News Chris Hadfield has agreed to take on the role of cultural ambassador for Ireland

Chris Hadfield, the singing astronaut and former commander of the International Space Station, has taken on a role as cultural ambassador for Ireland.

Womad

THE winners of the Womad Competition were J Gethin of Clyne, F Meehan of Chorlton-cum-Hardy and R Gracey of Spalding. It was Youssou N'Dour who duetted with Peter Gabriel on 'Shaking the Tree'. The winners receive tickets for this week's Cornish Womad.

Tool Box: Cutting back on Millionaire's Row

A HINT of discord has crept into the usually peaceful atmosphere at Tool Box Towers. Stuart Gilham, the professional who does so much to keep our garden looking good, is not a great admirer of the latest Gardena Accu 4 edging shears. What he describes as a Millionaire's Row gadget, rather than a serious gardener's tool, has a compact, built-in battery pack that gives about 45 minutes' cutting time after taking 14 hours to charge.

RECORDS / New Release: Donald Fagen: Kamakiriad (Reprise, LP / tape / CD)

The Nightfly dealt with the past (Fagen's Fifties adolescence) and yet still sounds contemporary 11 years later. That's the trick of a true artist, and its long-awaited successor suggests he has pulled it off again, from the opposite perspective. Fagen swivels round and looks into the near future, tracing a journey through a millennial world of good intentions - hi-tech and eco-consciousness - undermined by human frailty, a Ballardian landscape that suits him perfectly. Considering his reputation for preppy cynicism and clever-dickishness, there's a touching wonder in his voice. The music is a practically flawless concoction of smooth grooves, nifty guitar figures, impossibly fluid bass-playing, irresistible drumming, varied keyboard textures, and subtle horn arrangements, carefully tended by the producer, Walter Becker, his former Steely Dan partner. At its languid, lucid best, the album recalls the sacred first side of Aja; compliments come no higher.
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Panama
Languedoc Roussillon
Marrakesh & the Atlas Mountains
Bruges
The Jura Mountains
Dubrovnik & the Dalmatian Coast
Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
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
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments