Life and Style
 

French Sole is celebrating 25 years with its first non-London store – it’s time to slip in to spring, says Rebecca Gonsalves

So farewell then, sexual intercourse

The orgasm stuff. This orgasm-in-a-bottle business. We have to come to terms with the fact that, thanks to modern science, women can now go out and buy something which, when washed down with a glass of soothing water, will make them yowl like Siamese cats then roll over with that placid smile on their faces, the one which they wear just before they say: "What? What are you looking at? Oh no. Forget it. Have you any idea what time it is?"

The shops to be seen in

WORLD 27 Litchfield Street, London WC2,

Show us your knickers

SHOW US YOUR KNICKERS

Crazy ways to scrub a floor

Gone are the days when spring-cleaning meant trundling round the house in an old apron and manky rubber gloves. Hip stores are currently bursting with kitsch pinnies in blowzy prints and nattily designed rubber brooms with fluorescent bristles. Housework has become something to dress up for.

Somebody pick up the phone

When Fluxus were dismantling artistic pomposity in the Sixties, Yoko Ono was there to lend a hand. Now it's the public's turn, at a new exhibition which documents those days.

Television: The British: they're a funny old lot ...

Studio audiences are not made up of people like you and me. How easy it is to provoke their laughter! A pulled face, a mimicked voice, an obvious gag, and there is a woman with a gurgling laugh like water flowing over loose marbles, or a deep-voiced man with a great stomachy guffaw. And you and I sit at home barely smiling. What bastards we are!

Obituary: Jean-Edern Hallier

Jean-Edern Hallier was a controversial figure - writer, philosopher and television presenter, agent provocateur and enfant terrible. He conducted personal vendettas against the French presidents Valery Giscard D'Estaing and Francois Mitterrand, as well as most of the Parisian literary establishment.

The knicker test

A women's lingerie department is no place for the rash, over-confident male - especially when he's buying a brassiere. By Jonathan Glancey

Boudoir

Fripperies for the modern woman. Styling by Sophia Neophitou. Photographs by Noelle Hoeppe

Book review / Riddle of the human envelope

Erskine Childers: Author of 'The Riddle of the Sands' by Jim Ring Murray, pounds 19.99

BUY ME : KNICKERS

British women buy more knickers than any other nation in Europe. According to a survey carried out last month at the Paris International Lingerie Salon trade show, we buy 10 pairs each a year, whereas the Italians and Spanish buy only five and the Germans seven. Maybe it's because we have the best, and most accessible, underwear shops. After all, 45 per cent of the female population in the UK own a pair of M&S knickers: they sell a million pairs a week.

FASHION: Buy me: Knickerbox slip

We all know the story by now: underwear can be worn out. Out of the confines of the bedroom, out from underneath your clothes, out on the street, even out on your coffee table, (see Kelly Klein's new book Underworld). And it's not shocking.

out there; Alix Sharkey invited 500 friends to enter his own Palace of Wisdom

John Walsh: a stranger in the Palace

out there: Sexual provocation

The original idea was to take on that Conran's ideal, that bourgeois, beige, nice design, good taste crap and do a complete department store based around sex

All I want for Christmas

From earth mother to minimalist, there's something special for everyone in our 32-page luxury gift guide PS Presents by post pages 86- 88
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment