Voices

I love Christmas but don’t worry, I’m not going to proselytise about it. I won’t pretend it’s any more than an excuse for gluttony and for corporations to sell people tat they don’t need. I go into the festive period with my eyes open, thanks very much, and I’m more fascinated than I am fanatical. But I do love it.

Rare feat as online sales tumble at Laura Ashley

Laura Ashley managed to achieve a rare feat for the High Street today, recording a fall in online sales.

The home page of the website ask.fm

Ask.fm 'will be safer from online bullying' as owners introduce new features

Website owners have introduced a range of new features that aim to keep users safer from abuse

British sales at Cath Kidston rose 21 per cent in the year to March

Bags of money: Why the world just can’t get enough of Cath Kidston’s bright ideas

Covet it or cringe at the thought of it, it’s Britain’s most unstoppable brand

Invisible Ink: No 181 - Saved from Obscurity

I’m not the only one creeping around charity shops and church bazaars looking for forgotten novels (this is not an age-specific occupation, but something I began at the age of eight – dare to be different, kids).

Invisible Ink: No 180 - L P Hartley

Many authors are specifically remembered for one beloved book. L P Hartley is recalled with a single phrase: “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.” It has achieved the status of a British proverb.

Pour it on: It's even possible for a watering can to embrace chintz. Wild & Wolf watering can, £34.95, wildandwolf.com

iStyle: Chintz charming

Laura Ashley is celebrating its 60th birthday by looking back to the 1970s. It couldn’t have come at a better time. Patterns, florals and faux Victoriana are big again, says Trish Lorenz

The Business Matrix: Friday 14 June 2013

Monarch takes flight

Laura Ashley fashion is frozen out

Laura Ashley has blamed the cold weather in March and April for weak fashion sales, which took the shine off a healthy performance from its home furnishings.

Victoria Holden wearing a Laura Ashley frock
Home grown: Kate Clanchy says her first novel is a short story 'which got out of hand'

Kate Clanchy: Scot free among the English

The prize-winning poet and dramatist has written her first novel. She tells Suzi Feay how it recalls her own journey south

Laura Ashley defends decision to ask suppliers for price reductions

Retailer Laura Ashley has mounted a vigorous defence of its decision to ask suppliers for price reductions, as strong sales of home furnishings produced a leap in annual profits.

Alexis Barrell spring/summer 2013

Floral prints for Spring: In the night garden

Spring florals are given a dark edge this season with an inky palette and a grown-up flavour

Laura Ashley celebrates as sales soar

Laura Ashley has cemented its status as one of the high street's best performers with a leap in sales ahead of the crucial Christmas period.

<p>1. Marks and Spencer</p>
<p>£17.60, marksandspencer.com</p>
<p>Unlike many coats, this is nice and flexible to move around in, with none of that stiff-armed, Michelin-man look and feel.</p>

The 10 Best children's coats

Keep the kids warm as the mercury drops this winter with 10 cosy, cute, and stylish jackets

Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
Dubrovnik
Vietnam
Bruges
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum