The problems with problems

Had the ambassador come to London expecting the streets to be paved with Ferrero Rochers?

Nightmare scenarios

I did that idiotic thing that no Jane Austen heroine ever did: I plugged myself into the internet for comfort

Spirals out of control

It’s been the summer of the ribbon – the vegetable ribbon, that is

Deauville rendezvous

Is it bad to be drawn to things that were fashionable about 101 years ago?

A poem to learn for life

One of the Poems on the Underground posters caught my eye. It was called ‘In a Young Time’ by Gerard Benson

Barbie as a role model

Barbie had notched up 150 careers by the age of 50, including dolphin trainer

How to build a school

Teachers will be recruited from among our nearest and dearest

Easy, carefree summer dressing

Clothes for the season should be soft and relaxed, charmingly cheerful and never be self-important

All in the tidy mind

The difficult thing about sorting through several thousand pieces of paper is having to decide what the definition of precious is

The devil may care

Is that what the church is doing, rebranding the devil as a nasty whiff?

What the Dickinson!

People try to make us smaller than we are, yet we do this to ourselves routinely because it seems polite or tactful

Without fear of favours

You become obsessed with whether she is going to charge you or not

One happy return

The dress zipped and buttoned, I looked up at myself in the mirror expecting Ingrid Bergman’s little sister

If I were the King of Spain

As king, I would live modestly, employing pomp only when my subjects insisted

Of tea and morality

Managing rations of my favourite tea makes for something low-key and soothing to worry about to put me in the holiday spirit

A gift house

Could shrugging ‘I won it in a raffle’ mask a naked show of self-interest?

Au revoir to the minibar

‘A good minibar ought to resemble a Christmas stocking, ripe with thoughtful treats’

Bright lights, dizzying city

‘Someone said I looked like a young mafia widow. I’ve heard worse’

The mothman cometh

‘These pests are actually considerate. When they took a chunk out of my best Prada cardigan it was from a section that doesn’t show at all’

Friendships fit for a princess

‘At the heart of many women’s friendships there lies a tacitly formed agreement: that one of the parties is the princess and the other the lady-in-waiting’

ABOUT SUSIE

Susie BoytSusie Boyt writes a column on shopping for the FT Weekend supplement. She is a novelist and lives in London.

E-mail Susie Boyt

To receive an email alert for Susie Boyt , sign up at the top of any hercolumns.

Enter job search