High life

High Life | 31 October 2009

New York One felt the backlash against the BNP–BBC fiasco all the way to the Big Bagel, with local papers commenting on the lynching of Nick Griffin by rent-a-crowd minorities. Even people who think England is in Canada heard about it and called the freak show unfair and stage-managed, confirming the perception that Britain is

Low life

Low Life | 31 October 2009

Mvuu Lodge, Liwonde, Malawi I arrived at the jetty in pitch darkness. A boat was waiting to ferry me across the river. On the other side I was handed a refreshing drink and asked to sign a waiver form exempting the management from legal action by my next of kin if I was attacked by

Real life

Real Life | 31 October 2009

Sometimes the irritations are so great, you just have to stand up and be irritating right back. So it was that I found myself loitering under an ugly new sign at the bottom of my road, holding a petition. ‘Excuse me, sir? Would you like to protest about these horrible signs? They cost £1,000 of

More from life

Status Anxiety | 31 October 2009

Americans taking offence on behalf of poor ‘victimised’ foreigners is offensive — to me Oh dear. I may have to write a book called How to Lose More Friends and Alienate More People. In a recent episode of Top Chef, the American cooking show I appear on, I complained about the other judges’ insistence on

Spectator Sport

Spectator Sport | 31 October 2009

Consider this: barring the intervention of an usually malevolent deity, Bath’s Matt Banahan should be playing on the wing for England during the autumn rugby internationals. Banahan is 22 years old, 6ft 7in tall, and weighs in at 253lbs, or a shade over 18st. Go back 30-odd years and there on the wing for England

Dear Mary

Dear Mary | 31 October 2009

Q. I am in the lower sixth at school. The following problem arises quite frequently and I would like your advice. When we pupils go to get our lunch it is self-service and by the time you have loaded your tray you are in no mood to hang around with it before sitting down. What