Get it on Google Play تحميل تطبيق نبأ للآندرويد مجانا

Biodiversity bonanza! Why it is time to let weeds go wild in our gardens

Life and style | The Guardian

The Royal Horticultural Society has just awarded a gold medal to a garden full of ragwort and other weeds – and there are some clear benefits to letting nature take its course

Name: Weed gardens.

Age: Possibly older than actual gardens.

Continue reading...

July 26th 2021, 11:52 am

Plan for Jobs explained: ‘We owe it to the younger generation to take a chance on apprentices’

Life and style | The Guardian

While the employment prospects of young people have been hit hard by the pandemic, the government’s Plan for Jobs offers a range of support. Here, a Dorset-based businesswoman and her apprentice explain more about the scheme ...

Steph Stevenson is an entrepreneur and founder of HNB Hair and Beauty Spa, a super-salon based in Sandbanks, Dorset. She presents on QVC USA and will launch Marie Claire Jet Style, a chain of multi-service salons, at British airports and transport hubs later this year.

Continue reading...

July 26th 2021, 11:52 am

Pace yourself and party on! 10 ways to avoid social burnout this summer

Life and style | The Guardian

Even social butterflies might find themselves a little overwhelmed as everything reopens. Here’s how to ease in gently, keep conversation light and avoid the dreaded ‘hangxiety’

Call it the lockdown paradox: after spending so much time in isolation, adjusting to smaller lives, we may now be struggling to expand them.

Now that restrictions have been lifted, the pressure to pack our calendars, make the most of the summer and say yes to every invitation is coming up uncomfortably against a public that is not match-fit for marathon socialising. Even those butterflies who used to happily flit from event to event may now be finding one is enough.

Continue reading...

July 26th 2021, 9:39 am

Rachel Roddy’s recipe for ‘light’ parmigiana | A kitchen in Rome

Life and style | The Guardian

A parmigiana is a labour of love: slices of grilled aubergine layered with mozzarella and basil, and baked into messy perfection

Yet again, I have chosen the hottest day of the year so far to make a parmigiana. Vincenzo, who only occasionally summons up relatives to make points about cooking, reminds me that his Sicilian grandmother Sara used to fry or bake early in the day during summer, so that by 9am, 10am at the latest, the oven was pretty much off for the day. It is 3pm, and I could probably cook on one of the car bonnets on the street outside; certainly on one of the shop shutters. I roll my eyes and tell him to go and make lace.

I am reminded that parmigiana-making shares much with lasagne-making: it takes twice as long as you imagine, uses more pots and plates than seem necessary, and makes more mess than reasonable. Mess that is then forgiven and forgotten once you have cleaned up and before you is the deep, heavy and contained joy that is a slatted-blind bake of aubergine, rich tomato sauce, cheese, more cheese and basil.

Continue reading...

July 26th 2021, 9:08 am

My deep sleep quest: I tried 11 popular insomnia cures. Do any of them actually work?

Life and style | The Guardian

In lockdown, insomnia has soared. Our tired, intrepid writer tried a range of remedies – including CBD, deep breathing and lettuce water

How did you sleep last night? Insomnia rates have soared during successive lockdowns: anyone would think facing a constant existential threat isn’t the ideal preparation for a refreshing eight hours. Suggested remedies abound – behavioural, pharmaceutical, nonsensical and bleeding obvious – and I have tried most of them.

Insomnia can be a competitive sport and I am not podium material; I’m a common or garden poor sleeper, rarely getting more than five hours a night (luxury, I hear the real insomniacs hissing in red-eyed fury), often less and sometimes, thankfully rarely, none. That is not exceptional. It’s not the stuff of insomnia memoirs, which do exist, but I refuse to read any in case they give my brain and body ideas. But it is wearing. On nights when sleep just isn’t happening, I’m filled with despair at the realisation that I will not get even a short break from being in my own head.

Continue reading...

July 26th 2021, 6:26 am

How we met: ‘He used to annoy me. I was really small and he was always picking me up’

Life and style | The Guardian

Priscilla, 39, and Anthony, 41, first met as teenagers, and bonded over their love of happy hardcore music. They now live together in Manchester, with their three boys

As a teenager growing up in Manchester, Priscilla was a big fan of CB radio. The system, which was designed for truck drivers to communicate, became a craze at her school in the 90s. “I convinced my mum to buy one,” she remembers. “It had 40 channels and there was one where you could shout out to speak to other people and move to another channel for a chat.” As with modern social media accounts, users chose a handle for themselves.

In 1996, she started talking to Anthony and they bonded over their shared love of happy hardcore music. “My handle was Ecstasy and his was Haçienda,” she laughs. Around the same time, Anthony became friends with a boy who lived close to Priscilla. “I saw her one day when I was with him and he told me that was Cilla AKA Ecstasy from the radio,” he says. “I’d not seen her before, so didn’t know what she looked like. I liked her straight away. She was beautiful.”

Continue reading...

July 26th 2021, 6:26 am

The 20 best summer vegetable recipes

Life and style | The Guardian

From new spins on salads and a gourmet chard sandwich to the ultimate carrot cake, it’s time to make the most of the season’s vegetables

Local shops and supermarket shelves are stacked with prime summer produce. Piles of fragrant, sun-ripened tomatoes, crisp sweetcorn, freshly picked French beans. It’s the perfect time for Nigel Slater’s burrata with peas and basil, Richard Olney’s bagna cauda, or Yasmin Khan’s moussaka. From Malaysia to northern Spain, Australia to the US, we have scoured the world for vegetable recipes. We devoured the best books. Whether you make Simon Hopkinson’s classic lettuce, cress and egg salad or bake Claire Ptak’s definitive carrot cake, savour this collection. Literal summer on a plate.

Continue reading...

July 26th 2021, 3:41 am

Mark Ronson on hope, hits and Amy Winehouse: ‘I loved being in her company. She was so funny’

Life and style | The Guardian

The superstar producer nearly quit music during lockdown. Now he’s starting a ‘new phase’ with a TV show. He discusses therapy, paparazzi – and being tucked in by Robin Williams

Mark Ronson has been a DJ longer than he hasn’t: his entire adult life, sometimes working four or five nights a week, since he was 18. “What is that?” He casts his mind back and counts. “Twenty-five – no, 27 years. Jesus.”

In this time, he has been a staple of the New York scene, the studio partner of Amy Winehouse and a superproducer of artists from Ghostface Killah to Lady Gaga. He has his own instantly recognisable, vintage-leaning sound and is the invisible touch on songs that define not just years but decades.

Continue reading...

July 26th 2021, 3:41 am

Rhik Samadder tries … falconry: ‘Chicken wire stands between me and doom’

Life and style | The Guardian

Eagles, falcons, vultures, owls – a close encounter with birds of prey is a riveting reminder of the gulf between them and us


The raptor spreads its wings with a piercing cry, talons stretching for me, alighting perfectly on my fist. “Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror,” I whisper, quoting the poet Rilke. I’ve come to the Hawking Centre in Kent to try my hand at falconry because I think it might be very dignified. Something about soaring birds of prey inspires lofty thought. Unfortunately, I’ve been ruined by television: there’s another line running insistently through my head, from the Valentine’s Day episode of I’m Alan Partridge. “Do you like owls? I know a cracking owl sanctuary.”

Continue reading...

July 26th 2021, 3:41 am

Chanel suit finds new fans in Gen Z channelling 90s nostalgia

Life and style | The Guardian

Young fans drawn to preppy suit worn by Olivia Rodrigo at White House and cast of Gossip Girl reboot

The Chanel suit, an outfit typically associated with ladies who lunch, has an unlikely new set of fans – Generation Z.

This month Olivia Rodrigo, the 18-year-old singer of hits including Driver’s Licence and Good 4 U, chose a pink and black vintage version for a visit to the White House to meet the US president, Joe Biden.

Continue reading...

July 25th 2021, 11:40 am

How Islam conquered my mother’s fear of cats

Life and style | The Guardian

She’d always found them evil and scary, but when I wanted a cat in lockdown I appealed to my mum’s faith

Cats are perfect to most people, but not to my 42-year-old mother. She is just like any of my 17-year-old friends’ parents – she is spirited, sparky, generous and can be feisty when she needs to be. She cooks arguably the best chicken parmesan in the world, and also has impeccable taste in Bollywood music. But there is one annoying trait that makes her different from the other mothers – she unequivocally loathes all animals, unless they are in a palatable format, like her chicken parmesan.

In Britain, a hatred for pets is unheard of, any bitterness towards animals is considered completely unacceptable. After all, we are considered a zoophilist nation. Throughout lockdown, pet ownership has surged. According to statistics from the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association, there are now 34m pets in the UK including 12m cats and 12m dogs, along with 3.2m small mammals, such as guinea pigs and hamsters, 3m birds and 1.5m reptiles.

Continue reading...

July 25th 2021, 10:39 am

Readers reply: why am I always tired on the sofa, but wide awake once I go to bed?

Life and style | The Guardian

The long-running series in which readers answer other readers’ questions on subjects ranging from trivial flights of fancy to profound scientific and philosophical concepts

But I doubt you sit down in the sofa and immediately feel sleepy? More likely, you sit down, watch telly, read, etc for an hour or so and THEN you feel sleepy. It takes time to wind down. Just getting into bed doesn’t make you sleepy, especially if you’ve just brushed your teeth, tidied away the kitchen, etc. You probably need to spend a little time getting yourself into sleep mode first. I find reading for 15 mins or simple meditation/breathing exercises help. blibbka

Read Why We Sleep by the scientist Matthew Walker and learn how to develop a system of sleep preparation and sleep maintenance. Dozing on the sofa (bad) is in the book. John Davies

Continue reading...

July 25th 2021, 10:39 am

As UK restrictions end, what will be the new normal for pubs?

Life and style | The Guardian

Pavement drinking, table service and ordering by app are here to stay – and there’ll be more Wetherspoons

A week after England’s coronavirus restrictions came to an end on 19 July – with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland not too far behind – the pubs sector is finally getting back to normal.

But what counts for “normal” may well have been irrevocably altered.

Continue reading...

July 25th 2021, 10:39 am

Nigel Slater’s recipes for tomato tart, and gooseberry fool

Life and style | The Guardian

It’s the time for ripe summer flavours and long, lazy meals

This kitchen has slipped into an even more laid-back mood than usual. Food is put on the table for everyone to help themselves – a slice or two of seasonally inspired tart, a spoonful of salad, a glass jug of ice-cold cordial – and dinner is made up of dishes that are just as good warm as they are hot. Fruit and vegetables are abundant, desserts are little more than assemblies of ripe fruits and cream. The sense of urgency that so often precedes dinner has all but dissolved.

