In praise of winter

Fanfare for winter

... when Britain's at its best!

In praise of cold

By Alan Coren

5.22 am, Sunday, December 3, and a kaleidoscope shatters inside my skull, and sharp splinters of dream whang around the waking brain like shrapnel inside a pierced tank-turret (in that last cracked millisecond, I see a came! pass, left to right, and hear an aunt laugh), and then there is this figure at the end of the bed, hovering, slightly phosphorescent. I try to collect my thoughts fast, like a trapped adulterer snatching at his strewn clothing, but my brain has both legs down one trouser, and I merely stare at the Shape, immobile. Is it Nemesis, DTs, Christmas Past? Banquo looking for the Inverness road?

The perks of winter

By Bill Tidy

Is there anybody here likes winter ?

What happens if, on the dank and nippy first day of December, you telephone a clutch of distinguished, celebrated men as they sit inside their offices and contemplate the wintry gloom outside and ask them what, if anything, they can find to praise about the most maligned of the seasons- winter? One of two things. Some, like the railways chief, Richard Marsh, or Lord Goodman, whom we'd plainly caught at a Jess than happy time, declared swiftly that they could find little to praise in anything, let alone winter, kindly leave them alone and oblige. Others, like the smiling Sir Charles Forte, Harry Secombe, the weatherman Graham Parker and Walter Annenberg, United States ambassador in London, were able to face up Io winter in a spirit of contemplative resignation, if not jollity.

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Three Cheers for Jacob Marley

By J.E. Hinder

Being a Ghost Story at Christmas


Can I misquote you on that ?

Passing through

By David Taylor

"I ten minutes,'· said Jane Montant, with the air of a lady who's had occasion to time it, "then either 1 go sound asleep or 1 have to do something." On this brief occasion, the Happy Hour at the Berkeley, she opted to stay awake and talk to us. We talked about this and that. We sipped at Camparis and dug into the burnt almonds. Jane Montant has a thing about burnt almonds. She has another thing about being awfully busy, too, only that didn't show, yet. We sat and drank and chattered on, like three people waiting for the floor show to begin. The almonds, we were agreed, were something else. Only fitting when we were talking to a lady who turned out to be the Editor of a magazine no self-respecting cocktailer, practised nibbler or full-scale professional gormandiser can ignore- the arbiter of taste and tastiness in half a million homes in America, Gourmet.