Heroes and villains
Life-saving Skims | Performance poetry | Richard Curtis
“We played it cool, we jived and blew smoke rings”
On the money
In 1956, Jackie Kennedy met for a summit lunch with JFK’s father Joe at Le Pavillion restaurant in New York, says J Randy Taraborrelli in his new biography Jackie. When she told him she was fed up with her husband’s cheating, the Kennedy patriarch panicked that this spousal fall-out would impact his son’s presidential ambition. So he proposed a deal: Joe would pay Jackie $100,000 – the equivalent of $1m today – for any child “carried to term”, so the couple could appear to have the “perfect” family life. In November 1957, Jackie gave birth to a daughter, Caroline, and Joe “made good on his promise”, depositing $100,000 into her bank account the same day.
Quirk of history
Why WH Auden was never poet laureate
Quirk of history
Robert Oppenheimer’s fall from grace
quoted smith 22.7.23
“People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.”
On a recent holiday to Brazil, says Sushma Subramanian in The New York Times, my two-year-old fell and suffered a deep cut on her face. We rushed to the hospital where a plastic surgeon expertly stitched the wound to minimise scarring. “Don’t worry,” he told me, “Brazil has the best plastic surgeons in the world.” It turns out the nation has been subsidising cosmetic procedures – nearly half a million of them each year – since the 1950s, when a famous surgeon convinced the president that ugliness could cause “painful psychological suffering”. Most countries’ health coverage applies just to reconstructive care, not aesthetic. Brazil sees more “continuity” between the two. And perhaps they’re right. Perhaps beauty is a form of health, and “small changes we can make to our surfaces” can have profound influence on our quality of life.
Nettling the bien pensants of the London art world
Why brief encounters matter
A lifelong obsession with class
The beach house
This three-bedroom home on a stunning beach front on the Scottish isle of Coll has a large conservatory, stone walls and far-reaching views across the water. It comes with 1km of private shoreline and 49 acres of rugged land, perfect for countryside hikes. The Caledonian MacBrayne ferry to the mainland takes around two hours and 30 minutes. £525,000.
The country house
The Ivy is an 18th-century, grade I listed manor in Chippenham, Wiltshire. Its 5,500 sq ft interior includes five bedrooms, multiple large living rooms, and reams of period features, including elaborate fireplaces and modillion cornicing. Outside, there’s a heated swimming pool, an orchard and a croquet lawn. Chippenham train station is a five-minute walk, with trains to London Paddington taking just over an hour. £3m.
quoted twain 22.7.23
“Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.”