18 NOVEMBER 2000

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The Spectator

`Hey, remember us? Truckers! You supported us, remember?' T he House of Lords defeated by 205 to 144 the Sexual Offences Bill which would have reduced the age of consent for...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 020-7405

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1706; Fax 020-7242 0603 NICE IDEA E re, have you heard the latest? Have you heard about them Euro-johnnies and their plans for a federal superstate? It's that Joschka Fischer,...

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CLIVE JAMES W atching Sydney Harbour Bridge erupt in coloured flames to mark the end of a brilliantly organised Olympics, I wept for London, city of the dud Dome and the...

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French generals admire British soldiers; French politicians are uneasy BRUCE ANDERSON T he other day, I came across a fascinat- ing piece of small print. A session of the...

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The EU is going to extraordinary lengths to protect itself against month will seek new ways of eroding our freedoms Brussels THIS article is blasphemous. It contains...

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Much depends on Tony Blair, but, says Robert Peston, the Dirty Digger's relationship with the government is not what it was IN July 1995 a senior Labour official ush- ered me...

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SOME YOU WIN, SOME YOU LOSE The American comedian Jackie Masan sets the events Jackie Masan sets the events of last week in context AS you read this, we Americans may final-...

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Charles Glass says the Palestinian leader is emerging as a Neville Chamberlain figure - and that peace is as remote as ever Ramallah, West Bank THE walls are painted with...

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Peter Burnand remembers the kind-hearted NCOs who made life a living hell for cadets at Sandhurst COMPANY Sergeant-Major Leitch was not a big man — he probably just made the...


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Michael Heath

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David Lovibond on the traditional farmers of Devon who are at war with the modem world — and the hunt AT a time and in a country where so much that was familiar has...

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Banned wagon

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A weekly survey of the things our rulers want to prohibit `WE can't have an economy made up of people selling burgers to each other,' devotees of the manufacturing industry like...

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Feminists don't please James Hughes - Onslow one bit, especially when they sack him and write self-help manuals OBSERVING the progress of black-suit- ed women executives in...

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Mind your language

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'WELL, it's bloody silly, isn't it?' said my husband. `Yes, darling,' I replied. 'But I can't just write that, can I?' The 'it' in question was The Encarta Book of Quotations,...

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Science rules that natural disasters are the result of our sins against the environment. It's poppycock, says Matthew Parris FOR Question Time recently, I was with David...

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Colin Bostock-Smith discovers an impressive new sales offensive on service-station forecourts WHETHER you call it the London Gate- way or by its previous and much more...

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It's that time of the year again and Barry Unsworth is trying to keep the hunters off his property in Umbria Magione HERE in Umbria the hunting season is again upon us. Black...

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History shows that rows over presidential elections serve a purpose PAUL JOHNSON It was the first election in which popular voting mattered, and Jackson clearly won it. Of...

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Mr Morgan's adventures as an investor are enough to make you wrap a towel around your head STEPHEN GLOVER P iers Morgan, editor of the Mirror, is again swinging on the high...

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There is really no need to be beastly to Mr Bush or Mr Prescott FRANK JOHNSON G overnor Bush said, amid the uncer- tainty early this week, 'It's an interesting period, where...

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From Mr John Martin Robinson Sir: No doubt many horrible

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things occurred in England in the 12th and 13th centuries, though, as I wasn't there myself, I cannot vouch for them. But it would be rash to predicate a strong tradition of...

From Mr James Anstice Sir: I wish to take up

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an opportunity and agree with Anthony Julius that the British media coverage of crises in the Middle East can display a wanton disregard for objectiv- ity, and that it is the...

My words

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From Mr Alistair Horne Sir: D.J. Taylor's article CA true ghost story', 21 October) leaves me wondering whether to laugh or howl. It has to be one of the season's feats of...

LETTERS Anti-Semitic? Not us

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From K S. Umpleby Sir: Anthony Julius (England's gifts to Jew hatred', 11 November) says, `Time and again we are treated to an automatic assumption that the Israelis are the...

From Mr Nick Bradbury Sir: Anthony Julius is quite wrong.

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Any anti-Israeli reporting in the press is far more likely to reflect the deep-rooted English support for the underdog than it does a culturally conditioned anti- Semitism. If...

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From Mr Matthew Richards Sir: If Michael Henderson really thinks that audiences in New York are so much worse than their London counterparts (Arts, 28 October), he should read...

Loyal to Russia

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From Mr Oleg Gordievsky Sir: Mr Nick Djivanovic (Letters, 11 November), who lives in the Bahamas, apparently feels sympathy with the present KGB-led regime in Russia, which is...

Market extremes

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From Mr Edward Pearce Sir: Surely Tony Benn (Books, 21 October) is wrong and Andrew Roberts (Letters, 4 November) wronger. The truth is surely this: the economy was retrieved by...

Disloyal to 'Baba'

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From Mr David Gilmour Sir: If an elderly woman requests a quiet burial in Iona, most of us would regard it as disloyal if her son and her nephew cremat- ed her with a band and...

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Fortuitous delay

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From Ms Alexandra Henderson Sir: Bruce Anderson (Politics, 11 Novem- ber) bemoans the BBC's delay in providing figures in our coverage of the US elections. Mr Anderson may have...

Pass the parcel

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From Mr Stanley Best Sir: I have no knowledge of what happens at Mount Pleasant sorting office in London (Not sorted', 11 November), but the postal service to my home in North...

Analysing Taki

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From Mr Jonathan Mirsky Sir: I think Taki must be a closet black. After reading his column of 4 November and recalling previous ones, I conclude that he was quick to mature, is...

Poets' corner

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From Mr Michael Horovitz Sir: Philip Hensher's letter of 4 November moans that mine of 28 October 'resorted to name-calling'. Can the man not read? I compared his insistence on...

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Gricer blows off

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MY railway correspondent, I.K. Gricer, telephones to say that he is on a train. He is marooned outside York with a party from the Bank of Scotland. Their opposite num- bers from...

Packing the Fed

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THE new President of the United States, assuming that there is one, will have many worries and one opportunity. He can set out to pack the Federal Reserve Board. This was meant...

Ego in Arcadia

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THE genial John Hoemer has been expelled from Arcadia, and must regret picking this name for the string of fashion chains he took away from Burtons. It owns Top Shop and Dorothy...


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His bank wants to price me out of the market, so I've a Beaune to pick with Wim CHRISTOPHER FILDES A fact-finding visit to Beaune encour- ages me to believe that I can see the...

Design fault

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WIM Duisenberg's trouble is that the euro is a currency without a country. The euro- zone has no chancellor or prime minister who can be invited to choose between tight- ening...

Seeing double

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RESEARCH note: restaurant bills (and other bills) in France come with two totals, in francs and in euros. At the end of a good lunch it is is easy to mistake the second total...

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Francis King

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In a year when at least half-a-dozen well- known novelists fell far below their usual form (nonetheless one of them, amazingly, managed to enter the Booker short-list), for me...

Rupert Christiansen

The Spectator

Both the best and the worst was Gavin Lambert's Mainly about Lindsay Anderson (Faber, £18.99), a self-congratulatory, gar- rulous ramble through Lambert's own life that also...

Christmas Books I

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Books of the Year A selection of the best and worst books of the year, chosen by some of The Spectator's regular contributors Philip Hensher Neither of the two discoveries of...

Anita Brookner

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Not a good year. The most original novel was John Lanchester's Mr Phillips (Faber, £15.99), which has the benefit of a quirky and plausible central character and his progress...

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D. J. Taylor

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My fictional discovery of the year was Ben Richards, a writer whom, to my shame, I had never come across until reading a review in the TLS. A Sweetheart Deal (Headline Review,...

Christopher Howse

The Spectator

I gingerly stuck my nose into Lord Acton by Roland Hill (Yale, £25), being suspicious of the bee in the historian's bonnet about power, which made him bend over so far backwards...

Julian Mitchell

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Three diarists. Victor Klemperer's To the Bitter End (1942-45) (Weidenfeld & Nicol- son, £20) includes an astonishing descrip- tion of the night Dresden became a fireball. The...

Alan Judd

The Spectator

If, like me, you cannot see a manhole with- out wondering what's down there, you must read the new edition of London Under London, a subterranean guide by Richard Trench and...

David Gilmour

The Spectator

Graham Robb is one of the most stylish and stimulating of biographers. He is also chasteningly prolific, and his Rimbaud (Picador, £20) follows Balzac and Victor Hugo in a line...

Hugh Massingberd

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I managed only to last a few weeks as this magazine's restaurant critic (retired hurt) and, judging by the startling revelations in Anthony Bourdain's rip-roaring Kitchen...

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A household name

The Spectator

Jane Gardam WORDSWORTH: A LIFE by Juliet Barker Viking, £25, pp. 992 hen Juliet Barker published her biography The Brontës in 1995 she might have rested on her laurels as a...

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A selection of recent paperbacks

The Spectator

Fiction: Gemma Bovary by Posy Simmonds, Cape, £8.99 The Deposition of Father McGreevy by Brian O'Doherty, Arcadia, £11.99 Promised Lands by Jane Rogers, Abacus, £7.99 The Last...

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A French connection

The Spectator

Gabriele Annan LE MARIAGE by Diane Johnson Chatto, £16.99, pp.336 L e Mariage is a sequel, sort of, to Diane Johnson's last novel Le Divorce. The Per- sand family, impeccably...

Will the IRA hand in their weapons?

The Spectator

By refusing they're not enhancing The way the public views them And though the world will accuse them Of preventing the process from advancing Perhaps we should excuse them . ....

Sex in another form

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John McEwen MERVYN PEAKE: MY EYES MINT GOLD: A LIH by Malcolm Yorke John Murray, £25, pp. 368 M alcolm Yorke has written acclaimed biographies of several artists — Gill,...

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Thirteen of the best

The Spectator

Andrew Barrow SPEAKING WITH THE ANGEL edited by Nick Hornby Penguin, £7.99, pp. 215 T hese short stories are the work of 13 of The most exciting and popular writers around',...

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The emperor and the robber barons

The Spectator

Simon Sebag Montefiore MIDNIGHT DIARIES by Boris Yeltsin Weidenfeld, £20, pp. 398 B oris Yeltsin is the leader who ruled Russia between 1991 and 2000 with the dis- tant caprice...

How to beat the class system

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Helen Osborne CLASS ACT by Lynda Lee-Potter Metro, £.17.99, pp. 250 T he groom at least had made some effort,' wrote Lynda Lee-Potter in her Daily Mail column after the paper...

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Bumbledom's blunt blue pencil

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Douglas Murray POLITICS, PRUDERY AND PERVERSIONS: THE CENSORING OF THE ENGLISH STAGE, 1901-1968 by Nicholas de Jongh Methuen, £16.99, pp. 272 T here is little doubt now that...

The King is dead, long live the King

The Spectator

Michael Carlson nly two weeks before Bill Clinton's 1992 inauguration, America faced the con- sequences of a more important election: a national referendum choosing which image...

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Beautifying the Baltic

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Henry Hobhouse THE SCANDINAVIAN GARDEN by Karl-Dietrich Bidder Frances Lincoln, £30, pp. 250 I t is lucky that political correctness does not yet apply to the inanimate, or it...

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The uses of philosophy

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Nicholas Fearn THE DREAM OF REASON by Anthony Gottlieb Allen Lane, £20, pp. 480 E ver since Thales fell down a well while studying the stars, historians have been unable to...

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Losing oneself and reader

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Graham Stewart ADVENTURES IN AFRICA by Gianni Celati University of Chicago Press, £13, pp. 180 T ravel literature falls into three cate- gories. In the first, the intention is...

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First lady to the last

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Harry Mount AMERICA'S QUEEN: THE LIFE OF JACQUELINE KENNEDY ONASSIS by Sarah Bradford Viking, £20, pp. 690 J ackie has been called America's Queen before, not least by Frank...

Someone has blundered

The Spectator

John Sweetman SNATCHING DEFEAT FROM THE JAWS OF VICTORY: 20TH- CENTURY MILITARY BLUNDERS by David Wragg Sutton, £14.99, pp. 246 A fred, Lord Tennyson's poetic tribute to the...

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Striking the best of bargains

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Francis King THE SUMMER OF A DORMOUSE by John Mortimer Viking, £16.99, pp. 213 I n this account of a year in his life, John Mortimer remarks that 'the real trouble with old age...

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Recent books on tape

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Robert Cooper H eaven help us if the tapes of Peter Ackroyd's London, The Biography (Ran- dom House, abridged) fell into the hands of the archetypal anoraked London cabby. `St...

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Counting the cost of violence

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Paul Bew POLICE CASUALTIES IN IRELAND, 1919-22 by Richard Abbott Mercier, £15, pp. 340, tel: 001 353 1 661 5299 S ince the start of the current 'Troubles' in Northern Ireland...

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Assault on young minds

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Norman Lebrecht on the growing public concern over censorship and culture S etting aside the nail-biting outcome, this has been the dullest of US elections for those who enjoy...

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Exhibitions 1

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William Blake (Tate Britain, till 11 February) Moments of true greatness Martin Gayford T here is no question that he was a man of genius, T.S. Eliot remarked of Wynd- ham...

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Exhibitions 2

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John Piper: The Forties (Imperial War Museum, till 28 January) Distinctive images Mark Glazebrook Ac cording to Anita Brookner in her new book Romanticism and its...

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Rembrandt's influences

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Roger Kimball on a recent breathtaking exhibition in New York I n Tradition and the Individual Talent, T.S. Eliot famously criticised our tendency to insist, when we 'praise a...

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`Art is

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messy . So why get rid of a purpose-built art school? Andrew Lambirth investigates S uffolk is, of course, Constable country. He, however, didn't have to go to art school...

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In Extremis/De Profundis (National Theatre) The Duchess of Malfi (Barbican) Molly Bloom (Jermyn Street) Wilde evening Sheridan Morley A always with Oscar Wilde, I have...

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The Last Supper; La boheme (Glyndebourne Touring Opera) Powerful impressions Michael Tanner G lyndebourne Touring Opera is, most courageously, taking round the country...

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Time to tango Glannandrea Poem A the dance scholar Marta E. Sevigliano states in the introductory pages of her intriguing book, Tango and the Polit- ical Economy of Passion,...

Now and then

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H.V. MORTON'S collection of essays The Heart of London was published in 1925. Morton's London is compared with that of today: Down in the crypt of St Martin's Church, the church...

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Gravel allure Ursula Buchan hilst the skies wept, rivers rose and. floods inundated, most people, I imagine, scarcely thought of their gardens except to dismiss their welfare...

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Where the Heart Is (12, selected cinemas) Lurid but lame Mark Steyn O ne of the great disappointments for urban dwellers relocating to small towns is the discovery that so...

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I'm groovy, honest James Delingpole I did try this week, I promise. I said to myself: 'James, if you're not very careful everyone's going to think you're a crusty old colonel...

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Patronising rubbish Michael Vestey A 1s we know, next year Radio Four is to broadcast a magazine programme about books aimed at children, Let us pray the network's controller...

The turf

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Cheltenham cracker Robin Oakley B ut, Daddy,' she wailed, 'my name isn't Eileen.' Listening to the mobile phone chorus from those of us who had rashly entrusted ourselves to...

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High life

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Gifted Greeks Taki D ear, oh dear! The last time I answered a letter to the editor was literally 23 years ago. The right to reply may be sacrosanct, but so is my right to nail...

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No life

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Complex logistics Toby Young J ust my luck. In the year that I decide to give up my flat in Greenwich Village and move back into my bedsit in west London, it suddenly becomes...

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Singular life

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Healthy living Petronella Wyatt I have become very faddish about food. I probably inherited this from my father who spent his last years living on olive-oil and porridge oats...

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Top dogs Susanna Gross NEVER ask a top bridge player who he thinks is the best player in the world. Instead, you should re-phrase the question: who's the second best player in...

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RESTAURANT reviewers are not sup- posed to review restaurants on Sunday nights, or so the owners like to believe. `You should have come on Friday,' is the usual Sunday night...

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Rdbeq The Ultimate [slay Malt.

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�Rdb er www.ardbes.corn Raymond Keene THIS week I conclude my coverage of the Brain Games World Chess Championship in London. Kasparov had to win game 15 in order to stay in...

71 1 1 1 Y <1 1 1 7 : 1 - J

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COMPETITION The People's choice Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2162 you were given 12 words which according to a 'sur- vey' are among the nation's favourites, and invited to...

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Solution to 1487: Name for ship

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Mk] 1 aillari0earlaiMI a . A ©D E cilia 0111311 0 MIMI eciodoria A iscirinnia donnedrio . rir dorm N nil R 0111 0 u F1011111111101:113 El itl El r id can ention anon d T . lannn...


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\\1\E A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's award-winning, Late- Bottled Vintage Port for the first correct solution opened on 4 December, with two runners-up prizes of...

No. 2165: Mal de mer

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When I was 16 I wrote a poem expressing my dislike of the sea, usually considered a highly poetic subject for praise. You are invited to follow in my footsteps. Maximum 16...

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T: 020 7730 3.79a W: www.tomtom.co,uk E: tom@tomtom,co.uk E3 Elizabeth

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St. Landon SW1 W9PP torntom SPECTATOR WINE CLUB CUBAN CICALAS Nicholas Soames THE Avery's offers for The Spectator Wine Club have always proved to be tremendous- ly popular,...


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c/o Avery's of Bristol Ltd Orchard House, Southfield Road, Bristol BS48 Tel: (01275) 811100 Fax: ( 01275) 811101 Code White Price No. Value 658 I. Tierra Arena Sauvignon...

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Lennox, the grandmaster Simon Barnes IF it is really true that those whom the gods wish to destroy are given their hearts' desires, then they have truly got it in for...


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Dear Mary. Q. My wife and I have an old-established friend who recently announced that she has inherited a title and is to be formally addressed as Lady X. An inheritance is...