Low life

I am socially isolating in a cave in France

28 March 2020 9:00 am

This Provençal village clusters around the base of a cliff 300 feet high and a kilometre wide surmounted by two…

My love affair with Hannah Arendt

21 March 2020 9:00 am

The three of us — me, Catriona and her daughter Skye — were having a wash and brush-up before going…

The joy of Xanax

14 March 2020 9:00 am

The greater the enervation, it is said, the greater the appreciation of a work of art. There was no place…

Shrieks, shots and broken china: a visit to my rural French GP

7 March 2020 9:00 am

On a hard chair next to the waiting-room door, I sat for an hour defusing thoughts of my own demise,…

The film that shaped my vision of the world

29 February 2020 9:00 am

Joyce Marriott of Pyrton, Oxford, has written a letter to the Times on the subject of how a person’s imagination…

How to sample your own urine

21 February 2020 10:00 pm

Seven round the table for dinner. Wild mushroom risotto. I was told to sit next to Michael. Good. Michael makes…

How I found salvation in a church in Torquay

15 February 2020 9:00 am

Last Tuesday a Mistral wind blowing across the Bay of Angels jerked the plane all over the shop as it…

Is gluttony no longer a sin?

7 February 2020 10:00 pm

I’ve no interest in food. None. But for the three other journalists on our press trip, eating was a consuming…

The horror of Heathrow

1 February 2020 9:00 am

There are no stairs or escalators to take you up to Terminal 4 from the underground Heathrow Express platform. Beyond…

Whisky and striptease: stories from an old people’s home

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

For the last four years of her long life, this upstairs room and this magnificent sea view belonged to Mrs…

War has broken out between me and my siblings

18 January 2020 9:00 am

Last night I watched a boxed set. Parade’s End is a small box set as box sets go, and quite…

The death of my desert-island fantasy

11 January 2020 9:00 am

I was on the back seat of a golf buggy being driven down to the marina from my beachside villa…

A young Rwandan scholar left a profound impression on me

21 December 2019 9:00 am

In the Rwandan Genocide Memorial gift shop I bought a handy Kinyarwanda–Kiswahili–English phrase book. The tipping point in the decision…

Smoking opium with Mr Nazim – and a gecko

14 December 2019 9:00 am

‘I used to go to India for a few months every year. A couple of times we even drove there.…

Hell is an expat dinner party

7 December 2019 9:00 am

I just don’t understand it. Emigrating from Britain to France is a big step. Shifting from one culture to another…

When Brexiter meets Catalexiter

30 November 2019 9:00 am

After the hostel breakfast, I stood on the tropical grass lawn smoking the first fag of the day and mulled…

The lessons I learned cycling across Rwanda

23 November 2019 9:00 am

The backmarker of the peloton was Eric, a tall, stick-thin Rwandan. Under his cycling helmet he wore a baseball cap…

The joy of a Rwandan airport

16 November 2019 9:00 am

Our plane touched down in Rwanda at 7 p.m. Stepping outside on to the metal steps, I smelt that unmistakable…

My image of the young Jeremy Corbyn is not a flattering one

9 November 2019 9:00 am

I found the stone and the key underneath and let myself into the cottage — brr! I immediately made a…

[Photo: John Heseltine / Alamy Stock Photo]

My journey to the heart of prehistoric England

2 November 2019 9:00 am

‘Can I get a taxi around here?’ The man standing behind the counter of the convenience store looked at the…

Friedrich Nietzche [Photo: Roger-Viollet/Shutterstock]

The divine comedy of Friedrich Nietzsche

26 October 2019 9:00 am

I’ve come back to the empty house for the second time in the six weeks since my mother died. The…

The truth behind those Airbnb snaps

19 October 2019 9:00 am

Catriona and I had agreed that a terrace for smoking, eating, drinking and painting was a necessity rather than a…

What had the chambermaid made of my penis vacuum pump?

12 October 2019 9:00 am

Fumbling outside my door in dripping swimming trunks for my room key, I was hailed cheerily by the maid from…

Will mindfulness turn me into a Remainer?

5 October 2019 9:00 am

Mindfulness at our all-inclusive Turkish beach resort began at 11 o’clock. Our mindfulness teacher was a tiny, smiley, flexible-looking woman…

Why Sodom and south Devon are a million miles apart

28 September 2019 9:00 am

We gathered around in the sunshine and watched the coffin being lowered into the freshly dug trench. Stratifications visible on…