The French are better at preserving their architectural heritage than the English. Gascony (aka the Gers) teems with bastide towns built from the 12th to the 14th centuries. Continue reading Bastide Town
I expect you have had some bad experiences with builders. Cobby found that they had built the fireplace off-centre in his drawing room. (He is the sort of person that could never have a lounge or a sitting room.) Continue reading Negroni Sbagliato
Tuesday morning was deliciously quiet. Why, as I get deafer, should I notice and bask in quietness? Perhaps I should move to the country? Continue reading News from Home & Abroad
Jason Butler in FT Money last Saturday is playing my song. His article concludes:
Market signs are telling UK investors that opportunity remains for diversification into the growing world beyond the borders.
I am trying to position myself for a downward correction in equities. Safety plays are bonds, gold and emerging markets. If, like me, you are baffled by bonds you can buy £50,000 of Premium Bonds. In the same FT Money Paul Lewis (he fronts Money Box on Radio 4) helpfully explains that although the interest rate on Premium Bonds has been reduced from 1.25% to 1.15% there is now a better chance of winning if you are fully invested. Most “prizes” are £25 and now there will be an extra 55,124 of them every month, 2,172,42 in all; a nice little earner, tax free.
Meanwhile on Broadway there was a musical … I loved it but am disconcerted that, it’s ludicrous, it can’t be true, Robert Klein’s moves remind people of me. OK, well I was once told by a partner that dancing with me was like dancing with a playful baby octopus and my goddaughter did give me that seduction kit. Watch this and marvel at Robert Klein’s style and sophistication.
I have been at the Cheltenham races this week. The weather was super-sunny and warm on Wednesday – most unusual for the Arctic micro-climate there. The traffic is as well managed as possible in such a rural location, so I choppered in. Continue reading Heli-blogging
Do not fancy that an intermission of writing is a decay of kindness. No man is always in a disposition to write; nor has any man at all times something to say.
(Johnson: Letter to Boswell) Continue reading Travesties
Coastwise Lights, the second volume of Alan Ross’s autobiography has been lent to me by William (Bill) Sansom’s son, Nick. His father features prominently. Continue reading Apple Tart is Off
At this time of year many newspapers adopt charities and invite their readers to contribute. I never have but it has led me to reflect on how I allocate my charity budget. It comes down to this. Continue reading Near and Far
Every Sunday at my Dublin prep school (Castle Park) we had to write a letter to our parents. These were strictly censored to eliminate any off-message remarks about the CP regime. My sister’s first school did not have such a restriction. Continue reading Send Hot Water Bottle
I took a tumble on Thursday and didn’t feel at all well yesterday. In fact I tottered into the A&E at Charing Cross Hospital in the evening to see if they could patch me up. Continue reading Charing Cross Revisited