High life

Don’t bet against Emmanuel Macron

It’s nice to be back on the old continent again, especially after getting within a couple of hundred yards of the phoniest bunch of Hollywood East types, fakes with names such as Pelosi, Schumer, Schiff and their ilk. It meant that I flew out of the Bagel without mixed feelings for a change. America has

Low life

In praise of a solidly, wonderfully French hotel

Nothing in the beach hotel was made of plastic. It wasn’t advertised as being a plastic-free hotel, but we noticed it. Nor was there a television in the room nor air conditioning nor a ‘no smoking’ notice on the wall nor a list of hotel rules. Instead there was a wall of books in the

Real life

Rewilding will kill Waitrose

‘Do you care about the woodland? Do you care about the wildlife?’ shouted the bearded Woodland Trust volunteer from his table of tree-hugging paraphernalia set up outside Waitrose. He had pitched his camp – a trestle table covered in leaflets and bedecked with pictures of foxes and badgers – so close to the supermarket entrance

No sacred cows

Will my kitchen be designated a ‘safe space’?

As the father of four children who will be entering higher education in the next few years, I’m worried that my home will shortly start to resemble a university campus. In other words, I’ll be forced to declare my preferred gender pronouns, the kitchen will be designated a ‘safe space’ and the collected works of

Dear Mary


A voyage through fine wine off Sardinia

One could get used to this. I come from seafaring stock, albeit distant. ‘Anderson’ suggests Viking antecedents, especially as my forebears came from the Shetland Islands. Yet there must have been something wrong with the first Anderson. Other Vikings reached Normandy, Sicily, even Byzantium. At the very least, they found the odd monastery to plunder.

Mind your language

Lord Geidt’s ‘odious’ remark

Lord Geidt said in his resignation letter that he had been put in an odious position. He meant it was hateful, though it is impossible to forget the malapropism (avant la lettre) of Dogberry in Shakespeare’s Much Ado: ‘Comparisons are odorous.’ Lord Geidt’s adjective seemed to me old-fashioned and classically inspired. Odious would have been

The Wiki Man

Buying a brand-new car is the ultimate good deed

The Department for Transport recently ended a £1,500 subsidy towards the price of new, lower-priced electric cars one year earlier than planned. To their credit, there are better ways to promote electric-car use – for instance by encouraging the installation of public charging stations. As it is, the spread of rapid-charging stations in the UK

The turf

The joy of Royal Ascot

In a disintegrating country, stuck for the moment with a Prime Minister who can’t see the difference between a proliferation of photo-ops and the act of governing, we needed a Royal Ascot week. No racecourse in the world does photo-ops better than Ascot – the carriage processions, the toppers and tails (and yes, Madam, wear