Flat White

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Tips, and other tips

People no longer know how to use restaurants. Maybe they’ve lost the knack. Is it because Australians can’t afford to…

19 Aug 2017

The freedom conundrum

Recently I attended the Centre for Policy Studies’ Margaret Thatcher Conference on Security 2017 at the august Guildhall in the…

19 Aug 2017

Love is a many-gendered thing

Dateline anywhere in Australia, three or four years from now. Spring is around the corner and love is in the…

19 Aug 2017

But is it art…?

In the 1950s a childless couple in the deserts of California set about creating their own family. Calvin and Ruby…

Draining Donald Trump

Big Brother is now stage centre in American political life. The recent appearance in the Washington Post of the transcript…

19 Aug 2017

Aux bien pensants

Say Yes to No Just as the appeasement of Nazi Germany ended with Chamberlain’s Declaration of War at 11.15am on…

19 Aug 2017

Jesus in the playground

It emerged last fortnight that Queensland’s Department of Education wants to ban primary school students from talking about Jesus. Kate…

12 Aug 2017

Our survey proves just how horrible you are

This month the Australian Human Rights Commission lied to the nation. And it knows it did.  It told Australians that…

12 Aug 2017

Sir Andrew Davis

Operas are subject to changes in fashion, suffering long periods of neglect. One such opera is Thaïs by Jules Massenet.…

19 Aug 2017

Marble relief of a Roman trireme

Readers of Robert Harris’ thriller Pompeii might think they know a great deal about the devastating eruption of Mt Vesuvius…

12 Aug 2017

Simone Young

She’s a local girl who made good — really good. Simone Young was born, educated and trained in Sydney. She…

5 Aug 2017

The Father

A co-production by MTC and STC of a new play which has been acclaimed in Paris, London and New York…

29 Jul 2017

The turf

‘Racing isn’t a team sport,’ the diehards used to tell us about the Shergar Cup, Ascot’s annual contest for three-rider…

19 Aug 2017

High life

As Jacob Rees-Mogg said in a different context, a happy birthday at my age is a terminological inexactitude. I needed…

19 Aug 2017

Real life

Easier by far to load up my horses and move them to the next village than try to fight the…

19 Aug 2017

What has the Premier League ever done for us?

Football’s back, I’m afraid, and, in the imperishable words of David Mitchell, every kick in every game matters to someone,…

19 Aug 2017

Low life

On Sunday morning we went, Oscar and I, to a vide grenier in the ancient, picturesque Provençal village. Vide grenier…

19 Aug 2017

Hunt-the-iPhone was the highlight of my hols

For years, Caroline and I have been squabbling over where to spend our summer holidays. Her ideal is a family-friendly…

19 Aug 2017

The man who disappeared

Walking out of one’s own life — unpredictably, perhaps even without premeditation and certainly without anything approaching a plan —…

19 Aug 2017

Change and decay

Writing of his grandmother’s cremation, Kushanava Choudhury reflects in The Epic City that, while his expatriate Indian cousins are separated…

19 Aug 2017

In Woolf’s clothing

Martin Amis once said that the writer’s life is half ambition and half anxiety. While one part of your brain…

19 Aug 2017

The end of brotherly love

You can never completely leave a religious cult, as this strange and touching memoir demonstrates. Patterns of thinking, turns of…

19 Aug 2017

A bad taste in the mouth

Here is the opening sentence of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s meditation on beds.: With its four legs and its flat, soft…

19 Aug 2017

The roots of witchcraft

Until the mid-1960s many historians believed witchcraft was a pre-Christian pagan fertility ritual, witches worshipping the Horned God, whose consort…

19 Aug 2017

The search for meaning

He’s not what you’d call prolific, Bernard MacLaverty. Midwinter Break is his fifth novel in 40 years, and his first…

19 Aug 2017

A countercultural upheaval

‘New York stories in a way are always real estate stories,’ says the journalist Alan Light in Lizzy Goodman’s bustling…

19 Aug 2017

Two enquiring minds

Samuel Pepys, wrote John Evelyn, was ‘universally beloved, hospitable, generous, learned in many things’ and ‘skilled in music’. John Evelyn,…

19 Aug 2017

Watching from the wings

The story of Sweetpea Slight is a footnote to a footnote in the annals of British theatre. Even her name…

12 Aug 2017

A clash of creeds

This is a very modern novel. Terrorist atrocity sits side by side with the familiar and the mundane. Where better…

12 Aug 2017

Flights of fancy

Levitation. We all know what it is: the ‘disregard for gravity’, as Peter Adey puts it in his new book,…

12 Aug 2017