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" Everyone must know by now that the aim of Scrabble is to gain the moral high ground, the loser being the first player to slam the board shut and upset all the letters over the floor. "
" Looking back, some of the happiest moments of my childhood were spent with my arm in packets of breakfast cereal, rootling around for a free gift. "
" Women are more sensitive, more practical, more intelligent, more balanced, better able to deal with people, better cooks, better parents, better carers, better leaders, and so on and so forth. "
" Some of the most untidy writers have also been the most productive. Iris Murdoch, for instance, wrote a good 30 books in a house strewn with rubbish. "
" By and large, the artistic establishment disapproved of Margaret Thatcher. "
" When I was young, I used to expect Parisians to wear little black berets, to bicycle about with strings of onions around their necks, and to brandish long sticks of bread, just like they used to do in school textbooks. "
" When I tell people I don't own a mobile phone and wouldn't know how to text, they react as though I have just confessed that I can't read. "
" Poets, for example, are generally considered starry-eyed and sensitive, but only by those who have never encountered one. "
" Men know something that women don't know. Never ask directions of a stranger. "
" Some people see life as a game of chess, while others prefer to see it as a game of cricket; but the longer I live, the more I think of it as a game of Consequences. "
" There are few things quite so effortlessly enjoyable as watching an eminent person getting in a huff and flouncing out of a television interview, often with microphone trailing. "
" Cleanliness is the scourge of art. "
" More and more, I find that the news reads like a particularly random game of Consequences. "
" Comedy is the slave of time. What seemed funny then is unlikely to seem funny now, just as what strikes us as funny now would not have seemed funny then. "
" In its heyday, the blazer had come to symbolise a kind of conventional decency. Yacht club commodores and school bursars wore blazers. People who played bowls wore blazers. "
" Whenever television cameras are interviewing people in their homes, I tend to look over their shoulders and have a good snoop at their living rooms. I am always astonished at how clean they all look, with nothing out of place or unnecessary or dropped down any old how. "
" The first thing I hear when I wake up is the sea, which is so close to our house that its reflections from the sun dapple our bedroom ceiling. "
" Like many men who play tennis, when I hit a ball into the net, I tend to look daggers at my racket, reproaching it for playing so badly when I myself have been trying so hard. "
" Over the years, the idea seems to have grown up that brightly coloured flowers are vulgar, and that the only flowers to be admitted to the walled garden of good taste are discreet and pastel-hued. "
" More often than not, theatre critics bubble with enthusiasm about plays that are, when all is said and done, really pretty average. "
" When cars honk and hoot and drunks squeeze out of car windows and scream, you can be sure that football is in the air. "
" Like the firm handshake and looking people straight in the eye, the blazer had originally been a symbol of trust. Because of this, it had been purloined by the less-than-trustworthy and became their preferred disguise. "
" My father, a captain in the 5th Battalion of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, landed in Normandy the day after D-Day. "
" What would we do without plaques to tell us who lived where and when? They introduce the past into the present, and are the quickest and most interesting way of reminding us that our streets exist above and beyond the here-and-now. "
" People think of waves as going in an orderly crash - whoosh - crash - whoosh, but in fact there are lots of different crashes and whooshes, all at different stages, and all going off at the same time. "
" For some reason, it is always thrilling to spot your home town in the news. "
" Words have a life of their own. There is no telling what they will do. Within a matter of days, they can even turn turtle and mean the opposite. "
" It is hard being a football loather, a football unfan. I sometimes feel as lonely as the sole survivor in the last reel of a Zombie film, as, one by one, old friends reveal themselves, with their glassy stares and outstretched arms, to have succumbed to the lure. "
" Alan Whicker may be the last Briton to have worn a silver-buttoned blazer with complete confidence. "
" Like Christians, Soccerians argue that you should not judge the essence of their faith by the loopy activities of its followers. But the Beautiful Game is in fact quite the opposite. It is badly designed and riddled with flaws. "
" When I was a boy, I used to stay with a school friend in Bexhill, in Sussex, which was then well-known for being the town with more oldies than any other. Aged ten, I felt slightly embarrassed by this, though I'm not sure why. "