High life

Taki: The joke that made me like Mike Tyson

New York   Nature is at her best right now, the leaves still holding, Central Park awash in golden browns and reds. I go there every morning, half a block away from home, and under a giant elm I put the creaky body through its paces. Twenty push-ups, 30 deep knee-bends, 25 kicks over a

Low life

Jeremy Clarke: I’m a fake. The cannabis tells me so

Can it be that the one single agreeable thing about getting old is that one loses one’s pot paranoia? No. I thought I was going to get away with it, but here it came again like a creeping fog: the terrible introspection, the loss of identity, the psychic disintegration, the paranoid delusions. And here already,

Real life

Melissa Kite: My journey to despair with Lambeth’s bin men

Everything is a journey now, especially if it involves failure. The X Factor rejects, people having disasters as they build their own homes on Grand Designs, they’re all on a journey. ‘It’s been an incredible journey,’ they say, watery-eyed as they reflect on what is, in truth, a shameful mess of their own making. Very

More from life

Alexander Chancellor: A slice of Italy in Milton Keynes

Back home from a week in Italy, I almost feel that I haven’t left. For I go almost at once to Milton Keynes to see Donizetti’s quintessentially Italian opera, L’elisir d’amore. It is a superb, joyous production by the Glyndebourne Tour company, one of which any great international opera house would have been proud. And

Toby Young: Why I’m not going to be an MP

Damn and blast. I was quite keen on becoming the Conservative candidate for Hammersmith, but the timing isn’t going to work. My hope was that the local association would delay advertising for a candidate until next year, at which point I would have thrown my hat into the ring. Unfortunately, they’re keen to get someone

Spectator Sport

Dear Mary


Tanya Gold: Eating in the lobby at Canary Wharf

One Canada Square was the original glass house in east London’s Gotham City, a thrilling tower with a flashing pyramid on that part of the Thames that looks like a despairing U-bend. The Daily Telegraph used to live here, on floors 11 and 12, when I was a gossip columnist; there was no floor 13,

Mind your language

Dot Wordsworth: Don’t call him Revd Flowers!

‘Here,’ said my husband, chucking a folded-back copy of the Daily Telegraph to me, ‘this’ll interest you.’ For once he was right. It was a reader’s letter. ‘My distress at the Paul Flowers debacle (I am a Methodist) has been increased by the BBC and others referring to “the Reverend Flowers”,’ wrote Lesley Barnes of


Love-making in Air

Black swifts in the sky ascend, soar and glide. They turn all about, seem not to collide. When feeling great joy they scream and they sing. They swoop and they love to mate on the wing. And we on our flight are feeling the same. We eye up the crowd and drink our champagne. With