Mary Wakefield

Mary Wakefield is commissioning editor of The Spectator.

The dark side of ‘cute’ culture

12 September 2020 9:00 am

I have become allergic to ‘cute’, bad-tempered biddy that I am. Cuteness and the requirement to be cute have spread…

The dismal rise of the modern elopement

15 August 2020 9:00 am

I didn’t realise how attached I was to the traditional British wedding — the whole messy, pricey, drunken business —…

How the Catholic church betrayed the dying

1 August 2020 9:00 am

Of all the sad and surreal things to happen in the past few months, the Catholic church’s decision to abandon…

The pandemic’s invisible victims

4 July 2020 9:00 am

I sometimes pick up some food at Tesco for an 86-year-old pensioner who lives a few streets over. At the…

Are you a lockdown eel or a pygmy goat?

23 May 2020 9:00 am

I identify strongly with the garden eels in the Tokyo aquarium. Pre-corona, they were perfectly sociable. Come opening hour, when…

Getting coronavirus does not bring clarity

24 April 2020 11:00 pm

I had thought that actually getting the coronavirus would bring clarity — that there would be some satisfaction in meeting…

The world of make-believe is stranger than we realise

28 March 2020 9:00 am

Last summer, in the bc era, I took my then three-year-old to a new group play session: ‘Lottie’s Magic Box.’…

Why did no one believe Johnny Depp?

29 February 2020 9:00 am

When it was first reported that Johnny Depp had been hit and pelted with crockery by his slight, blonde then…

Vampire squids are killing Britain’s B&Bs

18 January 2020 9:00 am

More and more of us are staying home for our holidays — but even so, our small hotels and B&Bs…

Why I changed my mind about Catholicism

21 December 2019 9:00 am

I grew up in a traditional English family, surrounded by cousins, chivvied by aunts, presided over by my grandmother, who…

Why is no one admiring Debbie Harry’s resilience?

30 November 2019 9:00 am

Debbie Harry, Blondie’s lead singer, has written a memoir in which she relates, in her usual deadpan, punk-rock way, the…

Are you tingle-minded? The rapid rise of ASMR

2 November 2019 9:00 am

I once had a flatmate called Tom, who behaved very oddly when our cleaner came round. On mornings when she…

Why do we keep pretending that children are wiser than adults?

12 October 2019 9:00 am

We’ve begun to behave as if young people are special; more virtuous and wiser than adults. It’s wrong and it’s…

Will Greta Thunberg win the Nobel Peace Prize? I really hope not

10 October 2019 9:53 pm

We’ve begun to behave as if young people are special; more virtuous and wiser than adults. It’s wrong and it’s…

The screaming souls on London’s streets

21 September 2019 9:00 am

When I first moved to London N1  four years ago, no one seemed to notice let alone discuss all the…

The reason middle-class parents are so anxious

10 August 2019 9:00 am

On that record-breaking, sweltering day at the end of July, my three-year-old son did a pirouette in the paddling pool…

Abandoning stop and search would be abandoning a generation of kids

29 June 2019 9:00 am

It was somehow inevitable that shortly after Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick announced a fall in violent crime, there would…

Why vegans must not own cats

1 June 2019 9:00 am

Is it ethical for vegans to own cats? It’s an interesting question because vegans look set to take over —…

Natural England is overwhelmed – and farmers are paying the price

4 May 2019 9:00 am

Last week, on the first day of the government’s ban on farmers shooting pest birds, I walked across St James’s…

My friend’s death taught me what Easter really means

20 April 2019 9:00 am

The bravest thing I’ve ever seen was 93-year-old Albert’s decision to die and the days after in which he stuck…

There’s an arms race underway – between headphones and musak

23 March 2019 9:00 am

I live with a ghost, or rather, I share an address with a man who’s been dead for many years.…

‘If I get an adrenaline rush, something’s gone wrong’: An interview with Free Solo’s Alex Honnold

9 February 2019 9:00 am

My husband, usually a cool customer, watched Free Solo from behind his fingers, sometimes jumping up from the sofa and…

The scent of London has changed: all I can smell now is cannabis

26 January 2019 9:00 am

Fewer people are smoking cannabis these days, down to 1.4 million from two million, they say. I say, if you…

Benedict Cumberbatch as Dominic Cummings in Brexit: The Uncivil War

Benedict Cumberbatch on playing my husband, Dominic Cummings

15 December 2018 9:00 am

Imagine looking at a photo of a stranger and feeling in response, quite naturally, the sort of happy affection you…

Neil MacGregor: belief is what holds a society together

8 December 2018 9:00 am

‘But what must it be like for the fish?’ We’re talking about cormorants, Neil MacGregor and I, and the spectacular…