This often happens during the dog days of summer. You can almost feel the kitchen breathing a sigh of relief. On the table this week was a free-form tomato tart, its edges rough and ready, the filling a joyous mixture of scarlet tomato juices and soft, sweet onions. This time made without dairy produce, its pastry crisp and crumbly. It seemed the perfect vehicle for all the tomatoes that are turning up at the moment, the fat and squashy sort with green stripes, tiddly gardener’s delight and sweet yellow fruit shaped like pears.

Continue reading...

July 25th 2021, 6:21 am

Sunday with Alan Davies: ‘It’s very football-focused at the moment’

Life and style | The Guardian

The comedian says training with the five-year-old starts at 9am, out the back of the house

What time are you up? At the same time as any other day because five-year-olds have an internal clock. If we’re lucky, he’ll sleep until seven. But we also got a puppy in January, and at about 6.30am she starts to let everyone know that she’s awake.

Sunday morning? It’s very football-focused at the moment. The five-year-old has football training at 9am, which is out the back of our house. So I go to watch him play for an hour after a bit of breakfast. The older kids don’t want to get dressed particularly, but they play football after that, so we might go and watch them, too. That’s half the day done.

Continue reading...

July 25th 2021, 6:21 am

Roses out, olives in: the new English garden in a time of climate crisis

Life and style | The Guardian

Oxford Botanic Garden is 400 years old, but the climate emergency is forcing a review of what seeds it sows for the future

It has survived for 400 years – the oldest of Britain’s botanical gardens, a haven of medicinal plants and ancient trees enjoyed through the centuries by famous names such as JRR Tolkien and Lewis Carroll. Yet after the Oxford Botanic Garden’s anniversary today things may look substantially different in future, due to the impact of the climate crisis on British weather.

“We have to consider very carefully what we plant for the future,” said Prof Simon Hiscock, the garden’s director. “Particularly so with trees, because you have to think of not just a few years but in some cases hundreds of years ahead.

Continue reading...

July 25th 2021, 5:22 am

Small miracle: a worker’s cottage with character

Life and style | The Guardian

Ingenious storage and bold design give big impact to a small space

Ana Perez and Alan Flett now consider themselves pretty good at small-scale living. Until recently they lived in Spinks Nest, a one-storey building that measures 480 square feet (for comparison, a double garage is around 200 square feet). That said, none of the rooms (it has a kitchen, living room, bedroom and bathroom) feel cramped because every square inch is well used. Furniture is either built-in or secondhand and chosen for its small proportions, while unobtrusive storage has been worked into every corner.

Continue reading...

July 25th 2021, 5:22 am

‘Your mammy was a flower’: a young boy’s bereavement

Life and style | The Guardian

One of 11 children, Séamas O’Reilly was just five years old when his mother died. In an extract from his touching new memoir, he recalls with awful day of her wake

One thing they don’t tell you about mammies is that when they die you get new trousers. On my first full day as a half-orphan, I remember fiddling with unfamiliar cords as Margaret held my cheek and told me Mammy was a flower. She and her husband, Phillie, were close friends of my parents and their presence is one of the few memories that survive from that period, most specifically the conversation Margaret had with me there and then. “Sometimes,” croaked Margaret in a voice bent ragged from two days’ crying, “when God sees a particularly pretty flower, He’ll take it up from Earth, and put it in his own garden.”

It was nice to think that Mammy was so well-liked by God, since she was a massive fan. She went to all his gigs – mass, prayer groups, marriage guidance meetings. She had all the action figures – small Infant of Prague statuettes, much larger Infant of Prague statuettes, little blue plastic flasks of holy water in the shape of God’s own mammy herself. So, in one sense, Margaret’s version of events was kind of comforting. It placed my mother’s death in that category of stories where people met their heroes.

Continue reading...

July 25th 2021, 5:22 am

Space-sized egos, tiny tax bills… Billionaires should be jettisoned | Eva Wiseman

Life and style | The Guardian

The new space race between the world’s richest men proves one thing to the rest of us – the sooner they leave this planet the better

The time has come to abolish billionaires. I mean, it’s been coming for a while, but now the alarm is ringing.

It started ringing when it first became clear that the existence of billionaires revealed a huge failure in our economic system. When it first became clear where wealth comes from, a combination of inheritance, corruption and exploitation. When the benefits of billionaires, who have often been believed to helpfully provide a trickle-down of cash to the rest of us ordinaries, were revealed to be at best minimal and at worst devastating, as their tax avoidance fatally impacts education and healthcare. In June, ProPublica reported that American billionaires essentially pay no taxes – they didn’t break the rules; the rules were broken already. And in this way wealth begets wealth – a millionaire can become a billionaire by simply sitting very still.

Continue reading...

July 25th 2021, 5:22 am

My work has always defined me, but now I am burning out

Life and style | The Guardian

Allow yourself some fallow time so new ways of thinking have time to form

The question I have recently taken six weeks off work due to burn-out, diagnosed by my GP. In the past 10 years I have only ever taken half of all my annual leave and have never been off sick even though there are days I probably should have stayed at home. I am extremely committed to my job in the NHS.

My dilemma is how to avoid getting burnt out again. I love my job and get an enormous amount of satisfaction, kudos, legitimacy and engaged interest. I gain not wholly but a large part of my identity from it.

Continue reading...

July 25th 2021, 5:22 am

Dina Asher-Smith: ‘You get 10 seconds to make your mark’

Life and style | The Guardian

The fastest woman Britain has ever seen is also thoughtful, inspirational and willing to talk about things that athletes often avoid, like politics and periods. But in the countdown to the Tokyo Olympics, sprinter Dina Asher-Smith knows that every second counts

Around 9am local time, this coming Friday, Dina Asher-Smith will crouch on a starting line in Tokyo, ready for her first race of the Olympic Games. Nose this close to the ground, hugger-mugger with the other athletes, the moment will smell to her of skin cream and sweat, also the rubber of the track, a smell that might remind you or me of a playground’s springy surface, but which always makes Asher-Smith think of home. She has been a competitive sprinter since primary school. She started medalling in major 100m and 200m races about the time she was old enough to drive. Now, at 25, she is one of the fastest two or three women alive, and surely Britain’s best hope for athletics gold this summer.

On Friday morning, she’ll try to rid her mind of any such expectations. Crouched on the track she’ll place herself in an imaginary bubble, ignoring smells, impressions, sounds, even ready to ignore the echoing pop of the starter’s pistol. Wastes time, Asher-Smith has learned, listening for that. Better to try to feel the gun go and in the very same instant go herself. Ballerina focus will be required, next, to recreate a precise pattern of initial steps that she’ll have planned in advance with her coach. That ought to be the end of any conscious effort on her part. Over the next eight or nine seconds in a 100m race, or the next 20-something seconds in a 200m race, she says: “I shouldn’t really know what the sensations are. I shouldn’t be in a place to be reflective at all. I shouldn’t be feeling, only doing.”

Continue reading...

July 25th 2021, 5:22 am

Sonny Stores, Bristol: ‘They get things absolutely right’ – restaurant review

Life and style | The Guardian

On the corner of a quiet residential street, a small place serving dishes with genuine star quality

Sonny Stores, 47 Raleigh Road, Bristol BS3 1QS (0117 966 0821). Starters £4-£9, mains £13-£19, desserts £6, wines from £18

There is no glittering river running down the middle of Raleigh Road, in Bristol’s Southville district. There are no Arctic snowfields of white linen dressing the tables. The dining room is not polluted by braying parties of media plutocrats of a sort that might make even the most ardent pacifist think ugly, violent thoughts. As a result of these things, the prices will not quite make you wince, like someone has poked a vinegar-dipped finger into a recently incurred wound. Or to put it another way, no one would look at the humble, whitewashed space housing Sonny Stores, on a corner in residential Bristol, and mistake it for the famed River Café. Until the food starts arriving. And then: oh my. Gosh. And thank you.

Continue reading...

July 25th 2021, 5:22 am

Stir craze: how the negroni became the cocktail of 2021

Life and style | The Guardian

It’s a serious drink for serious times – which is why the former insiders’ tipple is now absolutely everywhere

A decade ago, ordering a negroni was “a secret handshake, a sign to bartenders that you knew what you liked, and how to order it”, according to Bon Appétit magazine. In 2013, GQ magazine wrote that “a negroni, like black coffee or Texas, is an acquired taste”. A negroni is made up of equal parts gin, vermouth and Campari, the herbaceous scarlet liqueur that, according to Italian bar wisdom, begins to taste good the third time you drink it. Its botanical bitterness seemed destined to keep the negroni forever pigeonholed as an insider’s drink.

Fast-forward to summer 2021, and it has gone from arthouse to blockbuster. At the smart new rooftop gin terrace of the St Pancras hotel in London, the negroni gets headline billing on the drinks menu, ahead of the gin and tonic. You can buy negroni ready-mixed in a can for a train journey, or send a letterbox cocktail as a gift. You can mix a snowgroni (a frozen, slushy-style negroni) or order a pineapple negroni at happy hour. Head to the menswear department of Marks & Spencer and you can even pick up a T-shirt emblazoned with the slogan “Negroni” above a cheery illustration of a tumbler full to the brim with cherry-red liquid.

Continue reading...

July 24th 2021, 12:23 pm

Do I? My quest to get to the bottom of our obsession with marriage

Life and style | The Guardian

Why do so many of us still dream of the perfect wedding? Tom Rasmussen, bestselling author of Diary of a Drag Queen, examines what the institution really means today – and celebrates the joy of being together (any way you like)

I’m in the pub on a Thursday and I’m complaining, again, about Yet Another Person Getting Married. My friend and I do the familiar dance, rattling through our arsenal of stock opinions about why marriage is trash. Intellectually. Emotionally. Imaginatively. Sexually. Historically. Everythingally. We laugh, we talk about “the normals”, we joke about wedding fairs and anodyne idiots who spend thousands on their weddings, but are too strapped to give to the local food bank. Then we finish our £5.80 guest pale ale and leave, smug intellectual folk who’ve got one over on Big Society and the thwarted plans it had for us. But as I wave goodbye, my sense of satisfaction wanes.

Because I’ve been lying. The truth is, I’m desperate to get married. The truth is, all I want, really, is to slot into that statistic – to be another second in the ticking clock of weddings. I’ve always wanted it: I made a stunning, plump bride on the playground in primary school; I planned my offensively gay wedding to the letter throughout my teens; I wept over men who left me at university as the potential for marriage leaked out of my life; and I spent four years on what I told a friend was my Wedding Diet. We laughed, but I was deadly serious.

Continue reading...

July 24th 2021, 12:23 pm

Helena Garcia’s foraged recipes for clafoutis, ice-cream and nettle pesto

Life and style | The Guardian

Many common plants were a source of food before industrialisation. Try these three foraged recipes for nettle pesto, dandelion ice-cream and blackberry clafoutis

For me, foraging is not just about collecting ingredients, it’s escapism: a walk in the woods accompanied by my adored wolfdog, wicker basket in tow. This is my happy place. I often get asked where to start, and the answer is simple: start with the plants you already recognise. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find how many edibles you are able to identify: daisies, dandelions, nettles, violets, berries, sorrel, wild alliums … the list is endless.

Continue reading...

July 24th 2021, 6:22 am

Zandra Rhodes: ‘A secret? My hair isn’t naturally pink’

Life and style | The Guardian

The designer on chalk butterflies, growing cannabis and her fear of running out of ideas

Born in Kent, Zandra Rhodes, 80, graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1964. In 1969, she produced her first solo fashion collection, and went on to dress Diana, Princess of Wales, Freddie Mercury and Marc Bolan. In 2003, she founded the Fashion and Textile Museum in London. She has designed a tote bag for the Recycle Your Electricals campaign, and lives in London.

What is your greatest fear?
Running out of ideas.

Continue reading...

July 24th 2021, 6:09 am

Who has Banksy depicted snorting, kissing and flying? The Weekend quiz

Life and style | The Guardian

From the Spanish Armada to Banksy, test your knowledge with the Weekend quiz

1 Which philosopher’s birth was hastened by news of the Spanish Armada?
2 What has been closed 199 times since 1982?
3 Who has Banksy depicted snorting, kissing and flying?
4 Which building is known as the ship of the Fens?
5 What magical artefact came from the ram Chrysomallos?
6 Which TV series had Miami, NY and Cyber spin-offs?
7 What was the “poor boy”, designed by Sonia Rykiel?
8 What is Wisdom, the world’s oldest-known wild bird?
What links:
9 Cervical; thoracic; lumbar; sacrum; coccyx?
10 George V; Victor Hugo; Rome; Stalingrad; Europe?
11 Grand Coulee; Three Gorges; Aswan; Hoover?
12 Iris Murdoch; Sylvia Llewelyn Davies; Joanna Hoffman; Mary Anning?
13 I; II; II*?
14 Jennings; Gallas; Adebayor; Campbell?
15 Let’s Stay Together; I Got You (I Feel Good); You’re The First, The Last, My Everything?

Continue reading...

July 24th 2021, 6:09 am

Sucks to be him! How Henry the vacuum cleaner became an accidental design icon

Life and style | The Guardian

Henry is a fixture in millions of homes – including 10 Downing Street – despite almost no advertising. Meet the man behind a curiously British success story

In March this year, photos of the government’s glitzy new briefing room, where Boris Johnson’s new media chief was set to host daily press conferences, leaked to the media. The centrepiece of a “presidential” approach to communications, it was already controversial for its cost to taxpayers of £2.6m. With its gaudy blue backdrop, giant union flags and imposing podium, it looked like the stage for a US political or legal TV show: The West Wing with a touch of Judge Judy.

What the briefing room needed was something to suck the pomposity out of it. What it needed, it turned out, was a cameo appearance from a 620-watt anthropomorphic vacuum cleaner. The stocky red and black appliance was barely visible in the wings, stage left, yet instantly recognisable. Turned away from the podium, his chrome wand propped casually against a varnished dado rail, the Henry vacuum cleaner looked almost as if he were rolling his eyes.

Continue reading...

July 24th 2021, 6:09 am

Want to fix cracked heels? Try these magic gel socks | Sali Hughes

Life and style | The Guardian

Ingenious tubes of stretchy fabric lined with gummy silicone are nothing short of miracle workers

There is something uniquely thrilling about a boring-seeming, unsexily packaged product that turns out to be a true beauty miracle worker. While I very much appreciate the beauty in some objet d’art pulled from a posh clutch and used to paint a mouth at a restaurant table, it’s the prosaic problem-solvers that excite me most. My problem in this recent case was, attractively, cracked heels.

There was an extraordinarily bad salon pedicure, extremely overzealous foot-filing and some polite British restraint when a yelp of pain was in order, and, well, the upshot was a tip for the technician and bleeding heels for me (I had to walk around the house on tiptoe for two days). But, perversely, I rather enjoy the challenge of an urgent repair job. It was useful to experience a condition commonly suffered by many people with diabetes, hypothyroidism and psoriasis, and to have the opportunity to investigate some effective relief.

Continue reading...

July 24th 2021, 6:09 am

‘Be interested, be curious, hear what’s not said’: how I learned to really listen to people | Annal

Life and style | The Guardian

Being a good listener isn’t just about shutting up and not interrupting – it’s about really taking in what someone is telling you

When I was a young girl, a fabulous woman called Pam who lived opposite us would come to do my mum’s hair once a week. Pam was a retired hairdresser and beautician who had been taught partly by Vivien Leigh’s mother.

I knew this because I listened as she and my mother talked. My mum would sit under the stand hairdryer with wads of cotton wool curling out from under her hairnet to protect her ears from the heat, and Pam would talk and talk: about Margaret Thatcher (my mum wasn’t a fan); their early lives (Pam’s in Yorkshire, my mum’s in Naples); and about life up and down the London street where we all lived.

Continue reading...

July 24th 2021, 2:24 am

Tim Dowling: which courgette is the evil poisoner, yellow or green? | Tim Dowling

Life and style | The Guardian

‘I’ll never eat another courgette in my life,’ the oldest says

Three days after I poisoned myself and my family with homegrown toxic courgettes, I still don’t feel right. I can’t face pulling up six plants and disposing of them, partly because my stomach still pitches and rolls at the sight of courgettes.

The poison responsible, I have since learned, is naturally present in courgettes, but can rise to toxic levels if plants cross-pollinate with wild cucurbits or certain types of ornamental squash, causing a bitter taste, nausea, cramps, potential hospitalisation and occasionally death. Now I’ve experienced this poisoning first-hand, it seems weird to me that people are even allowed to grow courgettes.

Continue reading...

July 24th 2021, 2:24 am

Blind date: ‘He hadn’t read the social-distancing memo’

Life and style | The Guardian

Eddie, 79, human rights activist, meets Gisela, 65, teacher

What were you hoping for?
A soulmate able to see through the smoke and mirrors, and together see what can be done for our children’s children.

Continue reading...

July 24th 2021, 2:24 am

Fit in my 40s: fancy a game of Ultimate? Let the battle commence | Zoe Williams

Life and style | The Guardian

Who was going to let go of it first? Well, obviously me. The alternative was punching a 14-year-old in the nose

Never having had much of a sport ethic as a child, and coming from a broken home with no pedigree of hand-eye coordination on either side, Frisbee has always baffled me. I’d watch people in the park, tossing a thing at each other, endlessly. Why that shape of a thing? Why not your cardigan, or a ball? Crucially, what’s the point? I always assumed it was just a complicated way for people who loved fresh air to indicate that they fancied each other.

Ultimate flying disc, on the other hand, has a competitive purpose, and competition I understand, maybe too well. I’m going to tell you the rules, and you’re going to cut this article out and keep it in your pocket, in the event of an Ultimate emergency. Otherwise you’ll spend roughly 50% of the game arguing about them. Trust me.

Continue reading...

July 24th 2021, 2:24 am

I secretly enjoy the frazzled aftermath of a big night out | Coco Khan

Life and style | The Guardian

When I’m hungover, I’m so busy finding everything hilarious that worries about chores go out the window

Every now and again a line from a movie leaps out of the screen and plants itself so firmly in my mind, it could have a tenancy agreement. It happened this week, during my favourite hangover pastime (pizza and Bruce Willis movies).

The film: Die Hard With A Vengeance. Willis’s Detective John McClane, shirtless and bleary-eyed, is woken by the police with the news that he (and only he) must save New York. McClane replies that the inspector has ruined “a perfectly good hangover”.

Continue reading...

July 23rd 2021, 11:23 am

I’ve taken up golf – am I at risk of becoming everything I once hated? | Romesh Ranganathan

Life and style | The Guardian

I decided a driving range would be safest. I didn’t fancy teeing off with 70 furious people behind me because I was taking 35 shots a hole

A while ago I did a show with my friend Rob Beckett, the comedian, and had a look at the world of golf. Rob had been playing a bit and trying to persuade me of the benefits of taking it up. I was unsure. The whole thing felt a little bit tragic: men of a certain age using four hours at the course as a way to escape their home life. I am also never really enamoured of the idea of members’ clubs and rules. If a club won’t let me in, I can only assume that it is exclusive and stuffy. If it will let me in, I assume it must be crap. The idea of membership is a great way to generate false demand for something that people wouldn’t feel anywhere near as excited about if everyone had access.

I had, however, become aware of golf’s many benefits. First, it’s a nice way to get a walk. Second, quite a few people I know play golf (does that make me a prick?) and so it would be a social event, and, third, the art of perfecting the game is so difficult that it requires a level of concentration that is almost meditative. Most of all, however, it’s satisfying when you really leather a ball.

Continue reading...

July 23rd 2021, 11:23 am

How to survive and thrive at work – when all your colleagues are off on holiday

Life and style | The Guardian

Left holding the can as your bosses jet off for the summer? Experts explain how to get the best out of it – from avoiding overwhelm to taking the chance to shine

We are approaching the summer holidays, a time when – for those of us still at our desks – workloads increase and responsibilities can soar. Here is some expert advice on how to survive and thrive when you’re the one left behind.

Continue reading...

July 23rd 2021, 9:24 am

How to dress for a staycation | Jess Cartner-Morley

Life and style | The Guardian

Let the sunshine in – even if it’s drizzling – with the perfect holiday dress

I would be lying if I said this is the kind of dress I like best when I’m on holiday. The kind of dress I like best when I’m on holiday is the one I put on over a bikini while I make a pot of coffee and then take off when I flop on to a sun lounger. My absolute favourite holiday dress isn’t even a dress, really; more a glorified black vest with a draped neckline, so tissue-thin from years of wear that it takes up hankie-sized space in a suitcase and dries in the sun in minutes.

But this year, my go-to holiday dress will look more like this one. What with Norfolk not being the Balearics, I am sanguine about less sunshine, and resigned to the fact that I may not even clap eyes on a sun lounger, so my holiday dress will be a substantial frock rather than a flimsy cover-up. But while a staycation may not have the balmy glamour of going somewhere sunbaked and unfamiliar, the British countryside is gorgeous, and the holiday change of pace has never felt more precious than after a year of such monotony. So there is plenty to be excited about, and therefore to dress up for.

Continue reading...

July 23rd 2021, 9:24 am

Experience: amnesia made me forget ever making an album

Life and style | The Guardian

A car crash left me with major memory loss. When I listened to the songs afterwards, I was hearing things I had written but had no recollection of

I remember the date – 1 September 2001 – because England had just beaten Germany 5-1 in the World Cup qualifiers. After the match, we all went to the club night I used to run called Uncle Bob’s Wedding Reception. That was one of our best nights. Partygoers were giddy after the football, then blown away by the first live performance by a band called the Darkness.

Afterwards, in the early hours, I drove home from central London to Staines with my friend Jim. That’s when my life changed for ever.

Continue reading...

July 23rd 2021, 5:51 am

The Beaumont, Hexham, Northumberland: ‘This is incredible’ – restaurant review | Grace Dent on resta

Life and style | The Guardian

Hotel food is always blah, isn’t it? Or so I thought, until now …

A fun game to play with the metropolitan elite, or indeed anyone south of Watford, is to ask them to locate Hexham on a map. Or Northumberland, for that matter. Many patches of the north, with the rural north-east being a particularly good example, feel like the Bermuda Triangle to southerners: mysterious, loosely defined and quite feasibly patrolled by monsters. To me, however, Hexham was subject of many a “nice drive out” from Carlisle in the 1980s, bumbling along B-roads towards this sedate market town with a grade I-listed abbey dating from AD674, several art galleries, plenty of places to eat stottie cake and a chance to learn about the Vindolanda fort on Hadrian’s Wall.

As a child, I did not appreciate Hexham’s beauty, and longed instead to be taken to the Gateshead MetroCentre to eat at Spud-U-Like and peruse Athena for sepia posters of hunks shifting tyres. But recently I returned and stayed at The Beaumont hotel and ate in its very fine restaurant. If I’m very honest, not a single local will thank me for alerting you to this chic, recently renovated, 33-room, townhouse-style hotel with a bar that will serve you a decent apricot bellini or a cold bottle of petit chablis to enjoy on tables close to the abbey’s grounds, because, until now, The Beaumont has been largely Hexham’s secret.

Perhaps I liked my Saturday night alone in Hexham so much because The Beaumont still retains an air of chipper, diligent, business-as-usual hospitality. It’s a mood that so many larger outfits have given up on right now, due to staff shortages, to can’t-be-arsedness and especially to irrational new post-Covid company policies that seem to be nothing more than budget-slashing masquerading as “keeping you safe”.

Continue reading...

July 23rd 2021, 5:51 am

10 of the UK’s best seaside festivals and summer beach parties

Life and style | The Guardian

Live music and comedy, firepit feasts, surf competitions and vintage theme parks are bringing our seafronts back to life

At Boardmasters, days can be spent watching the country’s top pro surfers do their thing in the UK’s biggest surf competition, the Boardmasters Open, and noodling around the art installations, workshops, skate and BMX comps of the festival area on Fistral beach. Tickets for the main shows – featuring the likes of Loyle Carner, Slowthai, Jorja Smith and Jamie XX – have sold out, but you can still sign up for the resale list and there is availability for some of the after-parties at local club venues Berties and Sailors (from £13), as well as surf lessons (£36pp) and snorkelling and SUP safaris (£57).
11-15 August, boardmasters.com

Continue reading...

July 23rd 2021, 3:52 am

A new start after 60: ‘I was sick, tired and had lost myself – until I began lifting weights at 71’

Life and style | The Guardian

Joan Macdonald faced growing health problems when she began lifting weights, shattering preconceptions about what’s possible in your eighth decade

Joan Macdonald has not always looked like a bodybuilder. At 71, she weighed 90kg (14st 4lb), and had rising blood pressure and kidney troubles. She was also on medication for cholesterol and acid reflux, and her doctor wanted to double the dose.

Her daughter, Michelle, expressed Macdonald’s dilemma bluntly. “You’re going to end up like your mother did in a nursing home!” she told Macdonald. “And people are going to have to look after you. Do you want that?”

Continue reading...

July 23rd 2021, 3:52 am

Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for… the standing ovation! | Hannah Jane Parkinson

Life and style | The Guardian

We have been denied crowd and audience participation for so long, and absence makes the heart grow fonder

I’m not usually good at things that could be considered slightly cringeworthy. There are certain displays of collective emotion, jubilation or despair that I find too earnest to bear. But the first day of this year’s Wimbledon – my enjoyment of which I wrote about recently – reminded me of how much I can get down with a standing ovation.

As a pre-match announcement was made that Dame Sarah Gilbert and her team, who developed the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, and some NHS staff, were seated in one of the boxes, a deafening ripple of seemingly endless applause filled the court. Then, perhaps realising this wasn’t sufficient praise and appreciation, the crowd rose to their feet. A closeup of Gilbert’s face saw her quite dumbstruck and overwhelmed, tears dancing in her eyes. It was partly thanks to Gilbert that the crowd were able to be there at all. It was extremely moving.

Continue reading...

July 23rd 2021, 3:09 am

All the trains in my son’s train podcast ranked by how much I hate them | Ben Jenkins

Life and style | The Guardian

Living in lockdown with small children means distracting them with the same thing, over and over again, until you – like Ben Jenkins – are driven insane

Every parent of a young child in lockdown either knows this fact or is about to learn it: you don’t get to choose where they find their joy.

For example, my two and half year old son likes to listen to the Thomas and Friends Storytime podcast. It is, by some margin, his favourite thing to do. By a similar margin, the opening “toot toot” of the podcast is my least favourite sound on the entire planet, which now activates my fight or flight reflex every time I hear it. But due to some quirk of evolution, I find myself unable to deny my boy his train show, as it gives him the kind of happiness unattainable to adults without the use of class-A drugs.

Continue reading...

July 22nd 2021, 11:08 pm

Are you a ‘Boomer’? What would you like to know about ‘Zoomers’?

Life and style | The Guardian

Were you born between 1945 and 1960? Do you have a question for our young panel from generation Z?

As part of an inter-generational Guardian feature on “Boomers” and “Zoomers”, a panel of young people who are gen Z, aged 13 to 30-years-old, will be answering questions posed by Boomers born between 1945 and 1960.

If you’re a Boomer, what do you want to know about Zoomers, that you’re too afraid to ask your grandchildren?

Continue reading...

July 22nd 2021, 2:22 pm

Comedian Mark Watson on lumps, leaks and learning to talk about stuff

Life and style | The Guardian

Life is full of embarrassments, but for Mark Watson, putting off a medical appointment to have a lump checked was a valuable lesson – nobody is judging you

If you’ve got access to the internet, you have probably thought you were dying at least a handful of times this year. Every Google search for “headache” or “niggling cough” advises you to seek urgent medical help, and more or less accept you’re already halfway to the grave. Tell the internet you think you can smell burnt toast and you’ll have your pick of 10 ways you’re about to die. Yet we all torment ourselves this way rather than actually consulting someone who would know. Why? Because typing on your phone is not embarrassing, and talking to strangers is.

A few years ago I had a strange, hard growth in – to be frank about it – my groin; worryingly near – to be even more frank about it – my penis. Naturally, Google convinced me that it was time to start making plans for the afterlife. At least part of my reticence came from fear, of course, and that British desire to “carry on”. (My grandmother used to say “keep warm, dear” for any ailment from a runny nose up to a brain haemorrhage.) But part of the reticence was sheer embarrassment. My GP was a woman, a slightly sharp-tongued, clever one. I was certain she did not want to see me take my pants down (to be fair, perhaps that’s better than being one of the men who thinks the opposite). It’s not an exaggeration to say I put off dealing with what might be a serious medical condition for a fortnight because I was worried Dr Barbara might talk about my weird-shaped testicles with her mates in La Tasca that weekend.

Continue reading...

July 22nd 2021, 2:22 pm

There will be blood: women on the shocking truth about periods and perimenopause

Life and style | The Guardian

The menopause brings an end to menstruation – but in the lead-up, many women experience periods that can disrupt their lives and careers

If Emma Pickett needs to make a long journey, she checks her calendar very carefully. She will often take an emergency change of clothes when she goes out, and if giving a lecture for work, has to ensure it is no longer than half an hour. Yet she rarely hears anyone talk about the reason so many older women secretly go to all this trouble; why they’ve started to stick to black trousers, give up the sports they loved, or plan days out – especially with children – meticulously.

“If you have a bunch of 12-year-olds in the car, you can’t say: ‘Sorry chaps, I’m just bleeding heavily today,’” says Pickett, a 48-year-old breastfeeding counsellor and author of The Breast Book, who also happens to be among the one in five British women who suffer from heavy periods in the run-up to menopause (or perimenopause). “You can talk about hot flushes, make a joke about it. But because menstrual blood is gross in our society, there’s no conversation about it. There must be women round the world just pretending they need to dash off for some other reason.”

Continue reading...

July 22nd 2021, 7:32 am

‘I had a crush on my sexy manager’: seven readers on their summers of love

Life and style | The Guardian

A virtual lockdown date that blossomed, an encounter on a backpackers’ bus and a school trip to Spain – readers share their most memorable summer romances

After just one week of living in New York, the city locked down, and a summer of love seemed unlikely. I did go on a series of virtual dates, with around 20 guys over four months; some were funny, kind and smart, and some were a little weird. One or two of them became my friends. Then, I finally got a call from Mr Right on the long weekend of 4 July. We started talking and he was everything I’d hoped for – except he was in Michigan, hundreds of miles away. In early August, he casually mentioned he’d be coming to NYC to meet me, and the next day he drove for 10 hours to take me for dinner.

Continue reading...

July 22nd 2021, 7:32 am

Big rise in UK weekend cycling amid calls for more investment

Life and style | The Guardian

Leisure cycling up by 60% in some areas but campaigners say safer routes needed post-pandemic

There has been a boom in weekend cycling over the past two years with new data showing a rise in leisure-time cycling of up to 60% in some parts of the country.

However, weekday cycling numbers in England remain at pre-pandemic levels, prompting campaigners to warn that without investment in safe cycling infrastructure, as traffic volumes return to normal, more people will turn to cars for everyday trips.

Continue reading...

July 22nd 2021, 5:45 am

‘Fashion can be very exploitative’ – Halima Aden on why she quit modelling

Life and style | The Guardian

The industry’s first hijab-wearing model speaks about the ‘internal conflict’ that made her quit the catwalk

Halima Aden, the Muslim model who became a trailblazer for wearing her hijab on the catwalk and in photoshoots, has hit out at the fashion industry and its exploitation of young models.

Aden quit the industry in November 2020, citing compromised beliefs and feeling like a “minority within a minority”.

Continue reading...

July 22nd 2021, 4:15 am

10 of Folkestone’s best new bars and restaurants

Life and style | The Guardian

Visitors to the town’s fifth art triennial will enjoy a vibrant mix of places to eat and drink, from street-food to a beach cafe

Mark Sargeant’s Rocksalt was one of the key restaurants that helped shape Folkestone’s current food scene when it opened in 2011, transforming the harbour into a dining destination. Its success has spawned several sister venues in town, including the new Pilot bar on the beach, and its neighbour Little Rock, which opened this month – the group’s “funky younger sister”, said the waitress. With palm trees, sun sails (surprisingly effective at a scorching lunchtime) and gleaming white terrace boasting ocean views, it’s more Ibiza than Kent coast. Fish specials – including huss, Dover sole and ray – come from day boats operating out of Folkestone Harbour. Citrus-cured gilt-head bream with spring onions and chilli proved a suitably sunny starter to accompany chilled vinho verde, while pale ale battered cod cheeks, their flesh opaque, came pimped up by a tangy tartare sauce studded with capers. Azure glassware and a gently throbbing soundtrack boost the holiday vibes.
Mains from £9.50, littlerockfolkestone.co.uk

Continue reading...

July 22nd 2021, 4:15 am

The hidden world of cats: what our feline friends are doing when we’re not looking

Life and style | The Guardian

In Britain, most pet cats are free to roam, but where do they go and what do they get up to? We fitted six cats with GPS trackers and found out

As I prepared to write this piece, my three-year-old cat, Larry, had been missing for 24 hours. I had checked under the bins, posted in a community Facebook group and Googled variations of “Lost cat how long normal before come home?” all day.

Larry was a house cat when we took him in, but my boyfriend and I had recently moved to a house with a garden so had started letting him out. Just like that, our adorable, loving, docile cat turned into the neighbourhood bruiser. He stopped snuggling with us in the morning, instead impatiently pawing at the door even before we had put down his breakfast.

Continue reading...

July 22nd 2021, 4:15 am

Life lessons: what a doctor learned from death and dying in Covid wards

Life and style | The Guardian

Emma Goldberg followed doctors when Covid first hit New York. Now, as the Delta variant surges across the US, she retells the story of an ICU physician during the horror of the first wave

We’re playing a song for you,” Dr Luis Seija said softly, gazing at his patient. His voice, muffled by two masks and a face shield, fought to be heard above the noise of the hospital room. There were monitors beeping, alarms ringing, the hum of the negative-pressure machines.

“We’re playing this for you,” Dr Seija told the patient, a Latina woman in her 60s. “So you can dance the night away.” He took her hand into his own, and he noticed, right away, how soft her skin felt.

Continue reading...

July 22nd 2021, 2:09 am

The joy conundrum: why has the US hit peak happiness when the rest of the world is so sad?

Life and style | The Guardian

A survey reveals that Americans are happier than they’ve been for 13 years. One very specific turning point may explain it


Name: Happiness.

Age: You know, pretty much for ever. But around 2,500 years, if we’re talking about the psychological and philosophical pursuit of happiness, which began with Confucius, Buddha, Aristotle and Socrates in China, India and Greece, respectively. Happiness, Todd Solondz’s black comedy movie, came out in 1998. Mr Happy is 50 this year.

Continue reading...

July 21st 2021, 1:59 pm

Swiping right on jabs: dating app adds Covid vaccine badges in Australia

Life and style | The Guardian

Popular overseas, vaccine badges are rolling out locally on online dating platforms like Bumble. But with access to a Covid jab still a concern, one CEO urges caution

Single Australians looking for sex or love will soon stand out from the competition if they’ve been vaccinated against Covid-19.

Dating app Bumble announced it will roll out a new feature this week enabling users in Australia and New Zealand to add a “vaccination badge” to their profile if they’ve received a Covid-19 jab. Competitor Tinder says it looks forward to “making [vaccine] badges available soon” in Australia too.

Continue reading...

July 21st 2021, 1:59 pm

Sustainability warrior or eco-avoider? Take our quiz to find out how environmentally friendly your l

Life and style | The Guardian

Secondhand shopping, flight shame and flexitarianism – is your carbon footprint bigger than a small petro-state or could you give Greta a run for her money?

Continue reading...

July 21st 2021, 1:59 pm

How to make ajo blanco – recipe | Felicity Cloake's masterclass

Life and style | The Guardian

A bowl of this chilled, creamy Spanish soup makes the perfect summer lunch

Gutsy, garlicky gazpacho may be more famous internationally, but quieter, creamier ajo blanco is my soup of choice when the temperature soars past the point where solid food appeals. Almonds have been a staple in sunny Andalusia since they were introduced by the Romans, and here they combine with stale bread to make an unlikely, but uniquely refreshing light lunch or starter.

Prep 20 min
Chill 2 hr
Serves 4

Continue reading...

July 21st 2021, 8:16 am

Snowdonia on a budget: a five-star hostel in the heart of the national park

Life and style | The Guardian

In the third of our series, an upgraded former YHA hostel is the perfect base for cycling, swimming and scrambling in Sir Edmund Hillary’s footsteps
South Downs | Yorkshire Dales


“You get one of the best views of Snowdonia from Capel Curig,” Christian told me as he welcomed me to The Rocks.

Of course, this is something you might expect to hear from the co-owner of a Capel Curig hostel. However, even an old Snowdonia hand like me had to admit that the view from the hostel of the Snowdon horseshoe, the ridges on the mountain’s eastern side, is indeed pretty spectacular.

Continue reading...

July 21st 2021, 8:16 am

Eating processed meat raises risk of heart disease by a fifth

Life and style | The Guardian

Oxford University researchers urge people to reduce consumption by three-quarters or give it up

Eating processed meat raises the risk of heart disease by a fifth, according to the largest ever analysis of research into the impact of meat consumption on cardiac health.

Researchers at the University of Oxford are urging the public to cut their red and processed meat consumption by three-quarters, or to give it up entirely, to lower their risk of dying from coronary heart disease.

Continue reading...

July 21st 2021, 4:03 am

A moment that changed me: meeting the rescue dog who comforted me through unfathomable loss | Shirle

Life and style | The Guardian

When I first held my dog Veela in my arms, I was grappling with my mother’s dementia, which was followed much too soon by her death. The teachings of my little red dog helped me survive

The first time I rescued an animal was almost 15 years ago, while I was on hiatus from my band, Garbage, in 2007. Shuffling around Los Angeles with little to occupy my time and my catastrophic imagination, my husband suggested we might consider adopting a rescue dog from one of the local shelters. I was a little hesitant at first. It struck me as a massive undertaking (I was not wrong) and I was unsure I had the emotional capacity to engage in the love of a small, defenceless, living thing.

My mother had just been diagnosed with Pick’s disease, a criminally aggressive form of dementia that can take a person, as it did my mother, out of the game in less than two years from the day of diagnosis. I was deeply disturbed by the course her disease was taking and finding it hard to connect with life in any joyful, meaningful way.

Continue reading...

July 21st 2021, 4:03 am

‘I was shocked’: alcohol-free drinks create conundrum for young Muslims

Life and style | The Guardian

Non-alcoholic drinks aimed at adult palates are booming, but they are not necessarily an option for those who never drank in the first place

When 20-year-old Hibah Dannaoui started working as a waitress, she was surprised to discover a new category of drinks: non-alcoholic beverages that are meant to imitate the taste of alcohol. A practising Muslim, Dannaoui has never consumed alcohol.

“I was actually shocked and didn’t understand the concept behind it, since they can make a normal drink,” she says. “I didn’t consume it and will not, since I’m a Muslim.”

Continue reading...

July 21st 2021, 4:03 am

My new sexual partner is too big for me – what can I do?

Life and style | The Guardian

Whether I have shrunk or he is particularly well endowed, it makes me feel sad and inadequate

I am a 66-year-old woman 11 years out of a 30-year marriage. My husband left to live with the woman he had been having an affair with, but the marriage hadn’t been right for some years and our sexual activity had diminished drastically. I have a male friend who is the same age as me and we are friends with benefits – only the benefits don’t work. He can’t penetrate me. Either I have shrunk or he is just a big lad (after 30 years of monogamy, I am not exactly au fait with penis sizes). It makes me feel sad and inadequate. We pleasure each other in other ways, but it would appear penetration is off the table. Before I consult a doctor, what am I doing wrong?

You are not doing anything wrong. In fact, it is wonderful that you understand the erotic value of non-penetrative sex. Some men with atypically large penises struggle to find women who can accommodate them, but it is not certain that your friend falls into this category. After a long period of abstinence – and most likely hormonal diminution – some women do experience some vaginal atrophy that restricts penetration with a penis of any size.

Continue reading...

July 21st 2021, 4:03 am

Goodbye wheat! Readers on 10 great gluten-free recipes – from katsu curry to cherry cake

Life and style | The Guardian

Steering clear of wheat, rye and barley doesn’t mean avoiding delicious dishes. Here are some of the tastiest offerings, including soda bread, peanut butter cookies and banana oat pancakes

My favourite gluten-free recipe is poodla (small pancakes), which I make using gram (chickpea) flour, water, cumin seeds, garam masala, turmeric and salt, with added chillies (chopped), grated onion and grated courgettes (it also works with mashed peas, spinach, grated cauliflower etc). Simply make a batter to any consistency, add your vegetables, then shallow fry on both sides. It’s delicious with a raita and a salad; we eat them for breakfast, lunch and sometimes as a main meal. Rekha Shah, retired, Bournemouth

Continue reading...

July 20th 2021, 9:31 am

Why am I always tired on the sofa, but wide awake once I go to bed?

Life and style | The Guardian

The long-running series in which readers answer other readers’ questions on subjects ranging from trivial flights of fancy to profound scientific and philosophical concepts

Why am I always tired on the sofa, but wide awake once I go to bed? Deborah Wright, Minehead

Post your answers (and new questions) below or send them to nq@theguardian.com. A selection will be published on Sunday.

Continue reading...

July 20th 2021, 9:31 am

‘I wanted more memories’: young people reflect on a year lost to Covid

Life and style | The Guardian

Delays at critical life stages: from starting college and internships; to searching for work or starting a family have caused chaos for young people. Here are their stories

For Timothy Chang, 21 was supposed to be a seminal year.

He couldn’t wait for his college graduation, surrounded by friends and family, and was looking forward to finally securing a job and living independently.

Continue reading...

July 20th 2021, 4:59 am

I make my bisexuality clear to new dates. With most women, that disclosure signals the end | Patrick

Life and style | The Guardian

For most of his adult life, Patrick Gosselin was married to a woman – now that he is single and dating, navigating bisexuality in his 50s can be complex

I’m bi. There, I said it. I am bi. I like men. I like women. Sexually, romantically, emotionally, intellectually.

Why do I feel I have to say it? Because people make assumptions about your sexuality based on the gender of the person you are with at the time. So bisexuals are perpetually coming out.

Continue reading...

July 20th 2021, 4:17 am

Chris Packham reveals wish to have ashes scattered with those of his dogs

Life and style | The Guardian

Naturalist tells the Radio Times of how his pets Itchy and Scratchy helped him cope with depression

Chris Packham has revealed he would like to be cremated when he dies and have his ashes mixed with those of his poodles before being scattered in a woodland.

The naturalist told the Radio Times that his love for his late dogs Itchy and Scratchy is in part due to them helping him through periods of depression – likening himself and the dogs to “three organisms umbilically linked” with a shared personality.

Continue reading...

July 20th 2021, 4:17 am

The final piece of my eco puzzle? Switching to a green pension

Life and style | The Guardian

Writer Sophie Benson thought she had all her eco ducks in a row … but then she found out her pension was undoing all her hard work

The people in my life know me as the “sustainable” one. I’m the person who makes every decision guided by my ethics and concern for the environment. I quit fast fashion years ago, I eat a vegan diet, am strict about only buying from companies that pay their workers fairly, and grow most of my fruit and veg on my allotment. I’m not perfect by any measure, but I do try my best to make sure my actions align with my values. So, imagine my panic when I found out my pension could be funding fossil fuels, deforestation, arms and tobacco.

There’s an estimated £2.6tn in UK pensions, and much of that is funding actions and industries that I, and many others, strongly oppose. Most people don’t realise their pension money is even being invested, let alone that it’s being invested in industries that run against our values, threaten our health and jeopardise the very future of our planet. It’s likely there are pacificists out there unknowingly funding weapons and climate activists unwittingly handing money over to the fossil fuels industry.

Continue reading...

July 19th 2021, 12:16 pm

Beat the heat! 40 ace ice lollies to make now – from honey parfait to piña colada

Life and style | The Guardian

Do you like your popsicles milky, fruity or boozy? Whatever your preference, here is a complete guide to making quick, delicious freezer treats

Along with bling and outrage, the ice lolly is probably the thing fashion designers and toddlers most have in common. It is instant dessert and an edible sticking plaster. Mostly, whether you go to town with the freeze-ins, the ombrés and the post-freezer coatings, it is heatwave relief on a stick.

Almost any liquid, bar neat, heavy alcohol, freezes well – from double cream and coconut milk to freshly pulped watermelon (for which there’s a stellar hack: slice off the top of the fruit, plunge in a hand blender and juice the inside, then strain). Make sure whichever option you plump for is overly flavourful – mild juice will make for a meh lick.

Continue reading...

July 19th 2021, 8:46 am

How we met: ‘I was asking her to marry me. She immediately said it was impossible’

Life and style | The Guardian

Michael, 40 and Somaia, 30, met while he was studying Arabic in Cairo. When they fell in love in 2015, he converted to Islam so they could marry

When Michael travelled from the US to Egypt in the summer of 2015 to study Arabic, he wasn’t expecting to find love. Then, at an Arabic language institute in Cairo, he was introduced to Somaia, who taught specialist programmes. “He was a VIP student, so I knew I had to be careful with his programme,” she says. “He seemed nice and easy-going.”

Although Michael found Somaia cold at first, she soon relaxed. “I realised her bosses had asked her to give me special treatment, so she was being formal,” he says. “We started talking about our lives and developed a strong friendship.” During Ramadan, Somaia invited Michael to an iftar dinner. These are held in the evenings during the holy month to break the period of fasting. “He stayed until midnight and we talked all night, but I thought we were just friends,” she says.

Continue reading...

July 19th 2021, 8:46 am

A new start after 60: ‘I handed in my notice – and opened my dream bookshop’

Life and style | The Guardian

She always loved reading. So at 65, when Carole-Ann Warburton finally opened her own shop, she had 8,000 books ready to fill it

All her life, Carole-Ann Warburton kept a little hope glowing at the back of her mind. “You’re living your life. And every now and then you think: ‘I have a dream.’” Warburton’s dream was to work in a bookshop.

It took an experience of terrifying disorientation to find her way to it.

Continue reading...

July 19th 2021, 5:44 am

Nigel Slater’s recipes from a summer herb garden

Life and style | The Guardian

Pilaf with mint and parsley, baked tomatoes with basil cream, green beans with tarragon – make the most of homegrown flavours

A few steps from the kitchen door is a low wooden table creaking with pots of herbs. Knocked together from a packing crate and an old door, now weathered and green with moss, it is home to almost all of my kitchen herbs including thyme and tarragon, several varieties of mints and a lemon verbena. There are two or three clumps of chives, green and golden marjoram (beautiful, but tasting pretty much identical), others of basil and rosemary, and several rose- and lemon-scented pelargoniums.

The herb table came about simply because I ran out of space on the kitchen steps. What started as the odd homegrown thyme bush soon became quite a collection, though I will admit to losing as many as I have safely nurtured, probably more.

Continue reading...

July 19th 2021, 4:00 am

Pinched ink: is it wrong to steal a tattoo?

Life and style | The Guardian

Celebrities have been sued for it, and tattoo artists get shunned for doing it. So how do people wind up with identical tattoos?

In 2014 my partner and I decided, after carefully weighing the pros and cons, to be spontaneous and get tattoos.

We were in London at the time, on the back-end stretch of the obligatory under-30s working visa. The tattoos would symbolise adventure, independence and wild, carefree abandon – or something. They were going to be a permanent reminder that we’d flown to London with no jobs – but plenty of optimism – and muddled our way through.

Continue reading...

July 19th 2021, 4:00 am

Jean Paul Gaultier on couture, conical bras and condoms: ‘‘No sex please, we’re British?’ Au contrai

Life and style | The Guardian

After 50 years in fashion, the designer is having new adventures. He discusses love, work, Madonna – and why Eurotrash couldn’t be made now

Jean Paul Gaultier is waving his hands and talking nineteen to the dozen in French with a smattering of heavily accented English. I’ve only been with him for a few minutes, and already he is tearing through his thoughts on love, life, death and London, punctuated with self-deprecating comments and shrieks of laughter, as if we have known each other for ever.

We are supposed to be talking couture; he is after all fashion’s anointed “enfant terrible”, the designer celebrated for dressing Madonna in a conical bra corset, popularising skirts – well, kilts – for boys and turning the French navy’s famous marinière striped T-shirt into a wardrobe classic.

Continue reading...

July 19th 2021, 4:00 am

Rhik Samadder tries ... wakeboarding: ‘I scream underwater with every faceplant’

Life and style | The Guardian

Everyone needs some novelty right now, so our writer is tackling a new activity each week. First, he gets dragged perilously quickly around a lake

I used to ride bendy buses without holding on to the poles, pretending I was in Point Break. Pathetic. Yet the fantasy returned recently, after I decided to stop taking life for granted and try something new every week. To kick off, I wondered if it was possible for a hapless urbanite to learn to surf, ideally in less than an hour. No, said a few professionals, suggesting I try wakeboarding instead. I didn’t know what that was. Neither did anyone I know. “Is that when they pour water over your face to extract information?” asked my girlfriend, with insufficient concern.

“No, but it is an extreme sport,” chuckles Dave Novell, the water sports manager at Liquid Leisure in Windsor, the largest aquapark in Europe. Banana boats zip around us at a large freshwater lake set in lush countryside. How so? Wakeboarding involves being strapped to a plank, then towed by what looks like a coat hanger, attached to either a speedboat or an overhead cable system that whips you around at 19mph (30km/h).

Continue reading...

July 19th 2021, 4:00 am

I will walk 500 miles … on an art trail along Essex’s lost coast

Life and style | The Guardian

On the second leg of this artful odyssey, people come together to walk and exchange stories about this fascinating – and disappearing – coastline

Read part one of the author’s Lowestoft to Tilbury walk

At Walton on the Essex coast a group of ragged people with empty, staring eyes are standing just above the tide line, their feet tangled in seaweed. They have come ashore on the tip of the Naze peninsula, a low finger of land where, in 1720, a stone tower was built to warn mariners. They hold their tattered cloaks around themselves and seem to be waiting. Are they ghostly survivors of yet another village swallowed by the rising sea? Won’t anyone help them?

Continue reading...

July 19th 2021, 4:00 am

Doggy dependency: how to break post-lockdown separation anxiety

Life and style | The Guardian

Lockdown has been hard for all of us – even our pets. Now my dog wants my undivided attention

I adore my dog, Peanut. She’s a Miniature Schnauzer with a sweet nature and a button nose. She runs like a rabbit and pulls a lopsided smile when we greet her in the morning.

She likes to get close to me, really close. In my face close, then she stares. At times, as I gaze into her moony eyes, I wonder if she wants to suck out my soul. Or perhaps she truly is my daemon?

Continue reading...

July 18th 2021, 1:16 pm

Masks, hugs and hand washing: 18 new rules for protecting yourself and others

Life and style | The Guardian

When should you open the windows, wear a mask and take a lateral flow test? As we enter the ‘personal responsibility’ era, here’s an expert guide

Freedom day is here, at least for those of us who live in England, and we’re back in the place nobody wants to be. On one hand: yay, freedom. On the other: an uneasy sense that the relaxation of restrictions has very little to do with the data, and very much more to do with a government that is bored of imposing Covid-related restrictions.

So we arrive on the unwanted (by me) territory of personal responsibility. Which freedoms should you grab with both hands, which should you foreswear for the time being, which should you exercise caution around? How should informed, polite, civic-minded and reasonable sorts conduct themselves? Expertise provided here is from Greg Fell, the director of public health in Sheffield; Prof Christina Pagel, the director of the clinical operational research unit at University College London, which applies advanced analytical methods to problems in healthcare; and Debora Robertson, the co-author of Manners: A Modern Field Guide.

Continue reading...

July 18th 2021, 9:15 am

Dispatches from the grassroots: Farmerama and the new wave of food media

Life and style | The Guardian

The Farmerama Radio team is leading a surge of podcasts and independent magazines examining the politics and culture of food

The trio behind the award-winning podcast, Farmerama Radio, have spent a lot of the past year thinking about coronavirus. On the day we met, it was at the forefront of their minds: founders Abby Rose and Jo Barratt both have family on the other side of the world; and Katie Revell, their co-producer, had just spent seven days in isolation.

And yet, in the depths of lockdown, the Farmerama team released two investigative audio series, to untangle the complex and contradictory challenges of feeding Britain after the pandemic. “We set out to embody the national experience of lockdown,” says Barratt.

Continue reading...

July 18th 2021, 9:15 am

Chris Packham: ‘People like me have a very aggravated sense of injustice’

Life and style | The Guardian

At his New Forest home, the broadcaster and activist discusses autism, Extinction Rebellion and his Self-Isolating Bird Club

Over the years, the BBC has seeded and nurtured some singular specimens of presenter. Chris Packham, after a decade of Springwatch, has begun to grow into that space in the public mind once occupied by, say, John Noakes or Patrick Moore or John Peel. He’s blunt and lyrical and you know for sure that the camera is only eavesdropping on his authentic life – in much the same way that he peers in at nesting boxes and fox dens – and once it’s turned off, he goes on just the same.

He’s invited me down to lunch in his natural habitat on the edge of the New Forest. He’s never strayed far from here for very long. He grew up on the other side of Southampton cycling to the woods, living an I-Spy childhood, scooping up tadpoles, examining beetles, for a while with a beloved kestrel as his closest friend. He went to university in Southampton and for many years he rented a thatched cottage a mile or two up the road from here; in between lockdowns, he traded those low beams and history for the clean lines of his new angular home – all decking and cladding and sheet glass – set in a couple of acres of wooded garden and bordered by a stream.

Continue reading...

July 18th 2021, 7:13 am

How my grandmother taught me to cook – on WhatsApp

Life and style | The Guardian

Novelist Rahul Raina lives in the UK. His grandmother, guardian of the family recipes, is in India. Lockdown had kept them apart, but cooking brought them together again

Kashmiri recipes are meant to be passed down through teaching, from mother to daughter in cramped kitchens, standing together over pots of sputtering oil. They are not normally held over WhatsApp conferences, shouting over frozen frames and steamed-over camera lenses, from 4,000 miles away. But that is what happened to my family. Kashmiri traditionalists to the core, refusing even to put down our recipes on paper, trusting only our memories and our taste buds, my family found itself brought together by technology.

My parents and I moved to the UK in the mid 1990s, leaving behind my grandmother, who was insistent she would not come. Britain was cold. She did not know the market traders. They might try to cheat her. So, in the early years of the 21st century, we developed a curious tradition. Every time we visited India, we would bring her a new mobile phone, laptop, tablet. She would receive them joyfully, we would sit together, figure out how the device worked, we would promise each other daily conversations, web chats, video calls. Then we would go home, two weeks would pass, and neither my grandmother nor the rest of my family would ever mention the gadget again.

Continue reading...

July 18th 2021, 6:28 am

My boyfriend said he wanted to marry me, but then walked out

Life and style | The Guardian

To move on you need to recognise that your type is not your type, says Philippa Perry

The question I am a gay man with a relationship problem. I was very much in love with my ex-boyfriend for the first three years of our relationship. Problems started when he asked me to marry him. I felt us disconnecting and asked to go and see a relationship counsellor. It didn’t help. He said some things in session that still smart today. For example, he said our partnership was like a whining child he wants to run away from. I became more distraught about the deterioration of the relationship as he became more distant.

The wedding plans stalled. The final straw was him arranging a big holiday with his friend and I was not consulted or invited. I was desperate and one day after he’d insulted me, I said I was ending it. Once I’d calmed down I tried taking that back, but he wasn’t having any of it. I never saw him again.

Continue reading...

July 18th 2021, 5:30 am

The Double Red Duke, Oxfordshire: ‘It’s a class act’ – restaurant review

Life and style | The Guardian

The simple menu at this Oxfordshire pub barely hints at the glories of the food on your plate

The Double Red Duke, Bourton Road, Clanfield, Bampton, Oxfordshire OX18 2RB (01367 810222). Snacks and small plates £7.50-£16, large dishes £12-£35, desserts £9, wines from £27

Later, I would think of it as the redemptive scallop; as the bivalve that made amends for the tragically broken promise of the one that had gone before. Then I would hate myself for allowing the ludicrous phrase “redemptive scallop” into my head. At the time, though, all I thought was: “Damn, there are three of them. That means I have to share the other one. Why, God, why?” It came on the shell, under a thick drift of crisp, golden breadcrumbs which in turn had been drenched gleefully in wild garlic-flecked butter. The scallop had been cooked to a glossy mother of pearl within, and there, like a showily tinted comma from an illuminated manuscript, was the brilliant orange of the coral. Eventually, I took to scraping at the ridges of the shell for the crusty bits. There were many crusty bits.

Continue reading...

July 18th 2021, 5:30 am

Loneliness: coping with the gap where friends used to be

Life and style | The Guardian

Friendships can be difficult, and lockdowns have made them even harder to maintain. But we should cherish them

Almost every day for the past few months, I’ve told my husband I am lonely. Obviously I’m glad that he’s around. What I miss are my friends. In the first lockdown, we stayed in touch with Zoom dates, which were awkward, often drunk and occasionally very joyful. Those days are long gone. I’ve returned to texting, and though I’m often deep in four or five conversations at once, it isn’t the same as being together.

In the past year, there was a difficult bereavement in my family, and work has been harder than normal. None of these things are unique or insurmountable but the isolation has left me feeling almost capsized by anxiety and paranoia.

Continue reading...

July 18th 2021, 5:30 am

Sea, sand and dogs galore: the best British beaches to run free

Life and style | The Guardian

Beaches are much more fun if the family pet can come too. Here’s our pick of the places where you can soak up the sun and feel the sand beneath your paws

A blue flag beach that’s fantastic for families – and dogs are welcome all year from the area by the beach office up to the border with Poole’s first beach, Branksome Chine. Take an hour away from the beach to visit the re-opened Bobby & Co department store, home of Drool, the first food hall devoted entirely to dogs. Pick up fish and chip-flavour dog treats, cherry barkwells or one of the extraordinary doggie gateaux. For human culinary treats, Chineside is set above the beach, with dog-friendly terraces and a nice line in burgers and local fish.

Continue reading...

July 18th 2021, 5:30 am

Now we’re adults, our father doesn’t need to buy his own gifts | Séamas O’Reilly

Life and style | The Guardian

We’re quite good at giving Dad thoughtful birthday presents, but anything we choose will never equal everything he’s given us

Each year for my father’s birthday, we usually bunch up and get him something nice. It’s partly so we can avoid doubles – I think his current record is receiving four copies of one album by Northern Irish folk singer Cara Dillon in one year – and partly because if we join forces, the 11 of us can get him something nicer than the sum of our parts. I suppose it’s the best thing about having 11 children. Frankly, I would argue it must be the only good thing.

It certainly marks an improvement on the policy which existed when we were kids, and Daddy had to personally hand us the money we needed to buy him his presents each year. Even at the time, this seemed flamboyantly misjudged. Few financial investments could be as maddeningly obtuse as taking money from your own pocket, handing it to 11 thick but well-meaning children, and expecting them to return with something that you would ever conceivably prefer to the money itself. Giving money to me at age six would have made about as much sense as lending a kebab to your dog; I simply couldn’t be trusted with it, and you’d almost certainly have to disinfect whatever I came back with when I was done.

We’ve gotten much better at gift-giving in our advanced age – this is coming out two days after the event, so I think it’s OK for me to say he’ll love the 18 copies of my book I’ve convinced my siblings to go in on with me – but my dad’s birthday has become fraught for other reasons. I don’t mean in existential terms about his ageing, since he long ago promised us he’ll live forever. I mean how much more I appreciate his labours as I get older.

On Father’s Day, my fond words are interspersed with moments in which we shoot the breeze about parenting, dad to dad, in some pathetic facsimile of fatherly equals. Birthday calls with my dad, on the other hand, usually spiral into long, gibbering thank yous for everything he did to bring us up even remotely sane. It’s not that I didn’t appreciate him before I had a child of my own, it’s just that I was unable to really get under the skin of his achievements until I’d stared directly into the burning fire of parenthood.

This is not unique to me. I believe each of his sarcastic, mocking children have at one time or another stepped on a yoghurt or pulled a small shoe out of the toilet, and felt the need to call him to apologise for… everything. For breaking windows and blocking toilets. For buying him Pokémon cards one birthday because “I was sure you said you loved these”. Forever being children in the first place and, most especially, for all being children at the same time, which does seem highly unreasonable of us.

Realising just how difficult, terrifying, and boring parenting can be, is enough to make us spend the rest of our lives affording him some form of compensation for the job he did. For that he deserves to be thanked, applauded, and showered with every present there is. And so long as at least one is a Cara Dillon album, he’ll be delighted.

Séamas O’Reilly’s childhood memoir Did Ye Hear Mammy Died? – which is funnier than that title makes it sound – is published by Fleet on 22 July, and available for pre-order now at mammybook.com

Follow Séamas on Twitter @shockproofbeats

Continue reading...

July 18th 2021, 5:30 am

Our dad is on wheels

Life and style | The Guardian

My fear is always that people will see the wheelchair and not me. But to my daughters, I’m just their father…

It took a few years, even after they had learned to talk, for my daughters to notice my wheelchair or ask me about it. Children are amazing that way. They don’t discriminate at a fundamental level. When my oldest, Poe, was learning her letters. Her p, d, b and q’s were undistinguishable, because really why should orientation matter? She unerringly knew which one she had drawn. There is an age, too, that magic tricks were wasted on them. Why shouldn’t a little red ball disappear from my hand and appear inside an upturned cup? Shouldn’t all fathers come with wheels? For several years, I was drawn without my wheelchair alongside their mum and sister. I was the large stick figure with a square of black hair on the top. When my wheelchair did appear in their drawings, I felt a twinge of regret. Not because I have negative feelings about my wheelchair as a representation of my disability. Quite the opposite: my wheelchair is a part of me. My life would be significantly poorer without it. The feeling passed, but came from the fear that the girls would see my chair first and me second, which is how it goes mostly.

They know their dad is different – that we go down hills really fast

Continue reading...

July 18th 2021, 5:30 am

Sunday with Julian Clary: ‘A G&T at noon in memory of my grandfather’

Life and style | The Guardian

The television presenter talks about walking the dogs in the park, a warm Co-op croissant and watching some nonsense on Netflix

What time are you up? About 7.30am. We can’t lie in because of our dogs, Albert and Gigi. Gigi can’t use the garden for her toileting needs, so it’s fairly urgent that we take the dogs to Regent’s Park.

After the park? My husband disappears into the basement, and there’s lots of grunting while he does a workout with Joe Wicks. I don’t join in. I have in the past, but I tend to not take it seriously, and that can be annoying, so I buy the papers and potter about.

Continue reading...

July 18th 2021, 5:30 am

The era of Covid ambivalence: what do we do as normalcy returns but Delta surges?

Life and style | The Guardian

We imagined a gleeful summer of pandemic relief. Instead, new anxieties have replaced old ones

We were promised a Hot Vax Summer.

The term – a riff on Hot Girl Summer, the hit 2019 summer single – emerged this spring as predictive shorthand for the (perhaps literally) orgiastic welcome of a post-vaccine reality. But, as might be expected of a phenomenon named for the last great summer anthem of a world before Covid-19, Hot Vax Summer connoted more than a gleeful exchange of fluids. It came to signal a best-case scenario for a time of transition. Pure celebration and best lives lived. In simplest terms, relief.

Continue reading...

