Low life

The beauty of military cemeteries

18 July 2020 9:00 am

They are starting to cut the corn. But apart from combine harvesters and tractors, the roads up here on the…

My Great War obsession

11 July 2020 9:00 am

Bernafay Wood B&B, Somme, France I came up on the TGV yesterday from the Midi to northern France and it…

Nuns, a maquisard and the Devil’s Own Rum: a Provençale pilgrimage

4 July 2020 9:00 am

Avid Spectator reader Mr Brown had endured the very strictest of lockdowns for family health reasons in Tunbridge Wells. Since…

What angry young French men want

27 June 2020 9:00 am

Chatting on the café terrace with my new friends Didier and Emile made me aware that certain political ideas, which…

Is left the new right?

20 June 2020 9:00 am

I took a table on the terrace of the reopened bar and ordered une pression from the waitress. ‘Back to…

My hairdresser cured my depression

13 June 2020 9:00 am

I walked to the salon in fiery sunshine. Gorgeous, zaftig Elody was wearing a short satin dressing gown of silver…

An 11-year-old’s birthday party was hijacked by Brexit

6 June 2020 9:00 am

Saturday night we ate outside next to the floodlit rock face. Four adult guests came puffing up the path and…

We have a communist bar and a fascist bar. If only I could remember which is which

30 May 2020 9:00 am

When I first came to this village, I was told that one of the bars was a ‘communist’ bar and…

Rules for a deconfinement dinner party

23 May 2020 9:00 am

The most visible local landmark is a solitary two-headed Jurassic mountain called Le Bessillon, six miles long and 800 metres…

My first post-lockdown party

16 May 2020 9:00 am

France is divided into a red zone and a green zone. We’re green. Green for go. From this morning we…

In praise of French doctors

9 May 2020 9:00 am

They made a better job of sorting out my waterworks

How the French view their weekly clap for carers

2 May 2020 9:00 am

Once a week we break French emergency law and have a friend round for drinks on the terrace. The terrace…

Vodka, kaolin and morphine: my welcome drinks at The Spectator offices

25 April 2020 9:00 am

In 2001, aged 44, I was hired to write a weekly column for this august paper, and for the first…

Would my success in growing cannabis plants translate to nasturtiums?

18 April 2020 9:00 am

In a cave once used as a stable and now abandoned, I found a wooden crate containing a dozen tiny…

I was relishing the lockdown a week ago, but now I need urgent hospital treatment

11 April 2020 9:00 am

In France the rule for going for a walk stipulates an hour in duration or a kilometre in distance. We…

Had the entire village population been wiped out since last week?

4 April 2020 9:00 am

With my signed and dated laissez-passer in my pocket, I trotted down to the village to see if I could…

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…