Life and Style
 

Waterproofing your wardrobe with practical, yet luxurious, purchases is a wise investment, says Emma Akbareian

Can an ex-civil servant finally persuade women to buy erotica?

Sex will be strictly cerebral in a new top-shelf magazine for 'thinking women', reports Jerome Taylor

Simon Carr: Want to lose weight? Live like your grandparents

It's that time of year to get less fat. Normally I don't bother. If I really have to go to the beach I put on a T-shirt and say I'm wearing a life jacket underneath. A bulldog clip behind each ear makes all the difference. It's easy to cheat. But this year visual tricks are not an option. I've got to go to a wedding in June, and if I don't fit into a 100kg suit the bride won't turn up. The happiness of more than one member of the wedding party is in my heavy hands.

Zuma celebrates as ANC set for two-thirds majority

South Africa's President-elect Jacob Zuma made a triumphant appearance before cheering supporters last night as early results showed a resounding win for the ruling African National Congress.

Make do and mend: The new fashion makeover

Kirstie Allsopp and Gok Wan both used to tell us how to spend our money. Now they've changed tack – with new shows aimed at leaner times. Gerard Gilbert isn't sold

Christina Patterson: When the going gets tough, the tough wise up

Not much space for chic little sofas when you’re worried you might lose your home

Alice Jones: Karaoke is so pernicious

Karaoke is the reason I no longer accept invitations without an exhaustive run-down of what the night's festivities might entail. Too many times I have been caught out, expecting an evening of drinks and dancing only to find myself locked in a small room with padded walls and brownish pleather sofas, staring at a flickering blue screen as my so-called friends bellow ("And through it alllllll, she offers me protec-SHUN..."), wail ("My eternal flaaaaaaame...") and screech ("I'm a Barbie girl...") through a back catalogue of songs that you only ever hear at weddings and work parties. "Gangsta's Paradise"? Who says white middle-class boys can't rap? The Grease megamix? Well, one song's never quite enough, is it?

Read for change: Instant dinners are getting a makeover

How do you fancy tucking into a Thai coconut curry instead of a curling cheese sandwich in your lunch hour? Or sitting down to a pea and mint risotto, or canellini and borlotti beans with curly kale and broccoli just minutes after you get home from a long day at work? Over the past few years, ready meals have been undergoing a revolutionary makeover, but they still have as many enemies as champions: are microwave dinners exemplary of all that is slothful and unhealthy about the British public? Or the ideal short cut to fitting a proper meal into a hectic schedule?

Simmy Richman: The Best Rock & Pop albums of 2008

‘For sheer chutzpah, it’s hard to top the LA-based indie gospel group Bodies of Water’

Ring the changes: Think out of the window box this Christmas

Give what you'd most like to receive: narcissi, slug rings and 2kg of brain compost

Sales slump hits B&Q

Retail group Kingfisher today said sales at its B&Q business were down nearly 9 per cent amid the slump in consumer spending.

Pandora: Gwyneth's makeover leaves her hubby cold

Gwyneth Paltrow recently underwent an attention-grabbing transformation, going from macrobiotic goody-goody to steeple-heeled glamour girl.

Bites: The truffles or the testicles, sir?

Credit crunch? What credit crunch? Bury your head in the sand for a night at Zafferano, the Michelin-starred Italian in Knightsbridge, for its annual "truffle menu", which features gloriously extravagant comfort-food dishes, including cheese fondue, risotto and sweet zabaglione, all made with white truffle.

The City and the Mountains, By Eça de Queíroz

The Portuguese Dickens, Eça de Queíroz (who spent almost 15 years as consul in Newcastle and Bristol), left this last novel behind on his death in 1900. As timely now as then, it follows – with a smart balance of satire, irony and lyric grace – the progress of a rich brat who quits the city to find fulfilment in rural life.

Birmingham named UK's ugliest city

It’s official - Birmingham is the UK’s ugliest city. According to a new survey, it is home to the some of the nation's least-loved buildings.

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Actors front row from left, Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Peter Nyongío Jr., and, second row, from left, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyongío and Angelina Jolie as they pose for a
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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
All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition