Melissa Kite

Melissa Kite

Have I cursed myself by drinking holy water?

The mountain spring that feeds our house froze during the first ground frost, and we had no water. The builder boyfriend filled a bucket from the fountain in the garden so we could flush the loo. This really is living in faded grandeur. I spent the evening worrying about how we had cursed ourselves by

A meeting with our new boy-racer neighbour

We were riding the two cobs down the lane when I heard the car roaring its engine behind us. I had seen it pull out of a long, winding driveway coming from a house perched on top of the highest point of the hillside, a few hundred yards along from our place. It went the

Is it really a coincidence everyone seems to be dying?

The funeral drinks at McCarthy’s bar was splendid, and towards the end we got invited to another one. I was sitting at the bar with a bowl of soup and a plate of neatly cut cheesy sandwiches, while the builder boyfriend drank a pint of Murphy’s, when the bar owner leaned over and told us

Will our horse make the 12-year-old vet faint?

‘The vet’s here and he’s 12,’ I called over the farmyard gate where the builder boyfriend was waiting with the injured cob. I don’t think the lad heard me as he got out of his car. I hope the Irish ones don’t faint, I thought, because we had a nice gory cut for him. The

Peter Hitchens, Lionel Shriver, Mary Wellesley and more

31 min listen

On this week’s episode, Peter Hitchens remembers a Christmas in Bucharest, Lionel Shriver says people don’t care about Ukraine anymore, Ed West wonders if you can ‘meme’ yourself into believing in God, Mary Wellesley reads her ‘Notes On’ St Nicholas, and Melissa Kite says she had to move to Ireland to escape the EU‘s rules.

Is it really un-Christian to listen to social media gossip?

‘Let’s get out of here,’ I whispered, almost in tears, as the priest finished his horrible homily. Standing at the altar in front of a stained-glass window showing Jesus with his arms outstretched, this priest was telling us all off for what had happened in Dublin, three hours’ drive away. I suppose we expected a

I’m taking on the Hilton through its breakfast buffet

‘Have you ever eaten breakfast at the Hilton before?’ shouted the woman on the door of the restaurant, as a guest attempted to gain entry. She told me I could help myself to coffee and I said I would, because I had As he mumbled something, she shouted: ‘And how are you this morning?’ He

Our new house needed us – and we needed the house

The light does such magical things on this hillside that, as I walk the steep narrow lanes between fields, I can’t take my eyes off a distant, golden-topped mountain range. At night the sky is so clear I wander into the garden and stare at the northern star, bright and low. I saw in the

My battle to get hold of the good stuff

In the pitch dark, we stormed from the house to the pick-up truck and screeched out of our farmyard with me shouting: ‘Come on! This is our only chance! If we don’t get there now we’re done for!’ ‘They won’t sell to us because we’re English. It’s like those stories you hear about idiots who

Michael Simmons, Christopher Howse and Melissa Kite

19 min listen

This week, Michael Simmons looks at the dodgy graph thats justified the second lockdown (00:55), Christopher Howse examines what happened to received pronunciation (05:56), and Melissa Kite wonders whether Surrey’s busybodies have followed her and her boyfriend to Cork (14:47). Presented and produced by Max Jeffery.

Have the Surrey busybodies followed us to Cork

‘We’re waiting for the llamas to turn up,’ said the lady selling lottery tickets from her car in the supermarket car park. She had accosted the builder boyfriend as he walked by, shouting: ‘I want a word with you! We’re all very worried about what you’re going to be doing to that old house up

Wasn’t AA meant to be about helping people?

The hatchet-faced woman who shouted at me pulled out her lipstick and sat reapplying it during the meeting. The pretty young girl next to her took out a nail file and sat filing her nails, as people shared. She was wearing see-through, skin-tight, skin-coloured leggings and a pair of six-inch wedged boots. I sat opposite

Why I love budget hotels

For a few blissful days I became ensconced in a room at the Premier Inn, with no fixed abode. I was not a property owner. I had no responsibilities. I was free. This wondrous state of near-vagrancy was only until the purchase of my house in Ireland went through, but I enjoyed it all the

Melissa Kite, Nigel Biggar and Matt Ridley

24 min listen

This week Melissa Kite mourns the Warwickshire countryside of her childhood, ripped up and torn apart for HS2, and describes how people like her parents have been treated by the doomed project (01:15), Nigel Biggar attempts to explain the thinking behind those who insist on calling Britain a racist country, even though the evidence says

Train wreck: HS2 destroyed the countryside I love

When I drive to see my parents in the once-peaceful farming country where I grew up, it is a strange, bittersweet experience. The car journey takes me through places I ought to recognise but I don’t any more, because the green fields of Warwickshire, the villages and the farms, are scarred by the tortuous works

The BB and I are escaping the Soviet States of Surrey at last

‘You’re only allowed one roll of packing tape per customer,’ said the lady in the local hardware store. The builder boyfriend was holding five rolls, at £2 each, thinking it was reasonable to buy a tenner’s worth, or even that she might be pleased, in line with the normal rules of commerce. But this lady

Why are vegans addicted to replica bacon?

Queueing behind a young woman in the supermarket I became fascinated by the items she had placed on the conveyor belt. Several bottles of expensive booze had gone through first, followed by six tins of chickpeas, two bits of broccoli, then packet after packet of processed meat substitute products.  Cheese-free cheese, ham-free ham, soy this