Lifestyle

I’m not saying I’m an emotional wreck, but almost anything can reduce me to tears

A few years ago, I was on my way to Australia to perform at the Melbourne comedy festival, and was feeling a bit nervous about what Australian audiences were going to make of me. On the plane I decided to try to take my mind off it by having a drink and watching the in-flight […]

Lifestyle

I still haven’t fully mastered the English language – but then, who has?

Some months ago, my mother and I were taking part in our favourite pastime (entering competitions we have no chance of winning) when we were asked which languages we speak, and to rate our competency from one (“holiday phrases”) to five (“mastered”), for market research. “Click five,” I said to Mum as she hesitated over […]

Lifestyle

Trouble in cyclists’ paradise: Amsterdam accused of favouring pedestrians

Its reputation is that of an idyll for cyclists, a city freed from the torment of cars. But while Amsterdam remains a model to most of the world, there are signs of trouble in paradise. A series of developments have led the Amsterdam branch of the Fietsersbond, the Dutch cyclists’ union, to claim the municipality […]

Lifestyle

Fit in my 40s: I can go back to the gym now – but do I really want to?

It’s funny how, when there’s a huge array of things you’re not allowed to do, you simply forget about them. I haven’t missed the gym day-to-day: unlike the guys in the park, who were lugging around their own weights and trying to do pull-ups on branches, I’ve never had a fixed gym routine. What I’ve […]

Lifestyle

Which geological period is called the Age of Fishes? The Weekend quiz

The questions1 Which existentialists share a grave in Montparnasse Cemetery?2 Acqua alta is a problem in what Italian city?3 Which world leader played cricket for Sussex?4 Which geological period is called the Age of Fishes?5 Bull-leaping was an ancient ritual on which island?6 What is a Dutch cabbage salad better known as?7 What unit was […]