Catherine Pepinster

Catherine Pepinster is the editor of The Tablet, the Catholic weekly

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Books: Just like us, only more so

Sheer Blue Bliss

When the shopping has to stop

HOW MANY pairs of black trousers does a girl need? Until a few weeks ago, I'd have said - as would nearly every woman - as many as she can cram in her wardrobe. And certainly plenty more than she can really afford.

Family on the run: Why the battle for Jade and Hannah is far from over

JEFF AND Jennifer Bramley's fight to adopt Jade and Hannah Bennett is far from over, writes Catherine Pepinster. Within hours of their return to Britain from their Irish hideaway, Cambridgeshire social services confirmed that a fresh application to adopt the children will be heard by the courts. But it also made it clear that it would continue to oppose the couple becoming the legal parents of the two little girls, with whom they disappeared for four months.

Bill, Monica and Mother Teresa too

Some odd characters rub shoulders with the Holy Family in the extraordinary nativity cribs of Naples, writes Catherine Pepinster

Focus: Who's looking for what on Clapham Common

Emlyn Jones, a gay Welshman in his forties with a high-profile public-sector job in London, tells Catherine Pepinster

Books: Fiction in brief

Death in Summer by William Trevor, Viking pounds 15.99. There have been 31 births and 19 deaths in Thaddeus Davenant's house, and now there are to be more - more momentous events which emphasise the fragility and transitory nature of life. But the house itself and its surrounding cherry trees remain resolute: dignified, strong, able to withstand the storms which can rock the less sturdy to their foundations.

Gold Dust: Glam rock's top 10 singles

1. 'Get It On' - T.Rex (Fly, 1971). 1971: T.Rex dominated the charts and every pubescent schoolgirl trembled as the elfin prince strutted his stuff on Top of the Pops. Rocking guitars, Ian McDonald's haunting sax, Marc Bolan's fey voice combined with the falsetto chorus of Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman: this was the essence of the Glam Rock sound.

Rid us of the canker of compromise

The Lambeth Conference, a hotbed of division, has an important message for all of us, says Catherine Pepinster

Rise and fall of the maestro of the macabre

Catherine Pepinster recalls the rise to infamy of Anthony Kelly, an artist with a cadaverous touch

Sheffield's really a post-industrial paradise

Many in the city are cross at its bleak portrayal in 'The Full Monty'.
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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'