Jonathan Self Why we're all suckers for the the irresistible allure of a crumbling country house Our columnist Jonathan Self writes about the crumbling beauty of character houses and the joy of saving them for posterity. Jonathan Self: 'Our early potatoes aren’t going to be that early' Between a late start and back-breaking work, Jonathan Self tries his hand at growing the humble spud. Jonathan Self: Don't measure your life in years — measure it in dogs Jonathan Self celebrates a birthday for a beloved dog. The wit and wisdom of snow, from Laurie Lee to Ogden Nash Snow has always inspired wit and wisdom — and here are some of the best, as picked out by Jonathan Self. Jonathan Self: 'We blocked every hole, engaged a feckless cat and baited traps with the best Camembert, but still they came' Jonathan Self tackles a minor infestation, only to miss the hole in his life left by the furry visitors. Jonathan Self: Our postman delivers 1,000 items a week — and less than 50 are 'real' letters Jonathan Self laments the fact that we're losing the art of writing letters. Jonathan Self: The Irish words for a visit to neighbours, from airneál for a sing-song, bothántaíoch for telling old stories — and scoraíocht if you're there to gossip Jonathan Self on airneál, fiosrú and why the Devil himself is the reason you shouldn't be picking blackberries any more — at least not according to his grandmother. An entire feature on sarcasm? Oh, yeah, that's a GREAT idea Well, okay, actually it is. We asked Jonathan Self to write it — and to pick out his favourite examples from history. 10 sustainability myths busted, and six things you can do to make a real difference Jonathan Self: 'Tend your vines and crush the horror' Jonathan Self has turned his eyes inward during social isolation – not just to his mental health, but to his garden. Jonathan Self: ‘Going plastic-free for a week – how hard can it be? Jolly hard is the answer’ Jonathan Self finds that eschewing plastic for a week is testing, but achievable, even if his quest for locally grown strawberries packed in wooden punnets proves fruitless. 10 terrible but terribly funny school reports of the world famous, from Einstein to Churchill Jonathan Self picks out 10 of his favourite bad school reports of all time, and laments the fact that the age of political correctness has robbed parents, children and teachers of the refreshing honesty which once characterised these important communications.