High life

High life | 20 April 2017

If any more proof were needed that Brexit is the best thing to happen to Britain since 1066 and all that, here it is: geologists have at last assembled a picture of the forces that tore a ten-million-year-old land bridge away and turned Britain into an island rather than a peninsula of Europe such as

Low life

Low life | 20 April 2017

When I was depressed 20 years ago, the (then) new antidepressant drug Prozac sorted it easily. It took six weeks for it to lift me up and I stopped taking it after four months. I experienced no side effects and lived happily ever after, believing that the episode was a one-off. Marvellous. Back in January,

Real life

Real life | 20 April 2017

Goodbye then, Bal-ham. You were my gateway to the south. I loved you for so many more reasons than that, but the fact that I could get away from you and go down the A3 to the verdant grasslands of Cob-ham was probably one of the biggest ones, if I’m honest, so by and large

More from life

This snap election’s real victims? Bankers’ wives

The people I feel most sorry for in the wake of Theresa May’s shock announcement are not moderate Labour MPs, nor even the pollsters, who really will be in trouble if they get another election wrong. No, it’s the bankers’ wives of west London. If the EU is going to be the No.1 issue in

Dear Mary

Dear Mary | 20 April 2017

Q. May I pass on a tip to readers wishing to reject a hopeful romantic partner without hurting their feelings? I recently made an overture towards a friend I have long admired. At first I was hurt when he confessed he didn’t return my feelings. However, he said the reason he didn’t see me in


A glimmer of hope

I argued that it was unnecessary to have made sacrifices during Lent in order to celebrate its conclusion. It is the thought that counts. Others were less sure, though none of them exhibited the stigmata of austerity. Anyway, we ate some magnificent Pascal pig, plus a delicious lamb which would have been scampering around a

Mind your language


One can push many things — a pen, one’s luck or (up) daisies. But the MP Dominic Raab told the Daily Telegraph last week that Theresa May and Boris Johnson ‘are demonstrating courage in pushing the diplomatic envelope’. Since the most famous envelope recently enclosed Mrs May’s letter to Donald Tusk, this figure of speech

The Wiki Man

Fund a fisherman or finance a film

Crowdfunding is a promising idea, and has created useful products. The Canary home-security system I wrote about recently was funded in this way. One big problem remains, though: how do you reward your early backers if you become too successful? Many of the 9,522 people who provided $2.5 million to fund development of the Oculus