High life

Low life

Riding back from Scotland with Ron Burgundy in the privy

When the ticket collector asked to see my ticket, I took the opportunity to ask what time my connection left Birmingham New Street. ‘Are you travelling onwards with the Vag?’ he said. ‘Excuse me?’ I said. ‘The Vag! Virgin!’ he said, irritated by my ignorance. I laughed at him. His expression remained official. He touched

Real life

More from life

Britain’s upper class is now too snobbish to speak its name

Last week, YouGov conducted a poll in which people were asked to judge how middle class the party leaders are. Ed Miliband was the winner, with 45 per cent deeming him ‘middle class’, compared with 39 per cent who thought him ‘upper class’. David Cameron was the clear loser. Only 15 per cent judged him

When lawyers take to racehorses

Can you be both restless and content? Standing last week with Graeme McPherson on the viewing platform over his sharply rising gallops near Stow-on-the-Wold, I found a man who answers to both descriptions. An in-demand QC with a big sporting practice, Graeme is also a racehorse trainer with a fast-expanding yard, a glorious Cotswold hillside

Spectator Sport

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: How can I hide my tattoo from the in-laws?

Q. I have a tattoo the length of my forearm and am worried it will alienate my new boyfriend’s parents on a forthcoming beach holiday. There will be no way of covering it up in a very hot climate. My boyfriend says his parents are way too pompous and it will be good for them


The 1980s relics of Langan’s Brasserie

Langan’s Brasserie announces its presence with a long, pink neon line of Langanses, tootling prettily along its façade, which is opposite Marks & Spencer on Green Park. (The apostrophes, by the way, are mine; signage can be illiterate.) So this is a restaurant with Alzheimer’s, a restaurant that has forgotten its own name. Could it

Mind your language

Challenging ‘challenging’

‘Pistols at dawn,’ said my husband, flapping a pair of Marigold rubber gloves from the other side of the kitchen. ‘I don’t want to know what you mean by that,’ I replied, hoping not to encourage him. ‘Being challenging,’ he said, ignoring my implied request. We had been discussing a report in the Daily Telegraph about the