High life

Manners over money

St Moritz The lack of snow drove me to the Engadine valley and the queen of ski resorts, St Moritz. Mind you, the queen is no longer what she once was. At the beginning of the last century, St Moritz was the undisputable numero uno winter spot.   European aristocracy flocked there for amusement and sport. Downhill skiing

Low life

Inner conflict

During the last week of my stay in the Alpujarras, the almond trees flowered. It happened almost overnight. There was an exceptionally warm afternoon and evening, and next morning the trees were foaming with pink and white petals, and very pretty it was, too. The day they flowered was my birthday. To mark it, I went

More from life

Classic appeal

There’s a fascinating new book about a man with a passion for a house which he lost and regained, brick by red Jacobean brick. The house was Thrumpton in Nottinghamshire, its devotee the late George Seymour, a complex man whose daughter, novelist and biographer Miranda Seymour, tells all with elegance and insight in In My

Spectator Sport

The road to Wembley?

Football’s relishable League Cup final at Cardiff tomorrow has Arsenal and Chelsea, the big guns from London, intriguingly squaring up for what is, officially, the last time English clubs play a showpiece event in a ‘foreign’ country. Well, that’s the plan anyway. Personally, I wouldn’t bet on it. I fancy it is still anyone’s guess whether

Dear Mary

Dear Mary… | 24 February 2007

Q. I am frequently invited to book launches. I always make a point of buying a copy of the book in question and leave the party with every enthusiastic intention of reading it. Yet these books tend to lie about on my coffee table unread, making me feel slightly guilty and embarrassed. I wonder whether,

Mind your language

Mind your language | 24 February 2007

If 2006 was the year of issues, when the word problem gave way to ‘issues around’ things, then 2007 looks as if it will be the year of challenge. Dreary management-speak types have long invited workers to see negative problems as positive challenges. All that this has meant is that the new word challenge has