Life

The joy of a children’s choir

9 July 2022 9:00 am

All afternoon I had been horizontal next to an electric fan, sometimes sleeping, sometimes awake and sometimes halfway between those…

A boiler service, spaghetti western-style

9 July 2022 9:00 am

The British Gas engineers arrived in convoy, and the dust from their tyres flew into the air as they came…

Dear Mary: How do I get my cleaner to put everything back in its proper place?

9 July 2022 9:00 am

Q. This year once again my company took a small group of clients to lunch at Royal Ascot. Our guests…

The delights of two-timing

9 July 2022 9:00 am

Looking back and trying to choose just one out of those incomparably bewitching women of one’s youth can be tricky.…

My admiration for the other Toby Young

9 July 2022 9:00 am

It’s started again. Sixteen years ago, another ‘Toby Young’ kept appearing in my email inbox. I’d created a Google Alert…

The unhappy truth about holidays

9 July 2022 9:00 am

In the 1980s, the great advertising writer John Webster described the following paradox. As he saw it, the dream of…

My memorable night at the Carlton Club

9 July 2022 9:00 am

‘Club’ is a four-letter word. Whenever a club is mentioned in the press, it will inevitably be portrayed as a…

‘Pinch’ has long packed a punch

9 July 2022 9:00 am

Before pinch as a verb appears in any written sources, it already formed part of surnames. Hugo Pinch was walking,…

Bridge | 9 July 2022

9 July 2022 9:00 am

In one respect, it would be so much easier to play a game like poker or chess than bridge; if…

Aussie life

2 July 2022 9:00 am

Perhaps we could pay tribute to the US Supreme Court’s courageous decision to remove an entitlement to wholesale abortion that…

Language

2 July 2022 9:00 am

Is it time to revisit how we define the word ‘racism’? Early in the 20th century the settled definition became…

2559: Platinum upgrade - solution

2 July 2022 9:00 am

The perimeter, starting at square 38, yields six of the CITIES created to commemorate the Platinum Jubilee: DONCASTER, MILTON KEYNES,…

Spectator competition winners: poems about imperial measures

2 July 2022 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3255, you were invited to submit a poem about imperial measures. Brian Bilston’s terrific poem ‘The Empire’s…

No. 709

2 July 2022 9:00 am

White to play. Miles-Pritchett, Lloyds Bank Masters 1982. Tony Miles found a powerful counter to the queenside threats. What did…

Maximum mischief

2 July 2022 9:00 am

Forbidden things have a secret charm – that delicious paradox applies to the chessboard just as it does in life.…

2562: Clear view but no vowels

2 July 2022 9:00 am

The cryptic title of this week’s crossword leads to a five-letter representation of the theme. The unclued lights include two…

Dear Mary: How do I get a party invitation from the friend who thinks I snubbed him?

2 July 2022 9:00 am

Q. I have heard news of a forthcoming party which I would really love to attend. The problem is that…

Pub food, Disney-style: the George reviewed

2 July 2022 9:00 am

The George, Fitzrovia, was Saki’s local, and a pub for men talking about cars when Great Portland Street was called…

Dominic Raab and the problem of ‘distraction’

2 July 2022 9:00 am

Dominic Raab blamed distraction forBoris Johnson’s woes when the Tories failed in two by-elections last week. ‘Hehas track records as…

The long and the short of it in Africa

2 July 2022 9:00 am

Kenya As late as the 1920s, it was believed that Africa’s tropical sun would boil a European’s brains. ‘The direct…

Is any sporting event more brutal than the Tour de France?

2 July 2022 9:00 am

That great Frenchman the Marquis de Sade would have been justly proud of the Tour de France had he lived…

A journey backwards through my journals

2 July 2022 9:00 am

I’m looking backwards: old journals, old photographs, old notebooks. What strikes me above all is the vigour and energy I…

In praise of the London sense of humour

2 July 2022 9:00 am

London As speaker at a posh dinner given by Jonathan and Jake Goedhuis, best UK wine merchants by far, and…

The day I got heckled at Speakers’ Corner

2 July 2022 9:00 am

Monday was the 150th anniversary of Speakers’ Corner and, in the hope of drumming up some publicity for the Free…

Bridge | 2 July 2022

2 July 2022 9:00 am

Rubber bridge is a game that happens to suit me very well: you can come and go as you please…