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A foretaste of Frexit

22 September 2018 9:00 am

Moving day. The contents of a hillside shack to be moved four miles to a cave house perched high on…

Why my lodger has to be a girl

22 September 2018 9:00 am

The little lodger is moving in. I chose her after an exhaustive search of twentysomethings looking for accommodation, during which…

Back from the brink

15 September 2018 9:00 am

The long table was set out under four beautifully pollarded plane trees festooned with coloured lanterns and red balloons. Twenty…

I was hounded by a canine sex pest

15 September 2018 9:00 am

A big part of my problem is that I don’t understand why people do the things they do. I was…

For the love of gin

8 September 2018 9:00 am

I’d missed the train, and the next was due in 45 minutes, so I popped into the nearby salon for…

Is it easier to leave the EU than Norton AntiVirus?

8 September 2018 9:00 am

Leaving Norton, the antivirus software package, is a bit like trying to leave the EU. You may think, once you…

What would Oscar tell his dad first about our eventful fortnight in the south of France?

1 September 2018 9:00 am

I was present in the room when Oscar encountered his father for the first time since returning from his fortnight…

When you compare ragwort to Islamic extremism, who should be more offended?

1 September 2018 9:00 am

When I made a joke about ragwort being like Islamic extremism, I expected someone to write in. I was fully…

A spiritual journey to see some very expensive paintings

25 August 2018 9:00 am

The Villa Carnignac art gallery is located on a Mediterranean island off the French Riviera called Porquerolles. Purpose-built to show…

I am high as a Kite on gloss paint (excuse the pun)

25 August 2018 9:00 am

After I had been glossing the woodwork for a few days, I started to feel light-headed. It hadn’t occurred to…

Empty restaurants are becoming a bad habit of mine: Coq d’Argent reviewed

25 August 2018 9:00 am

I wouldn’t normally visit Coq d’Argent, which I think means the chicken of money. It is a moderately famous restaurant…

Why the kindness of strangers trumps a pagan festival

18 August 2018 9:00 am

The entire Alpine village, contemptuously dismissed recently in an online tourist guide as a nondescript centre of old peasants and…

Why won’t anyone live with me?

18 August 2018 9:00 am

When I placed an advert for a lodger I really did expect potential tenants to want to come and see…

Boris wars

11 August 2018 9:00 am

Ever since Boris Johnson resigned as foreign secretary, it was generally assumed that there would — in time — be…

How to survive a French heatwave

11 August 2018 9:00 am

Me in a black polo-neck jumper looking sour; Oscar wearing a floppy hat; her youngest daughter nude and stooping to…

Welcome to customer services, Guantanamo Bay-style

11 August 2018 9:00 am

The engineer from Beko arrived and got to work trying to mend the new fridge. Having spent a very long…

Confessions of a cave-dweller continued

4 August 2018 9:00 am

The cave house next to ours is let out to weekly renters. A green-eyed German with a ponytail came out…

Colonel Claus Schenk Count von Stauffenberg

Hitler’s would-be assassins were, themselves, Nazi war criminals. Why celebrate them?

21 July 2018 9:00 am

Hitler’s would-be assassins should not be fêted

Portrait of a seven-year-old state-run child

21 July 2018 9:00 am

Saturday morning. Quarter to 12. Sit-down fish and chips at the Silver Grill: me, Oscar and Oscar’s cousin Atticus. Atticus…

It was either new carpets – or happy dogs

21 July 2018 9:00 am

Instead of carpeting the upstairs of the house, I had grass fragments removed from the dogs’ ears. I can’t say…

The anatomy of a Spectator summer party

14 July 2018 9:00 am

I flew from Marseille to Gatwick, rode the Gatwick Express to Victoria, and walked down the thoroughfare of Victoria Street…

Is EE fantastic after all?

14 July 2018 9:00 am

This was going to be about how a major phone company surprised me by delivering a fantastic service. I was…

Up close with the Rolling Stones

7 July 2018 9:00 am

At 7 p.m., panting, I knocked on the door of room 201 of the Hotel InterContinental, Marseille, expecting it to…

Sex and MOTs

7 July 2018 9:00 am

Opening a button of my shirt to get the horse lorry through its MOT is the sort of thing I…

Why I was proud to be a dustman

30 June 2018 9:00 am

I heard the last and final call for flight 6114 to Nice while shuffling forward in the unexpectedly long queue…