High life

High life | 22 November 2008

Arletty was a great French star of the silver screen during the Thirties and Forties, but she was also known for a few outspoken apophthegms about having sex with a German officer during the occupation. ‘If you hadn’t let them in, I wouldn’t have slept with him,’ and the better known, ‘My heart is French,

Low life

Low life | 22 November 2008

I have three friends whom I’ve kept up with since we sat together, aged five, in Mrs Asplin’s class at the local county primary school. After Mrs Asplin, we were taught by Mrs Dobson, then Mrs Asplin again, then Mr Seager, then Mrs Dobson again, then Mr Middleton and then Mr Farrell. These teachers were

Real life

Real life | 22 November 2008

The boots I have been looking for all my life turned up the other day. They were in a little shop round the corner from my house, which goes to show that what we are seeking is often right under our nose. I had not gone out looking. I had just popped into the shop

More from life

Status Anxiety | 22 November 2008

I’m the celebrity who told ITV there was too much Ant and Dec — get me out of here! Earlier this year I made a life-changing decision. I realised after I had made it that it had been simmering away, on the edge of my consciousness, for some months. But at the time it seemed

Spectator Sport

Spectator Sport | 22 November 2008

This wisdom of crowds stuff has always seemed a bit double-edged: for every silent and courageous candlelit throng gathering outside the cathedral in Leipzig in the 1980s before eventually bringing down the Berlin Wall, there are always far more examples like the braying boo-boys at Twickenham last weekend doing their bit to damage our reputation

Dear Mary

Dear Mary | 22 November 2008

Q. At a packed piano recital the other night, we were the only ones who didn’t have white hair, so had every reason to expect good manners to prevail. Nevertheless, during Träumerei, a lady started peeling apart a cellophane wrapper. It was a long, loving and loud process, and to judge by the surreptitious movement

Mind your language

Mind your language | 22 November 2008

Queen Victoria complained of Gladstone: ‘He speaks to Me as if I was a public meeting.’ Queen Victoria complained of Gladstone: ‘He speaks to Me as if I was a public meeting.’ At least, she said so according to G.W.E. Russell (1853-1919), who wrote biographies not only of Gladstone but also of Sydney Smith, E.B.