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
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us