Low life


How I won €160 by mistake

October 8, 2020 4:59 pm

Thanks to our local bar, I ended the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with bulging trousers

french gambling betting

French gambling is a mystery to me

October 1, 2020 9:32 am

Would someone please help me place a bet on the Arc de Triomphe?

foreign correspondent

A lament for the foreign correspondent’s house — and his hospitality

September 27, 2020 11:42 am

He claimed to love riots, and I have no trouble believing it

car motoring road

A relic of the golden age of motoring

September 3, 2020 12:33 am

The A272 through Sussex epitomizes everything I love about the England that once was


How to survive a heatwave

August 31, 2020 12:41 pm

My friend the carpenter bee has expired, the dog can’t move and even the Provençal French see la canicule as an ordeal


Bad news from my oncologist didn’t spoil my joyous reunion with my grandson

August 20, 2020 9:53 am

I hadn’t seen Oscar since Christmas, and had spent months looking forward to his visit


Would this Marseille-bound flight be the death of me?

August 13, 2020 1:26 pm

As the chap I was wedged against coughed and sneezed his mask awry, I look out of the window and thought about dying

angry young french didier emile

What angry young French men want

July 19, 2020 10:37 am

As I bought the drinks, Didier told me that voluntary euthanasia was in and casino capitalism out


In praise of French doctors

June 27, 2020 11:43 am

Thirty-five years ago, my nurse had competed against an English team who played rugby with a violence that was incredible


Is left the new right?

June 18, 2020 1:23 pm

Emile had the face of one who had stared into the abyss at exactly the moment the wind had changed

xanax pharma

The joy of Xanax

June 8, 2020 6:20 pm

Back in her examination room, I presented her with my sample


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

June 4, 2020 5:50 pm

While our guests laid into Boris and Dominic Cummings, the birthday boy and I played with matches

communist bar

Our village has a communist bar and a fascist bar. If only I could remember which is which

May 28, 2020 3:11 pm

If there’s a televised match on somewhere in the world, the communist bar will be showing it on the big screen with the volume turned up

deconfinement dinner party

Rules for a deconfinement dinner party

May 21, 2020 2:44 pm

Our place settings were as widely spaced as the surrounding Provençal geography


My first post-lockdown party

May 14, 2020 5:41 pm

Perhaps this boozy convivial affair will shake me out of my macabre state

french doctor benoit

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

May 12, 2020 12:14 pm

As we all sat in the waiting room, we wondered what social enormity the doctor might commit next

spectator offices

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

April 23, 2020 5:09 pm

After I’d partaken of this cocktail with Mary Wakefield, I had my first encounter with a speechless Boris Johnson


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

April 9, 2020 4:26 pm

I need to have a stent removed from my urethra — and pronto

hannah arendt

My love affair with Hannah Arendt

March 19, 2020 5:15 pm

Stoned out of our minds on a few puffs, we watched in awed silence, hanging on her every word, every clause, every sentence


White Christmas: the magic of the festive drugs binge

December 17, 2019 4:44 am

Among partying druggies, the trust that has disappeared from every level of society is fully present


The lessons I learned cycling across Rwanda

November 21, 2019 2:05 pm

‘There is no ethnicity here now’, said my escort Eric, moments before I shot headfirst over the handlebars

maid gong yoga

What did the maid make of my penis vacuum pump?

November 19, 2019 1:13 pm

While I was out, she had polished it and positioned it on a glass shelf lit by four spotlights


My journey to the heart of prehistoric England

October 31, 2019 10:35 am

I would be staying in this cottage in the shadow of Wansdyke to see if I wanted to rent it


The mysterious ways of the French

September 5, 2019 10:50 am

Everything in this country is as strange to me today as it was five years ago

A trip to Dartmoor Prison with my grandson and his cousin

August 1, 2019 2:59 pm

Nine-year-old Oscar is a mentor to eight-year-old Lucas