July 18th 2021, 3:44 am

Parklife: the year we fell in love with London’s green spaces

Life and style | The Guardian

Sophia Spring’s photographs celebrate how London’s many parks became a lifeline for locals during the pandemic, writes novelist David Nicholls

We didn’t call it the park; it was the “rec”, as in “recreation ground”. A flat, featureless oblong of patchy grass, sodden in winter, parched in summer, scattered with ring-pulls and dog mess – this was the late 70s – its great featureless expanse broken only by buckled goalposts and a few skinny, unclimbable trees. I hated the rec, partly because of the threat of team sports, partly because of the possibility of violence – the two seemed to go together – but during those long, endless days of summer, when the glare of sunlight on the TV screen became too much, we were harried out of the house to “get some fresh air”. And so we loitered on that great barren prairie, an immense waiting room, wondering why anyone would go to the park out of choice.

Last summer, there were queues at the gates of Clissold Park and anyone wanting to exercise in Highbury Fields was advised to go early to avoid the rush hour. All over the city, the parks began to resemble the sites of the festivals that had all been cancelled and if Londoners had ever taken their green spaces for granted, there was no danger of that now. In the space of six months, they’d been repurposed as meeting rooms, nightclubs, concert halls, theatres and cinemas, cafes and restaurants, impromptu markets, family living rooms, gyms. London is supposedly a city of 3,000 parks and while I’m a little sceptical of that number, it’s true that the city had never seemed greener than that summer. On early morning bike rides I discovered Bushy and Ruskin and Trent, Peckham Rye and Beckenham Place and Ladywell Fields. I discovered the canals and waterways that link them too, the bloodstream of London, captured so brilliantly by Sophia in these photographs. Walk north on the Lea, west or east on the Grand Union, south on the Wandle or the Waterlink Way and you can see the ghosts of London’s old industries, cranes and disused warehouses and old pumping stations. Keep walking for the rest of the day, under the pylons and past the depots, and you can feel the city fading behind you, the skies opening up.

Continue reading...

July 17th 2021, 2:32 pm

Mo Gilligan: 'I did bake biscuits in lockdown, but it’s too much faff’

Life and style | The Guardian

The comedian and Masked Singer panellist on his fascination with chicken, mum’s Caribbean specials and the secret to great mac and cheese

At home, my mum did the cooking. It was me, my two sisters and my mum. She mainly cooked Caribbean dishes: mutton and rice, curry chicken and rice, sometimes curry goat, rice and peas, but that would be for a wedding or something. You wouldn’t have curry goat all the time. It’s mad when I think about it, because when you’ve got kids and you’ve just come back from work, I can see how easy it is to put some chips in the oven. But my mum was always cooking from scratch. To this day, she still does it.

We couldn’t afford the supermarket. My mum would get a lot from the markets, predominantly East Street or Brixton Market. We’d eat a lot of fish: snapper, sometimes red bream. It’s only since I’ve gotten a bit older that I’ve had other fish, like sea bass for example. Yeah, we weren’t eating sea bass.

Continue reading...

July 17th 2021, 2:32 pm

Tom Daley: ‘I took up crochet during the pandemic’

Life and style | The Guardian

The diver, 27, talks about fear on the diving board, marrying an older man, becoming a father and maintaining his six-pack

I’ve always been an adrenaline seeker. I love rollercoasters, waterslides – diving is an extension of that. I grew up by the sea in Plymouth. From an early age my parents encouraged my brothers and me to swim in case we got into trouble in the water. Diving gives me that mix of being in the water, but at the same time the adrenaline rush of jumping off something really high.

I went through a stage of not being able to take off on the diving board. When I was younger and my arms and legs were growing at different rates, I used to get scared to go out there. I would stand on the end of the board and literally not be able to move my body. It’s called Loss Move Syndrome, where you suddenly freeze mentally and physically, forget how do to things. Even today, there are times when I get scared standing on the 10m board, but you need that little bit of fear, that adrenaline rush, to make you focus, to stop you making mistakes.

Continue reading...

July 17th 2021, 10:01 am

Hope, horror and Covid-19: my 23 years as the Guardian’s health correspondent | Sarah Boseley

Life and style | The Guardian

I’ve travelled the world covering everything from HIV to MMR to Ebola… and then Covid came along. These are stories that changed me – and the world

She was tall, wrapped in a green patterned dress that clung to her legs and ended just above dusty flip-flops. In the bustling, sweltering market, Grace Mathanga looked at me appraisingly, as if to say: “What have we here?” And I knew she was the one.

It was the end of 2002. I had flown to Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi, with excitement in my heart and fear of failure eating at my gut. I’d been the Guardian’s health correspondent for a couple of years, and had written some big stories: about the Bristol babies inquiry into the deaths of small children during operations carried out by inadequate surgeons; about suicides on antidepressants, and fake cures for cancer. And I had harried the pharmaceutical industry over their prices and compromising payments to doctors. But now I had been dispatched to Africa in pursuit of an idea dreamed up by the then Guardian editor, Alan Rusbridger, a story with the potential to help save thousands of lives – if I could pull it off.

Continue reading...

July 17th 2021, 7:42 am

Do I look cheugy in this? What can a gen Z makeover teach me about life?

Life and style | The Guardian

With a new generation fuelling fashion, protest and popular culture, is it time for millennials like me to move over? A panel of young trailblazers give me a glow up – and some lessons in activism

I am sitting cross-legged on the floor, wearing a bucket hat, trying to be chill. I rest my chin in my hands and try to think chill thoughts, which is hard, because I am wearing mint flatform Crocs, studded with pineapples and watermelons, and a fluffy green knit that feels more like a pet than a cardigan. But I do my best, because being chill is essential if I am to get into character.

The term “chill” has come up a lot during this past week in which I – one of the world’s oldest millennials at 39 – am trying to be more generation Z. I’m learning the ways of the generation beneath mine, who, according to the US thinktank the Pew Research Center, were born between 1997 and 2012, and are taking over from millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) as the cohort in charge of the internet.

Continue reading...

July 17th 2021, 7:01 am

Holiday Covid tests: how to find the best by price and trust

Life and style | The Guardian

Whether it’s price or turnaround time that’s more important to you, here’s how to pick the best provider

Foreign travel is about to get a bit easier, with new rules taking effect in England from Monday 19 July – but it looks like the hassle of Covid testing will be with us for a while yet.

Consumers face a bewildering choice of firms offering Covid tests – the UK government’s website lists hundreds of providers, the vast majority of which are companies that most people won’t have heard of. And there have been plenty of horror stories about people being left out of pocket or even missing flights after being let down by the firm that they paid.

Continue reading...

July 17th 2021, 7:01 am

‘It was devastating’: what happens when therapy makes things worse?

Life and style | The Guardian

Therapists are meant to help people change their lives, but those who behave badly may end up doing more harm than good

Courtney thought it was strange when her therapist asked her to follow him on Instagram. She had begun seeing Michael – a psychoanalyst who has written books and appeared on television – to treat her fear of flying in 2018 (both of their names, and those of all the patients in this article have been changed). After a few sessions, he suggested the pair connect on Instagram, where he posted everything from mindfulness tips to topless gym selfies. As she didn’t use the app much, Courtney shrugged off her concerns and continued therapy, discussing her childhood abuse, depression, anxiety and sex life. Then, around five months after she had begun seeing him, Michael asked if she had been offended by a message he had sent.

What message? Courtney hadn’t seen one, so Michael demanded that she check her Instagram inbox then and there. “All this sex talk has got me gagging for it,” his message began, “I can’t wait to get home and sort myself out.”

Continue reading...

July 17th 2021, 4:28 am

I tried an app to reduce my family’s meat consumption and it worked

Life and style | The Guardian

Discovering new recipes and getting the children on board helped us break old habits and eat better for the planet and our health

Like many families, we’ve discussed the environmental and animal-welfare impact of the meat we eat and resolved we should do better. I wouldn’t say we are massive meat-eaters – especially since cookbooks by the Guardian’s own Anna Jones and Meera Sodha entered our lives. But a packet of minced beef, a few chicken thighs and some sausages or bacon often make it into our supermarket trolley, because, frankly, they’re things everyone in our family will eat.

Also, having been raised an omnivore, my default recipes when feeling tired or uninspired are still chilli con carne, spaghetti bolognese, or something that involves chunks of chicken.

Continue reading...

July 17th 2021, 4:28 am

What did Covid teach me? It’s time for my kids to look after each other | Sindhu Vee

Life and style | The Guardian

It was all going according to plan until my youngest interrupted Succession to ask, ‘Mama, what is a genocide?

It was during one of the lockdowns of 2020 – I forget which sub-type – that I decided to go Extremely Indian Mother on my (mixed-race) kids by announcing that the two teens, Kid One and Kid Two, were to be responsible for the online schooling of their youngest sibling, Kid Three (year four, they can handle it).

This would involve doing all the things the school had assumed parents would simply be able to drop everything for: sitting in on lessons, completing the homework, doing science “experiments” with baking soda and cleaning up the mess afterwards. I pulled out the big desi mum guns: “I did everything for you two – and what are you doing with yourselves anyway? Plus it’s practice for when you have kids: you’ll thank me one day.”

Continue reading...

July 17th 2021, 4:28 am

Tim Dowling: have my homegrown courgettes poisoned us all?

Life and style | The Guardian

‘Stop eating,’ my wife yells. Plates are scraped. Antiques Roadshow is put on pause

On Sunday evening I come in with the first harvest of courgettes from the garden: two green, four yellow, all of a size, like a competition display.

“Behold this magnificent bounty,” I say to the oldest one.

Continue reading...

July 17th 2021, 4:16 am

Teenage skateboard superstar Sky Brown: ‘I begged my parents to let me go with Team GB'

Life and style | The Guardian

When she lands in Tokyo, Sky Brown will become one of the UK’s first Olympic skateboarders – and, at 13, the team’s youngest ever member. Will her next trick be a gold medal?

The sun is setting on another hazy summer evening in Oceanside, California, a city 35 miles north of San Diego, and a tiny figure is flying through the sky. She bends her knees, clutches the end of her skateboard and comes gliding down an enormous ramp, her sun-bleached surfer hair bouncing in the wind.

“That was sick!” Sky Brown shouts, as she makes an immaculate landing. The skateboarder is ranked third in the world and on 4 August will take to her board to represent Team GB at the postponed Tokyo Olympics. When she competes in the women’s park event, she won’t just be one of the UK’s first ever Olympic skateboarders, she will also be Team GB’s youngest ever summer Olympian. Aged 13 years and 23 days, she will surpass Margery Hinton, who was 13 years and 44 days when she swam at Amsterdam in 1928.

Continue reading...

July 17th 2021, 4:16 am

Blind date: ‘He is very, very different from my friends’

Life and style | The Guardian

Jillian, 57, consultant, meets Alan, 70, medical delivery driver

What were you hoping for?
A diversion after a long period of solitary lockdown.

Continue reading...

July 17th 2021, 4:16 am
Get it on Google Play تحميل تطبيق نبأ للآندرويد مجانا