No life

Lloyd Evans

Admit it – Italian food is rubbish

Every year I’m summoned to a gathering which I strive to avoid. My first cousin, who loves a boozy party, assembles the extended clan in an Italian restaurant for a convivial lunch. I fear that my list of excuses – ‘back pain’, ‘gout’, ‘baptism in Scotland’, ‘last-minute undercover journalism assignment’ – is wearing a bit

Real life

Why are doctors blaming my birth for my mother’s tumour? 

A curious letter has been sent to my mother blaming the tumour in her neck on my birth. An NHS consultant has come to this conclusion after briefly looking into this very rare neoplasm on her left bulbar nerve, called a hypoglossal schwannoma. It was discovered during a routine head scan monitoring her dementia, which

Wine Club

A tasty Kiwi sextet, courtesy of Honest Grapes

New Zealand, ah, New Zealand! I don’t know anyone who has been there who hasn’t been completely bewitched by the country. I’m lucky enough to have gone there many times, though not for ages. I haven’t felt ready to return, being scarred by a night of bad judgment and poor behaviour in Wellington a few

No sacred cows

The real reason Ofcom has gone after GB News

I don’t envy the people who run Ofcom. On the one hand, they’re under enormous political pressure to sanction GB News, which, in the eyes of its establishment critics, is a contaminated river of far-right propaganda that’s polluting the ‘delicate and important broadcast ecology of this country’ (Adam Boulton). But on the other, they want

Dear Mary


The best bottle to come from the Gigondas

One needs wine more than ever, yet when imbibing, it can be hard to concentrate. So much is going on. We were at table and the news came through about Slovakia. Was this an obscure incident, regrettable but below the level of geopolitics? Or would it become a second Sarajevo? Fortunately, that seems unlikely. In

Mind your language

The myth of the global majority

‘You make the cotton easy to pick, Mame,’ sang my husband with execrable delivery. ‘No,’ I said, ‘You can’t sing things like that now. In any case, I was talking of Bame, not Mame.’ The hit musical from 1966, starring Angela Lansbury, has only the most tangential relevance to the latest lurch in approved terminology


At Home with Emily Brontë

Ironing is her favourite task. The rhythm and the steam transport her to an outer state more vivid than a dream – a place of creased and crumpled hills, a wet and heavy land through which a burning body moves, directed by her hand. Each stroke a stride, the rugged earth dissolves into a plain

The Wiki Man

Harris Tweed, the miracle fabric

To understand the development of technology, you may be better off studying evolutionary biology rather than, say, computer science. A grasp of evolutionary theory, with the facility for reasoning backwards which it brings, is a better model for understanding the haphazard nature of progress than any attempt to explain the world by assuming conscious and