Just as some men are attracted only to blondes with long legs, or buxom, curly-haired brunettes, so there are certain architectural features that make my heart beat faster and others that leave me cold. Bay windows can certainly be very handsome, and they let in plenty of light, but they don't carry the same emotional charge as a pair of floor-length windows. The ultimate adrenaline rush, for me, comes from two (or better still, three) sets of French doors on to a terrace with a view of tall, venerable trees beyond.
Until recently, a lively sub-genre of English literature was that devoted to London's creepier, darker back streets. Peter Ackroyd took us on a grim tour of early 1980s (and early 1700s) Shoreditch and Limehouse in Hawksmoor; Iain Sinclair angrily traversed the weed-sprouting, rubbish-strewn streets of Hackney and Tilbury and what he called the 'sumplands' of Dagenham in Downriver.
Angela Carter peeked through the yellowing net curtains of dowdy south London, while Michael Moorcock beckoned us to explore the gentle sadness of peeling suburban avenues.
Peter Oborne exposes the interested parties who failed to march on SundayONE of the most remarkable things about Sunday's magnificent Countryside March was the superhuman effort shown by many people to get to London. This does not merely apply to the folk from Scotland and the north of England who rose hideously early in the morning to make long, boring coach journeys south. Not just to the disabled marchers who braved physical pain, the 97-year-old woman who insisted that she would get round if it was the last thing she did, or the pregnant woman who completed the march, though due to give birth the following day.
Mikhail Khodorkovsky tells John Laughland that American control of Iraq will be good for Cadillacs but bad for RussiaOpponents of the impending Anglo-American war against Iraq say that it will push up the oil price and thereby damage the world economy. This is the least of Mikhail Khodorkovsky's worries. Aged 39, Mr Khodorkovsky, is the chairman and CEO of Yukos Oil, Russia's second-largest oil company.
Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder was sober on Sunday night and drunk on Monday morning, and both conditions were entirely justified. When the polling booths closed and the first exit polls were published on German television at 6 p.m. on Sunday, the rival camps were so close that either of them might have ended up with a tiny majority but, as an evening of great confusion and excitement wore on, Mr Schroeder's conservative opponents seemed to move into the lead, which was what most of the German press reported the next morning.
A war against Iraq might destabilise the Middle East, says David Pryce-Jones, but that is precisely what the region needsIraq may soon be liberated. The Americans are building bases and runways in the Middle East, airlifting men and supplies, and passing the resolutions in Congress necessary to take military action. Regime change is what President Bush has set his heart on. Condoleezza Rice goes further: she calls for democracy, not only in Iraq but also in the wider Muslim world.