I remember a disproportionate amount of time being spent to “process” handwritten comments by Managing Directors, basically Oxbridge graduates doing graphics work

No matter how early one starts, and how much work is put in, pitchbooks nearly always involve all-nighters just before the meeting

In a sense, it is the “freedom” prized by China hawks that militates against the lasting confrontation they want

The traditional route of entering the UK’s intelligence machinery – a tap on the shoulder from one’s professor at Oxbridge

At this level (3 star), the imprimatur is arguably more important than the food; up here, the Michelin brand is becoming more important than the restaurant or the chef

Like all the best works of argumentative nonfiction, it falls down at the stage of policy fixes

Of the couples where one partner earns vastly more, the other tends to bring cultural clout, grander relatives, a handy passport or some such equaliser

Happiness is so fragile that talking about it tends to destroy it

He [Franzen] recites the line with a practised irony. Evidently he acknowledges no such possibility at all

In a way this middle-class guilt is sweet. But it’s also absurd