High life

My guide to being a man

Gstaad   I was reading in these here pages Julie Burchill’s review of Candace Bushnell’s Is There Still Sex in the City? when one of Julie’s pearls struck me like a stiff left jab in the noggin: ‘Those who have persisted in carrying on creakily have become increasingly embarrassing.’ Ouch! Could she have had the

Low life

Real life

The EU has banned a miracle cure for laminitis

Once upon a time, in a country that didn’t run itself, a horse supplement company invented a cure for laminitis. This cure, let’s call it LamiSafe, was like the holy grail of horse-care products because when administered to ponies who previously went lame on lush summer grass, LamiSafe prevented lameness and the pony was suddenly

More from life

All is not well in the murky world of bloodstock sales

Carried away on a day at the races a successful businessman bid for and bought a horse from a seller. ‘What do I do now?’ he asked a trainer friend. ‘Find the lad who brought him here, slip him 20 quid and ask him to tell you everything he can about the animal.’ The crinkly

No sacred cows

Must try harder: education is still a vote loser for the Tories

The reluctance of the Conservative party to take credit for the success of its education reforms is a source of increasing bewilderment to me. With each passing year, the A-level and GCSE results of free schools and academies provide yet more evidence that liberating state schools from the dead hand of local authority control has

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: What do you do when your hostess licks your spoon?

Q. I have happily overcome many moments of diplomatic and social challenge, but was stumped by the case of the licked cutlery. What does one do when one’s distinguished hostess asks to taste your soup, only to return your spoon smeared after more than a delicate sip? In a choice between not implying she has


Mind your language

Is a cow always a cow?

I’ve noticed a tendency among townies like me to call all cattle cows (which they feel they must mention in discussing Brexit). You’d think that a cow was an obviously female creature. (Didn’t Alf Garnett in Till Death Us Do Part, shown from 1965, call his wife Else a ‘silly old moo’?) But that doesn’t

The Wiki Man

Why no one ever moves back to London

In last week’s Spectator, Martin Vander Weyer replied to a couple with a baby who had sought his advice on accepting a low offer for their cramped London flat to buy a house in commuterland. Their fear was that, if Brexit led to a property crash, they could face negative equity. Should they call the