Jeffrey Bernard


British Journalist known for his weekly column "Low Life" in The Spectator magazine

Author Quotes

I was under the care of a couple of medical students who couldn't diagnose a decapitation.

What a pity people don't take as much trouble with their own breeding as intelligent racehorse owners do. But then I suppose it is bordering on fascism to think like that.

I?d very much like to wake up one morning with a cow of the Friesian variety and walk her down to Soho to the Coach and Horses, stopping on the way to buy twenty Players, ply her with vodkas until closing time, whip her off to an Indian restaurant, take her up to the Colony Room till 5.30 and then to the Yorkminster, Swiss Tavern, Three Greyhounds, get beaten up by Chinese waiters at midnight, have a row with the taxi driver, set the bed on fire, put it out with tears and then wake up on the floor. Could you then milk said cow? I doubt it.

When I was a boy, I naively thought that this thing called happiness would be something I would wake up to find every day once I could smoke, drink and fornicate.

In most betting shops you will see three windows marked 'Bet Here', but only one window with the legend 'Pay Out'.

Women should have labels on their foreheads saying, 'Government Health Warning: women can seriously damage your brains, genitals, current account, confidence, razor blades, and good standing among your friends'.

It's not name dropping, but not many people can say, like me, that they spent the day with the likes of Francis Bacon or that boring drunk Dylan Thomas. You don't forget things like that.

You never see a pretty, unattached girl on a racecourse. But you often see positive gangs of rather unpretty ones. They are the owners or the owners' wives and they wear mink in all weathers and far too much make-up. For some odd reason, I can never work out why they always seem to be married to haulage contractors in the North, builders in the South and farmers in the West.

A lot of girls annoy me who go to university - one girl told me she was going to Oxford because it was something to do between leaving school and getting married. And I've got to pay for that being an income tax payer.

It's one thing to ask your bank manager for an overdraft to buy 500 begonias for the borders in Haslemere, but quite another to seek financial succor to avail oneself of the 5-2 they're offering on lie de Bourbon for the St Leger.

Although I have to admit I have despised a couple of people simply because they have never had a job in their lives.

Journalism is the only thinkable alternative to working.

As for asking me have I ever felt remorse after drinking, I have been living with remorse for years now. She wakes me up every morning. She puts me to bed at night and yea though I run through the valley of Oxford St to the Coach & Horses she is by my side.

My misdeeds are accidental happenings and merely the result of having been in the wrong bar or bed at the wrong time, say most days between midday and midnight.

But you've got to have money for comfort, which obviously doesn't matter as much when you're young, but even so. I always like to bloody eat well and be warm. Have a drink when I want it.

Oh, the self-importance of fading stars. Never mind, they will be black holes one day.

During one of my annual visits to the great Fred Winter's yard I said to him, `Good God, Fred, your horses look magnificent. Beautifully fit.' Of course they do, you twit,' he said. 'They don't sit up all night drinking gin and tonic and playing cards.'

Oh, to me not drinking is like being dead, almost. I sit here taking endless journeys down memory lane. It gets boring.

He was a hopeless coward and gambled so heavily it was a sheer miracle as how to he still wasn't thrown out into the street for being disorderly or being arrested for drunk driving.

One of the things that goes with getting older is that one becomes more conservative - and I emphasise that when I use the word conservative I do not mean politically.

I could stuff a pillow with the amount of confetti I have had thrown at me. And could I sleep easily on that? No.

One way to stop a runaway horse is to bet on him.

I don't remember ever being full of dislike and hatred for people, like some kids I've come across now.

Since 1960 or thereabouts, when the Beatles and feminism came to power and destroyed the civilization I was rather fond of...

I enjoy doing nothing.

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British Journalist known for his weekly column "Low Life" in The Spectator magazine