Simon Kelner

Simon Kelner was Editor of The Independent between 1998 and 2011. He writes a daily column for i.

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Machu Picchu is a popular destination for students on gap years

Why should gap years be the exclusive preserve of the young?

If youth is wasted on the young then maybe travelling is too...

Flowers, tootsie rolls, a card, and a candle are placed in memory of Robin Williams in front of Carolines on Broadway comedy club in New York City

Is it wrong to recreationally grieve for Robin Williams on social media?

Millions of us have posted messages of sympathy for a man we've never met

Burt Bacharach performs at Wilderness Festival 2014

Anyone who had a heart would love Burt Bacharach just as much as I do

Watching him perform at the weekend was a truly moving experience

We all need to have a say in Scotland’s great debate

Should Scotland vote yes next month, it will force us to confront our own identity

Commuters of Britain: unite against this aural tyranny!

Instead of a quiet carriage, why don’t we have a noisy carriage?

A shot of the start of a race at Cowes Week

How a sailing regatta (almost) put the wind in my sails

I don't mix well with water, but after experiencing Cowes Week I have begun to see the beauty of the boating life

Passengers sit and enjoy a quiet train journey in a bygone age

Why I'm shouting about the tragic demise of the quiet carriage

Forcing us to overhear dull phone conversations should be regarded as an offensive act

The Port Eliot Festival

How to keep it real and escape from the screen this summer

Tea cosies and TV chefs on stage… this season offers up some of the perfect antidotes to our digital lives

Sir Ian McKellen

Call me a Northerner if you like – it’s no insult to me

Every time I see the low-rise hills of Lancashire I feel a pang of belonging

Prince George's birthday is a pleasant distraction, but the monarchy still makes me feel uneasy

I'd rather live in a country where so much privilege wasn't conferred on so few

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Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone