High life

No Cannes do

Cannes If the truth, space and good taste allowed it, the heading of this column would be ‘My Cannes night of lust with Halle Berry’. Before her agent reaches the offices of Sue, Grabbit & Run, the Oscar-winner and I did not, alas, hit it off in bed, and it was mostly her fault. But

Low life

All right for some

The only cinema within a 30-mile radius of my home is an Art cinema in a 400-year-old barn. A thatched 400-year-old barn. If the nonsense being shown is the latest cutting-edge nonsense, cottage-based intellectuals flock there from miles around. And to see these intellectuals en masse in the bar before the film is to begin

Wild life

Kenya’s trials

Nairobi Tom Cholmondeley has done it again. The scion of Kenya’s Delameres has shot dead another black African trespasser on his Rift Valley farm. This is his second in a year. Kenya’s authorities, which gave up trying to pronounce his name and settled for ‘Tom Chom’, let him go first time. That won’t matter on

Spectator Sport

The coming of Viv

Hosepipe bans? Standpipes in the streets? Ah, yes, I remember them well. Prepare for a host of anniversary paeans from us old sweats of 30 summers ago. ‘Sweat’ being the word, or ‘Phew!’ as the headlines had it all through that heatwave summer of 1976, the most relentlessly parched since records began in 1727. By

Dear Mary

Dear Mary… | 27 May 2006

Q. Returning from a trade fair held at a neighbouring stately home I was reminded of the apophthegm ‘a fool and his money are soon parted’. Before my visit I thought a trade fair was full of dusty men with brawny arms selling exotic tools such as adzes, bradawls and drill braces. This, however, was


Restaurants | 27 May 2006

The Michelin-starred French restaurant Roussillon has just launched a ‘Mini-Gastronome’ programme. This means that on the first and third Wednesday lunchtime of every month children aged 11 and under get to eat a free seven-course menu designed to introduce them to top-class cooking while ‘exciting their palate and their eyes’. To be perfectly honest, I

Mind your language

Mind your language | 27 May 2006

Are we now more ignorant than Bertie Wooster? Orwell, in his essay defending P.G. Wodehouse, noted that when ‘he describes somebody as heaving “the kind of sigh that Prometheus might have heaved when the vulture dropped in for its lunch”, he is assuming that his readers will know something of Greek mythology’. Orwell characterised such