The Locals

ON BOARD S/Y BUSHIDO—While the eastern islands of Greece are being whipped daily by the meltemi, the hot, strong winds that can turn sailors into zombies, the western side, or the Ionian, remains soft, green and as feminine as ever. The sea off Cephalonia is smooth and mirror-like, but this ...

Name Dropping

“One can name-drop with impunity when writing about the past,” said Nicky Haslam. “What is hard is to avoid it when writing of the present,” according to the sage. I remember when this column began 32 years ago readers writing in to complain about ND. But what was I to do? ...

Losing with Class

So farewell, then, to probably the best Wimbledon fortnight ever, certainly the sunniest that I can remember. Andy Roddick now joins Gottfried von Cramm and Ken Rosewall as a three-times-losing finalist, coming within a whisker of winning the greatest trophy in tennis, but turning into a tragic ...

German Charm

Poor Michael Jackson. His last words were: ‘Take me to the children’s ward.’ But it was nice of the jockeys in Santa Anita to wear a black mourning band in honour of a man who rode more three-year-old winners than anyone. Mind you, I thought the great Paul Johnson was the best when I happened ...

Summer Days in Devon

Rolling though picture-perfect hills and fields of maize and barley towards Wembury House, Devon, for the annual Hanbury cricket match. At times it’s a scene from a ‘50s film of a long-ago England, beautiful, tranquil and law-abiding, with glimpses of broad greens, riverside walks and ...

Back in Britain

Does absence make the heart grow fonder? I’m not so sure. I’ve been away from London for one year, and was dreading the return. The grey sky, the Dickensian streets, the fat-bellied lager louts, the knife culture, Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson, the coarsest of the coarse Alan Sugar in the ...

The Speccie & Me

The very first time I walked into the Spectator office was in 1975, taken there for the summer party by Simon Courtauld, the then managing editor, i.e., he dealt with the business side of the oldest English speaking magazine in the world. Mind you, as I was about to find out, Simon had very little ...

Setting Sail

ON BOARD S/Y BUSHIDO, OFF IBIZA—As everyone who has followed the America’s Cup fiasco knows, it is now up to international courts to decide who shall defend what and where. The egregious Swiss billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli is the holder, and has been sued by Larry Ellison, an American ...

Blood & Iron

Today is the 65th anniversary of D-Day, but I find it strange that it is being commemorated without the Germans. It takes two to tango and two to fight, except back then, when it took the Americans, British, Canadians, and French, not to mention the Polish airforce to subdue the Wehrmacht. Here’s ...

My Date With Destiny

SINDELFINGEN—Sindelfingen is a suburb of Stuttgart, and is known as the German Detroit, except that Sindelfingen is a vibrantly green and leafy town of 60,000 people, half of whom are employed by Mercedes, whereas Detroit is a dying, crime-ridden city of burnt-out blocks and empty lots where ...