High life

The death of sportsmanship

Now that Wimbledon is over, a few thoughts about youthful brains showing traces of horse tranquillisers, angel dust and cannabis, the ingredients that spell ‘moron’. I mean those sporting idiots who booed Victoria Azarenka after she lost the tiebreak 11 to 9 in the third set to the charming Ukrainian Elina Svitolina. Here’s Vica –

Real life

How I incurred the wrath of my iPhone

As I sat down to dinner in a lovely old country pub my reservation was cancelled by my iPhone, which was having a tantrum. The owner of this restaurant was serving us with a smile, we had been shown to our table, drinks and menus had been brought. But the buzzing lump of metal in

More from life

French tomato tart: a simple celebration of summer

Last year, we grew tomatoes for the first time. And we did so with our characteristic enthusiasm, lack of knowledge and ignoring of instructions. So inside our raised bed we planted out radishes and beetroot, chard and kale, tenderstem broccoli and Brussels sprouts – and one very busy row of tomatoes. We didn’t let this

Wine Club

Wine Club: great value picks from Argentina’s Penedo Borges

Well, crikey, that was fun! The recent inaugural Spectator tour of Champagne, that is. We had a hoot, visiting five producers and enjoying two first-rate dinners courtesy of Taittinger and Pol Roger. We learned lots, laughed lots, drank lots and I don’t think a single spittoon was sullied during the entire trip. Bravo! Oh, and

No sacred cows

I’m a holidaymaker… get me out of here!

Reading about all the travel chaos, I began to regret my summer holiday plans. Wouldn’t it have been more sensible just to stay in Acton? But Caroline and I had arranged to go to Ibiza fora friend’s birthday party the weekend before last; then, after returning to London, we were due back in the Balearic

Spectator Sport

Cricket, tennis and the Women’s World Cup: what a summer 

Great sport needs great rivalries, and that is why anyone with a pulse must celebrate being in the throes of an unrivalled confluence of extraordinary sporting occasions right now. As commentators grind on about what a bad place the world is in – ignoring the far worse places the world has been in over the

Dear Mary


Mind your language

A condensed history of ‘vape’

Last year, Oxford Languages’ word of the year was goblin mode. Apparently 300,000 voters decided upon it, but I haven’t heard anyone use it. It rocketed into view after someone posted online a fake headline about the break-up of Julia Fox and Kanye West after a month together. ‘He didn’t like when I went goblin



Odd to think about it now, more than two decades since a bag of blood failed to connect with a tube and spilt over the chair, the floor and you. Not knowing what to do we watched it spread until the practical nurse produced saline to remove the stain and make it better, no harm

the death of poetry

was drawn-out but fun there was a bonfire  with those  small sausages on sticks we all whooped  it up on  homebrew afterwards — not much some- body’s dead  uncle with a space for a face  onto which we projected  our various longings  and fears  hung about for a time — a clutch  of haiku (bad) 

Changing in the changing rooms on International Women’s Day

It’s trying to snow but the window’s open wide. My teacher has her hair in a towel and everyone’s a blur because she’s lost a contact lens. Hello Kate! How are you? Class was cancelled so she’s had a nice long shower and now a friend comes in saying Someone asked today have I thought

Flooded Carburettor

We listen to the news on late night TVlike poets waiting for that one perfectadjective wham from the fountainreleased by the front hoof of Pegasus. Instead we get a word which means hurricanebut also warriors out of control crash of a waterfall in burning forestthe music of what happenswhen you open up a hoard of