High life

Richly traditional

New York To Roxbury, Connecticut, a tiny, beautiful village covered in leafy verdure and straight out of a black-and-white film from the Forties depicting white, Christian, innocent America. But, wait a minute: white, Christian, waspy, thrifty Americans did not drive turbo Bentleys worth a quarter of a million quid, did not employ discreet minders to

Low life

Rough trade

My boy’s mother’s boyfriend is in his mid-fifties, works his arse off six days a week as a builder’s labourer and spends next to nothing on himself. He’s honest, decent and kind. His only vice is the ten cigarettes, machine-rolled from smuggled duty-free tobacco, that he smokes every day. But somehow he’s always broke, always

More from life


One evening I saw Gordon Ramsay on Friday Night With Jonathan Ross plugging his latest cookery book, Gordon Ramsay Makes It Easy, which is readily available from most bookshops, unlike Ramsay Makes It Hard which, I’m guessing, is available only from those adult shops with beaded curtains. Anyway, every time Mr Ross mentioned the book

Inking-in is out

A friend, a particularly mordant romantic, reckons the saddest thing about first-class cricket’s frantic attempts to ‘get with it’ — and appeal to everybody except those who love it dearly already — is that each team’s scorer is now ordered by Lord’s to use computer laptops to notch the runs and wickets. Leisurely, lovingly inking-into

Your Problems Solved | 28 May 2005

Dear Mary… Q. I own a holiday cottage in Padstow in Cornwall. Sometimes I let the cottage, at other times I allow friends to stay there. I employ a local cleaning agency to come in on Monday mornings to clean up after each occupancy and get it ready for the incoming parties. My problem is

Mind your language

Mind Your Language | 28 May 2005

An unquiet correspondent sends a ‘breath of rage’ all the way from Burrum Heads, Queensland. ‘I do wish you could manage to educate some of your fellow columnists,’ barks Mr Geoff Baker, adding a few paragraphs about ‘ignorance’, ‘solecisms, ‘disappointment’, ‘Bad English’, ‘after-hours adult education’. Goodness! What have we done? Why, we’ve used ‘or not’