High life

High life | 28 May 2011

New York In that wonderful old Broadway musical Guys and Dolls, gambler Sky Masterson is romancing Sister Sarah Brown of the Salvation Army after an all-nighter of boozing it up in Havana. Walking her home to her mission in New York, he tells her that the only place in the world where ‘the dawn is

Low life

Low life | 28 May 2011

After the Cow Girl debacle, I went straight back online with another dating site. I was working on the same principle as those eager to get behind the wheel again as soon as possible after a serious accident to regain confidence. I signed on with a dating site designed for people wanting to have sex

More from life

Status Anxiety: Getting closer to old age

As I get older I’ve begun to obsessively monitor myself for evidence of mental deterioration. For instance, I cannot watch Match of the Day without reciting the names of as many Premier League goalkeepers as I can remember. I do it so often it has become a Pavlovian response. Another test is trying to remember

The turf: Not my week

Mrs Oakley hopes it will be a lesson to me after all the abandoned umbrellas, mislaid mobiles and washbags left in hotel-room bathrooms over the years. When changing planes at Mumbai Airport at one o’clock in the morning en route for Hong Kong, I failed to pick up my laptop after the security check. Retrieving

Spectator Sport

Spectator Sport: For the love of Barcelona

Fans of Robert Parker’s indispensable Spenser series of thrillers will be familiar with the character of Hawk. Fans of Robert Parker’s indispensable Spenser series of thrillers will be familiar with the character of Hawk. Big, bald, black, and always in shades, he is Spenser’s enforcer, an avenging angel of ineffable hardness. Now look at the

Dear Mary

Dear Mary | 28 May 2011

Q. I thought I was au fait with road users’ etiquette, but confess to being nonplussed when confronted by the advisory signs Baby on Board or race horses in transit displayed in vehicles. Mary, what is the correct reaction to this information? Should one hoot? Cheer? Smile sympathetically? Flash the headlights? Pray? Depending on your

Mind your language

Mind your language | 28 May 2011

At dinner parties in Camden, Haringey, Hackney, or Southwark, according to Christina Patterson, the writer for the Independent, you hear people saying things about politics like ‘what we need is a clearer narrative’. I was delighted that she added: ‘I’m still not sure what narrative means.’ I do not go to parties in Haringey or