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My stepson Hugo will be 13 next year and has been offered a place at Eton. There are two reasons why he may not be going. One, it costs a fortune. Two, almost more crucially, his chances of getting into university afterwards may be diminished if he goes to a public school, however illustrious its history.

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THE AMIABLE William actually managed the top hat, white tie and tails straight out of the Cole Porter song, not to mention evening cape, white silk scarf, silver-mounted stick and - wait for it - spats, for which the French is demi-guêtr

WHO STOLE baby Jesus?

Well, it certainly wasn't me, although I was one of the last to see him there, lying in the straw - real straw, nothing but the best for our village, you understand - surrounded by Mary and Joseph, oxen, asses, sheep a

IT'S THAT time again, the annual lunch given by the commune for all the seniors (and the senioras and senioritas, of course) in the village. We first qualified on grounds of age if not of decrepitude two years ago, so we went along with one or two

George Bernard Shaw once said that ?It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman hate or despise him?. In France he doesn?t even need to open his mouth. Forget the French demonstrating in Brittany. The

It?s a funny thing about communication companies, but whenever you want to get hold of somebody, there?s nobody to talk to. Just recently I?ve been very keen to get hold of somebody at France Telecom. And shake them. Then strangle them, slowly.

HERE'S A a cautionary tale, one for expats and anyone thinking of moving to France.

Having been an expat here in France for many years, Matthew Guthrie-Booth (a name tailor-made for sending those French people unable to get their teeth and