High life

Good enough for TT

To Harrow, the most heroic of public schools, for a speech about the press, probably among the least defensible of professions. I say the most heroic because Harrow lost 644 boys in the Great War, more than any other public school, I believe. One enters the building where I spoke about the unspeakable through a

Low life

Group therapy

I feel sorry for Gorgeous George. It was a terrific idea to go on Big Brother and turn himself into a popular icon and get his political ideas across to a young audience. Full marks for that. And it might have worked if our close scrutiny of his interaction with a random group of strangers

More from life

Dear Mary… | 28 January 2006

Q. Two years ago I dispatched a spoof Christmas letter to a select handful of friends thinking this might amuse them. I committed all the standard crimes: blow-by-blow accounts of (fictitious) holidays and activities; an insistence on the good looks, academic prowess and remarkable musicality of our children; my own successes; our soaring incomes; hilarity

Hitting the target

The club records of a couple of soccer’s fabled old goal-scorers were levelled this month. Two nice round numbers, too, as the silky and sometimes sulky Frenchman, Thierry Henry, matched the 150 league goals banged in for Arsenal in the 1930s by the then boy wonder from Devon, Cliff Bastin; and aging thoroughbred Alan Shearer

Mutual respect

Racing yards all have their own character, some pretty as picture books, some run like military camps. Down a muddy lane in deepest Hampshire Emma Lavelle’s stables are all about cheerful teamwork. At the top of her gallops last week we were reflecting how the great Vincent O’Brien insisted on having the straw in each

Bargain brace

It is one of life’s little mysteries that, outside the circle of those involved in game shooting, so few pheasants are bought and eaten, in a country where between 15 and 20 million birds are reared each year. I have sometimes wondered whether the association of pheasants with wartime food — during the winter of

Mind your language

Mind Your Language | 28 January 2006

A reader, whose name is beyond recall because my husband put his letter in a safe place, is unhappy at the general ignorance of the origin of the word dog, and wonders if I can throw any light. My lamp is burning, with spare oil at hand, but the footsteps of the dog are as