Given our national obsession with property prices, Tim Walker’s novel is bound to hit a nerve. His fictional couple, the Manvilles, bought their large north London home at a knock-down price in the 1990s, and it became the key to two aspects of their family life. Jerry, a successful advertising executive, undertook all the original plumbing, electrical and redecoration work; Pen devised a series of popular children’s books, The House on the Hill, whose “cheeky brat with the ridiculous schemes” is modelled on, and named after, her real-life son Conrad: 15 years on, they have done a loft conversion, and divorced.
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Wednesday 12 December 2012
With 2Day FM's decision to cancel its Christmas party, and promise of a £320,000 donation to Jacintha Saldanha's family, a full stop, or at least a semi-colon, may now be written in to the narrative of her death. A large sum of money, and a promise not to have any fun: these are the kinds of expressions of regret we can understand.
Wednesday 12 December 2012
Turning this nurse's fate into a lesson for modern society ignores the truth
Monday 10 December 2012
Sunday 09 December 2012
The Government tonight ruled out any shift in drugs policy despite a damning report by an influential group of MPs which said Britain was failing to tackle drug barons or the multi-billion pound global profits of their illegal trade.
Friday 07 December 2012
Warning: contains disturbing images
An anti-drugs video has been created, warning of the horrific effects methamphetamine can have on users.
Monday 03 December 2012
It is possible I've visited Starbucks more since its tax affairs became news, but those who have boycotted the chain (which has now agreed to review its practices because of "consumer pressure", the Treasury said today) need not look far for a caffeine fix. Is there really much to separate, say, a Starbucks latte and one from the Costa over the road?
Sunday 02 December 2012
France has not lost its love-hate fascination with Napoleon Bonaparte, if the furious competition to buy one of his wartime letters is a guide. In the letter, written in code in 1812, the French Emperor, signing himself "Nap", reveals his bitter frustration with the failure of the Russian campaign and his intention to blow up the Kremlin on 22 May at 3am. It was expected to fetch up to £12,000 but, following some fierce bidding, instead went under the hammer to the Museum of Letters and Manuscripts in Paris for 10 times that amount.
Saturday 01 December 2012
No regrets as Scott's strange sounds prove addictive
Thursday 29 November 2012
"This is my life, I can't just throw it away," said an elderly woman in Radio 3's Between the Ears, the panic rising in her voice. She was in process of moving into sheltered housing, and the prospect of reducing her worldly goods was making her ill. She had, she explained, just spent three days in hospital.
Wednesday 28 November 2012
Study reveals alarming rise in promotion of anorexia and competitive dieting
Monday 26 November 2012
Police officer Multan Khan said the dead were all drug addicts
Monday 26 November 2012
Homeless people are being failed by the government’s flagship back-to-work programme despite large amounts of public money being given to private firms to cut chronic employment, a new report warns.
Sunday 11 November 2012
On 12 November 1916, people around the United States experienced an outbreak of mass hysteria as 800 simultaneous sightings of Charlie Chaplin, then the most recognisable person in the world, were reported across the country, from the Atlantic coast to Pacific.
Monday 29 October 2012
Iain Duncan Smith wants to take child benefits and tax credits from mothers who have a third child and any more thereafter. Unbeatable China has a draconian one-child policy, so why not us? There is no public outcry because the proposed policy only targets the children of the most disadvantaged, those "feral" creatures, the enemy within. I thought IDS had come to understand such hopelessness.
Wednesday 24 October 2012
This obsession with the Obama vs Romney contest can't hide the fact its outcome will make little difference over here
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
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- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Why you should never make assumptions about people with autism
- 4 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for