Christina Patterson

Christina Patterson is a writer, broadcaster and columnist. She writes about politics, society, culture, travel, books and the arts. She has interviewed writers and artists ranging from Martin Amis to Eddie Izzard and Werner Herzog, and did the first interview after he left office with Gordon Brown. A former director of the Poetry Society, and literary programmer at the Southbank Centre, she has written for the Observer, the Sunday Times, the Guardian, Time, the Spectator and the New Statesman. She’s a regular commentator on radio and TV news programmes, a regular reviewer on the Sky News press preview, and a regular guest on The Review Show. She has campaigned to improve standards in nursing in a series of articles in the Independent, by speaking at conferences, and in programmes she has made for Radio 4 and The One Show. Christina is the only woman on the shortlist for the Orwell Prize 2013. She has now left The Independent, but can be contacted via her website, www.christinapatterson.co.uk .

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Let children play outside and pick flowers, the National Trust says

Christina Patterson: It's not just children who never get the pleasure of walking in pathless woods

It wasn't exactly Wordsworth, but it's probably the nearest she'll get. "I thought," said my mother, who thinks a mobile phone is something for a special occasion, but who has recently learnt to attach photos to emails, which she now does all the time, "that you'd like to see these lovely daffodils."

Christina Patterson: To win the war on gangs, you have to make their members cry

Being in a gang is like being in a family. But one without parents and where children play with guns

Carry on shopping: Asma Assad knows a lot about jewellery

Christina Patterson: Asma Assad's top tips on necklaces, heels, chandeliers – and courage

Asma Assad is very modest. "I am," she says, "absolutely clueless when it comes to fine jewellery!" But I don't think she should say things like that. I don't think she should do herself down. To me, it doesn't sound as though she's at all "clueless" when it comes to ordering jewellery. To me, it sounds as though she knows an awful lot.

Christina Patterson: Our folly is to think of houses as dreams, not places to live in

Some people think that if they made money through their home they earned it

Serious: Jonathan Franzen prefers people who don’t 'yak'

Christina Patterson: Franzen's right that Twitter can be a curse. But it can also be miraculous

Lady Gaga and Jonathan Franzen have quite a lot in common. They're both American. They're both famous. They're both rich. They're also both artists, and not just any old artists, but the kind of artists other artists want to be, the kind of artists who have millions of fans. But there's one thing they don't have in common, and that's a love of Twitter.

Christina Patterson: Sisters, we've let our teenage daughters down

If they studied history and learnt about feminism, they might wonder what had happened to those battles
Former policeman David Rathband was found dead on Thursday

Christina Patterson: David Rathband found out just how much our society scorns the disabled

It can take a second. It can, of course, take much longer than that, but it can take just a second for a life to fall apart. For David Rathband, it took a few seconds for an unemployed bouncer to puncture his eyeballs, with 200 pellets from two separate gunshots, and it took a few months for his marriage to unravel, and it took a few more months for him to decide that he'd rather be dead.

Christina Patterson: I can't vote for Boris. But I also can't vote for Ken

The man who used to be mayor of London is very much like the man who is currently mayor of London
So there: Einstein's theory of physics still stands

Christina Patterson: If you want a job, 'slave labour' at Tesco isn't a bad place to start

They seem to think that working in a shop is something that should make you feel demeaned

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Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee