Katy Guest

Katy Guest is the literary editor of the Independent on Sunday

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Go on, really shock me! Show me your cardie

When David Dimbleby revealed his new scorpion tattoo last week, there were those who rolled their eyes and implored the 75-year-old to act his age. It seems to me that 75 is the perfect age to get a tattoo: you know your own mind; your parents can't stop you; you don't have to worry about it looking silly when your skin starts to sag; and if you do decide that you hate it, you probably won't have to spend another 75 years regretting it.

Supermodels David Gandy and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in the Marks and Spencer's Christmas TV ad

Marks & Spencer: Your average customer does not look like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

There are excuses, and there are M&S excuses

The “Bechdel Test” for Swedish films: Welcome to the modern world, where women speak about more than just men

Shakespeare might fail the test too - but we're not in the 1500s anymore

Book review: Ammonites & Leaping Fish: A Life In Time, by Penelope Lively

Not a memoir, exactly, but rather “the view from old age”, Penelope Lively’s “life in time” is a reader’s pure delight. For starters, the book is a beautiful object in itself, as her books often are.

British households threw away 7.2 million tons of food in 2011

Let's check out of this supermarket swizz

Ending two-for-one deals on perishables is a positive step, but there is more to do

Going easy on parking tickets? At last, a victory for the oppressed driver

For too long councils have bathed in cash from this wronged demographic

Review: Marriage Material By Sathnam Sanghera

The increasing liberalisation of British social rules and values may be good news for women and minorities, but it must make hard work for writers of contemporary fiction. It’s a nicer world in which we can all own property and marry whom we like, but it removes much of the obvious drama from modern life and leaves all the best stories in history. Where would Romeo and Juliet have been if he could have just sent a text message? Or Pride and Prejudice if Lizzie Bennet had gone off to work in the City? Or The Old Wives’ Tale if the Baines sisters had grown up in late-20th-century Wolverhampton?

Morrisey, right, signing an autograph on one of his fan's arms

There's a Morrissey and a Ruby Tandoh in every UK office

Have you noticed in your workplace a bloke who spends all his time swaggering around loudly broadcasting how brilliant he is?

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, By Helen Fielding

There’s a bit in the middle of Mad About the Boy when the agent for Bridget’s screenplay – a modern interpretation of Hedda Gabler set in Queen’s Park – sends her a strange email. “We have a couple of responses on your script,” he writes. “They are passing. The themes are fascinating but they’re wanting more of a romcom feel. I’ll keep trying.” It could be a coincidence, but by this point it reads like a coded SOS from the author. The book is at its best when it is a poignant comic novel about a 51-year-old woman struggling to bring up children after the sudden death of her husband. It is hit-and-miss when it’s about a 51-year-old Bridget Jones who struggles with all the TV remotes and counts nits instead of Chardonnays. But on occasion it becomes a parody of a Richard Curtis film, or even worse an American sitcom, and that of course is v v bad.

Fielding: Fondly lampoons pretentiousness

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding - Review

There’s a bit in the middle of Mad About the Boy when the agent for Bridget’s screenplay – a modern interpretation of Hedda Gabler set in Queen’s Park – sends her a strange email. “We have a couple of responses on your script,” he writes. “They are passing. The themes are fascinating but they’re wanting more of a romcom feel. I’ll keep trying.” It could be a coincidence, but by this point it reads like a coded SOS from the author. The book is at its best when it is a poignant comic novel about a 51-year-old woman struggling to bring up children after the sudden death of her husband. It is hit-and-miss when it’s about a 51-year-old Bridget Jones who struggles with all the TV remotes and counts nits instead of Chardonnays. But on occasion it becomes a parody of a Richard Curtis film, or even worse an American sitcom, and that of course is v v bad.

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