, the dictionary people, is binge-watch. It means to watch DVDs consecutively or, more voguishly expressed, a box-set back-to-back. But I was taken by the runner-up, clean eating. This is a trend. There is a magazine called Clean Eating and the definition is not simple. ‘The soul of clean


New Neighbour

The trellis between her garden and her new neighbour’s garden is heavy with passion flower, honeysuckle and roses, so that only rare glimpses can be seen through it — a blue flower, a splash of grass, a dark cuff. She calls out politely to welcome him to the neighbourhood. Weeks later, she calls out to

The Wiki Man

Does HS2 pass the Butterfield test?

Despite my opposition to High Speed 2, I am quite a big fan of HS1, the line which runs from St Pancras to Ebbsfleet, Ashford and on to other towns in north and east Kent. I also think HS3 — a proposed line linking the cities of t’Northern Powerhouse — is a good idea. Why