Cressida Bonas

Where would we be without our dogs?

Is a dog man’s best friend? Or is man a dog’s best friend? There is no relationship quite like that between dog and human. My husband loves me, but if I locked him in a cupboard for ten minutes, he would be furious. If I locked my dog up for an hour, she would be

Where do we go when we dream?

Should we pay more attention to our dreams? Are they signs from our subconscious, guiding and pointing us in certain directions? Perhaps that would explain why we often feel the need to describe them to others: to help make sense of them. Since being pregnant my dreams have got wilder. They are vivid and often

The art of learning to breathe properly

I thought I knew how to breathe properly. My years of studying dance at various institutions have all involved tuition on breathing and its relationship with movement and posture. So I was sceptical when I joined my step-sister Octavia’s online breathwork classes – what more was there to learn? My first class was in lockdown,

What are we without our memories?

Every once in a while, a book comes along that causes me to undergo a genuine shift in perspective. Abi Morgan’s This is Not a Pity Memoir had exactly this effect. Abi’s partner and father of her two children, Jacob, was put into an induced coma after his treatment for multiple sclerosis had caused a

The surprising feminism of Beatrix Potter

Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, Jemima Puddle Duck, Squirrel Nutkin and Timmy Tiptoes are names that take me back to my childhood. Every year, my mum would drive me and my four siblings to the Swiss mountains for family holidays. To avoid our moans of ‘are we there yet?’ she created voices for all of the Beatrix Potter

Actress’s Notebook

Our upstairs neighbours are not the sort of people you want to have run-ins with. They have regular moped deliveries and I see packages exchanged through blacked-out BMW windows. I once knocked on their door to ask if I could borrow a potato masher. They looked at me as if I were mad. They seem

What I learnt from Ludovico Einaudi

Last week I went to The Hammersmith Apollo to see Ludovico Einaudi perform his new album Underwater. I hadn’t been to a concert since before the pandemic and had forgotten the thrill of live music. Recordings can never match the sensual and social experience of live performance. When listened to collectively,  music unmasks the soul – solitary emotions

How do we talk to children about war?

Every day when my niece gets home from school she seems angry and frustrated. She wonders why we can’t do more to help the people in Ukraine. She is bewildered by video clips of children saying goodbye to their fathers who are staying behind to defend their country. Since the shocking news of the invasion

Why are we so fascinated by crime?

A suitcase landed in my garden. It seemed to have come from the sky. Soon after, two policemen urgently knocked on my door. Confused, I invited them in, they hurriedly went to retrieve the bag. Inside was a load of money, drugs and keys belonging to expensive cars. They inquired if the items were mine.

Will this be the year I stop worrying?

The beginning of January is a blank slate. A time where we feel a sense of excitement as to what the year will bring.  As each year rolls into a new one, my hopes for the future have included the usual – more exercise, more travel, more greens… Typically, I fail to keep to my promises.

The importance of small pleasures

The book Small Pleasures will warm even the stoniest heart. It defines joy as simple, brief instances in everyday life which people can access with little or no cost. My favourite chapters include: the joy of an evening sky, letting a child win at a game, a hot bath. We tend to let these things pass by

The strange allure of talking to the dead

My aunt, Charlotte, had a profound influence on my life. A second mother, a friend and someone who was always there. The thief that took her was the rare disease PSP. It slipped into our lives with no warning and ripped her away from us. The house she lived in was a home to our

The joy of being childish

I sat next to a man at dinner who told me I was nosey. Perhaps he was right, although I saw it as being curious. When a conversation consists of weather patterns, I like to throw in a personal question. That way I learn something more interesting about that individual other than his views on

What I learnt about fear from Richard Branson

More than any other season, autumn brings to mind change. Perhaps it’s the sense of letting something go. The movement of the seasons is present in New Zealand artist Angela Heisch’s first solo UK show at the Pippy Houldsworth gallery, entitled Burgeon and Remain. Her semi floral abstracts represent the peak of summer and her use of

My frightening flights of fancy

I worry too much; I struggle with the unknown and I don’t like it when life doesn’t turn out as planned. This time last year Harry and I had hoped to say our vows under blue skies, witnessed by our friends and family. Instead we got married in a pandemic and a rainstorm. My sister

The joy of defying convention

I have a new love in my life; Budgie, a miniature dachshund. After collecting our little friend from Kent, she has taken over the house. I am preoccupied with how to keep her entertained. I talk about her as if she were my child. My google search history includes “tips for surviving the first 30

The perils of auditioning on Zoom

So we can hug and kiss each other, but facemasks could be here to stay. There are some people I would rather never hug and kiss again. Nor am I sure I want to socialise in big groups, outside or inside, now that I have become accustomed to cosy nights in. My husband, Harry, calls

Fraser Nelson, Matt Ridley, Ian Rankin and Cressida Bonas

35 min listen

For the Christmas triple issue, there are four authors in this week’s Spectator Out Loud. Fraser Nelson reads the leading article in our Christmas edition; Matt Ridley talks about how mRNA vaccines could revolutionise medicine; Ian Rankin reads his short story; and Cressida Bonas reflects on what it was like to have a lockdown wedding.

Cressida Bonas: My perfectly imperfect lockdown wedding

I had a lockdown wedding. A 30-person, socially-distanced, sanitised church service was organised in under two weeks. Restrictions meant no hymns, no wind instruments and no speaking too loudly. A disappointment for a musical family. Not what we’d envisaged, but a more intimate and special day than we could ever have imagined. Imperfect yet perfect