Rebecca Armstrong

Rebecca Armstrong is features editor for The Independent..

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Monty Python's Michael Palin guest presented Radio 4's 'Today'

In praise of Michael Palin

Lovely Michael Palin is happily married to his wife (not his 32nd wife but his first)  - are you listening, Mr Cleese?

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To me, Christmas is little more than a Trivial Pursuit (literally)

Trivial Pursuit is our Christmas miracle, something that takes us back to a time when I was a toddler, the USSR was going strong, and Maggie Thatcher was at No. 10

Gift personalisation is twee, but there's something irresistible to it

I love the sound of my own name as much as everyone else

<b>5. Carluccios Beuno Festa</b> This is the first year Carluccio’s has produced an advent calendar and it was worth the wait. Besides the beautiful packaging, inspired by the colours of Bologna, each window reveals high-quality, foil wrapped chocolate in the shape of fruit, animal or something Christmassy. At 250g, there’s no skimping either. £10.95, www.carluccios.com

Rejoice, the Christmas chocolate calendar is upon us

People, I think it’s time we took a long hard look at this tradition, and ourselves

Book Review: Concretopia, By John Grindrod

In the past few weeks, two news stories have appeared that prove just how pertinent a book about Britain’s post-war rebuilding is in 2013. The first is the call from the Policy  Exchange think tank for a garden city to be built by the next government to solve Britain’s housing crisis. The second is the forced eviction of the final resident of the Heygate estate in south London so that the area can be redeveloped into luxury flats. Garden cities are still being hailed as an urban panacea, as they have been for more than a century, while Heygate’s rise and fall reveals the shortcomings of urban planning. Neither of these stories will have come as a surprise to John Grindrod, whose book Concretopia covers their inception with great flair.

A Christmas present to remember

Forget spray-tanned mini Kardashians, the idea behind the treatments at the spa I took my sister to is to teach teenagers about their skin, and how to be comfortable in it

Father's day: Independent features editor Rebecca Armstrong shows her dad Mike what she does during a day's work

Bring Your Parent To Work Day

This Thursday is the first 'bring your parent to work' day. So, what happens when employees take their folks to the office? Independent features editor Rebecca Armstrong (and her father Mike) found out

Does the world really need your novel?

National novel writing month has kicked off. Now just for the small matter of motivation

Minecraft, the biggest thing in gaming will now come in books

Minecraft: The joy of making and breaking in a world without parents

My stepdaughter has opened up the world of virtual construction to me

Robert Redford and Mia Farrow starred in The Great Gatsby in 1974

Revenge is a dish best served... by a woman

Examples abound of gifted goddesses of vengeance, but my approach has always been, frankly, quite rubbish

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Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits