High life

High Life | 24 January 2009

Gstaad If someone bet that The Spectator issue of 10 January outsold or was read by more people than any other weekly — and that includes best selling popular crap like Hello! and OK! — they’d be collecting their winnings as I write. This, of course, in the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland, where Gstaad

Low life

Low Life | 24 January 2009

Over the Christmas holiday I read a collection of essays edited by Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols, which Jung kicks off with an essay entitled ‘The Importance of Dreams’. Dreams ought to be taken seriously, says Jung. They are a specific expression of the unconscious and as such ought to be treated as facts.

Wild life

Wild Life | 24 January 2009

Port-au-Prince Haiti seems almost beautiful from the air. Hillsides eroding into the Caribbean like a rained-on sandcastle. Up close I struggle to find redemption. There are cheap rum tots and poor citizens warming up for carnival, but no hope. I want to find black pride in this, once the richest nation in the Antilles. Here

Slow life

Slow Life | 24 January 2009

I said ‘bollocks’ on live daytime television last week, on a Sunday of all days. My children were watching, too. There were complaints, and quite right. I felt bad about it, even though it was absolutely the mot juste. I got rather carried away, frustrated that a good-looking boy with a lot of potential had

More from life

Status Anxiety | 24 January 2009

My heart goes out to the compilers of the 2009 Michelin Guide to Great Britain and Ireland which was published earlier this week. Not since 1929, the first year of the Great Depression, can an edition of the famous red handbook have been looked forward to less. In the current climate, the prospect of going

Spectator Sport

Spectator Sport | 24 January 2009

The wonder horse Every so often a sportsman comes along of such supreme brilliance you can only watch and admire. Ian Botham was one — he could shut down offices when he went out to bat; so was George Best for a few wondrous years; Pele too; Roger Federer in his golden years when no

Dear Mary

Dear Mary | 24 January 2009

Q. Several chums have contacted me ‘as friends’ to alert me to the latest rumour about my extracurricular activities — to wit, according to the local Notting Hill bush telegraph, I am having an affair with a banker worth several hundred million in our social circle. As ever, I am last to know. This is

Mind your language

Mind Your Language | 24 January 2009

I am not going to go on about the word Paki, though it has an interesting enough history. But when I used the word Spaniard recently, my husband asked: ‘Are you allowed to say that these days?’ I wondered, until I heard a Spaniard use it himself on Radio 4. So it must be all