High life

The cops are impotent in lawless New York

New York   Things are heating up, in both London and Nueva York, as this place should correctly be called. Two flunkeys writing in the New York Times announced that Boris is committing gaffes and could, like Trump, be a dead man walking. This is wishful thinking and the premature celebration confirms that the media

Low life

The lessons I learned cycling across Rwanda

The backmarker of the peloton was Eric, a tall, stick-thin Rwandan. Under his cycling helmet he wore a baseball cap with a long peak which give the whole a fashionable Peaky Blinders look. Eric carried the peloton water supply in two rear panniers and it was also his job to ensure that nobody fell so

Real life

How you can tell the gender of a thief

My attempt at being Columbo was only taking me so far. In solving the mystery of who raided the barn, I was going round in circles. All I knew was that the thieves took a weirdly useless assortment of items, including four wrecked horse rugs, a broken lunge line and a wheelbarrow with a completely

More from life

Cheltenham was the perfect antidote to election politics

I can only be sorry for the 67,496,581 citizens of the UK who were not at Cheltenham last Saturday. For the 33,591 of us who were there, it could not have been a more heart-warming, thrilling and character-filled way of escaping from the insulting knavery of election politics and the sourness of the weather that

Wine Club

Wine Club 23 November

At dinner the other night, our host spotted a well-priced magnum of fizz on the list and beckoned the sommelier. Alas, it turned out the magnums were no more, the last one having been sold two nights previously. ‘Oh dear,’ sighed my chum. ‘I guess we’d better have it by the half-magnum, then, and see

No sacred cows

Prince Andrew should have married someone like my wife

Like many people, I watched Prince Andrew’s Newsnight meltdown with mounting disbelief. Why had he agreed to do it? It wasn’t as if the general public was clamouring for an answer about what he was doing on the night he’d been accused of having sex with a 17-year-old victim of Jeffrey Epstein. And if he

Dear Mary


Wine that puts politics in its place

In the era of vinyl, lost in one of Bruckner’s longueurs, it could be hard to tell what was stuck, the record or the composer. Sir Jim Gastropodi would make regular appearances in the Peter Simple column, conducting the Soup Hales Philharmonic Orchestra in a performance of Bruckner’s interminable symphony. Despite Boris Johnson’s attempts to

Mind your language

From Pliny to poetry: the history of ‘ictus’ and ‘ductus’

‘I know the difference between ictal and icteric,’ said my husband proudly, reminding me of Tweedledum in Through the Looking-Glass. He explained, accurately enough, that ictal was to do with strokes and icteric with jaundice. But he hadn’t heard about the bird. Pliny in his Natural History says that there is a bird called ikteros

The Wiki Man