Gillian Orr

Gillian Orr writes about the arts for The Independent.

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All by myself: loneliness is not just an affliction of the old - young, middle-aged and married people can be affected

Britain has been voted the loneliness capital of Europe - so how did we become so isolated?

Not only can loneliness lead to mental-health issues but studies proved that it can also be more dangerous than obesity and smoking
Hedonistic hideout: Shangri-La is the destination for serious partygoers once the final bow has been taken on the Pyramid Stage

Glastonbury 2014: Shangri-La is part art installation, part rave, and totally hedonistic

Lady Gaga has played there, and Mick Jagger has partied there. Its creator Debs Armstrong tells Gillian Orr how the neon-lit pleasuredomes come into being - and what she hates about the festival-goers who come to get high
The last picture show: Beatty, Nevada had a population of just over 1,000 people in 2010

Portfolio: Pamela Littky's book Vacancy provides a snapshot of the 'Gateway to Death Valley'

Death Valley, in California's Mojave Desert, holds the record for the highest temperature ever measured: 56.7C, back in 1913.

Teenage kicks: a scene from 'The Fault in Our Stars', the latest Young Adult publishing success story

Is popular teen fiction like The Fault in our Stars wasted on young readers?

The Fault in our Stars is the bestselling book of the year so far, proving that Young Adult fiction is also read by those old enough to know better

Portfolio: Sergei Produkin-Gorsky provides a record of life before fall of Romanov dynasty

As ruler of the largest single territory in the world at the time, it was impossible for Tsar Nicholas II to travel the extent of Russia, which at the turn of the 20th century extended from Finland to Turkestan, and from Poland to Siberia.

Blyton shock: Biddy Baxter (pictured centre with her fellow Blue Peter presenters) was heartbroken to receive two identical letters from her idol

Have you ever written fan mail to a favourite author? From Enid Blyton to JD Salinger, these readers were surprised by the response...

Two recent stories have shed light on the way in which fan letters are handled

Portfolio: Alessandro Gandolfi's images of teenage girls who ride the waves along Gaza's 25 miles of Mediterranean coastline

Among the growing band of surfers who ride the waves along Gaza's 25 miles of Mediterranean coastline, you'll find a rather curious sight: a small group of teenage girls on boards.

A stripper (not 'Tony') entertains a hen do in London
A bite of the action: A peddler sells snacks at one of the entrances to the Santa Marta ‘favela’ (shantytown) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Away from fast food fare of World Cup stadiums, Brazilian cuisine is delicious and diverse

From feijoada to caprinhas, Gillian Orr offers up a taste of the nation
Slenderman was crafted as a lanky man, with a featureless face, sometimes with tentacles protruding from his back, who would stalk and abduct children before murdering them in the woods

Slender Man: Horror character may have led two teenage girls to brutally stab a classmate. But who - or what - is he?

Until this week, Slender Man was known only to internet horror fans who would write stories about him and share his legend. But his tale took a sinister turn after it was revealed that two Wisconsin schoolgirls had allegedly stabbed a classmate because they wanted to please the mythological character

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital