Life and Style
 

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

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/independent/2008/10/spending-powe-2.html">Spending power: Pasta Hut, huh?</a>

Pizza Hut is being re-named Pasta Hut to give the business a healthy, modern makeover. Or is it?

Urban Gardener: Yellow fever

It's raining, and I'm perched rather precariously on a wobbly ladder against some scaffolding overlooking a tiny garden in Hither Green in south-east London. Below me, waiting to have their picture taken, my partner's grandchildren Florence, age seven, and Otto, age six, are being extremely patient.

Paperbacks: The Journal of Dora Damage, by Belinda Starling

Vic-Lit gets gets a female-friendly makeover in Belinda Starling's accomplished, and sadly posthumous, debut novel. Set in Lambeth in the 1860s, it follows the fortunes of Dora Damage, her bookbinder husband, Peter, and epileptic daughter, Lucinda.

Governing body to get makeover with Collins' departure

The departure of Dave Collins was not the only parting of the ways announced by UK Athletics yesterday. The former Royal Marine will be leaving the domestic governing body of track and field and so will his job description. The post of performance director is to be replaced by that of head coach. Charles van Commenee, the Dutchman who guided Denise Lewis to Olympic heptathlon gold eight years ago, is the odds-on favourite to fill it. Niels de Vos, the chief executive of UK Athletics, declined to confirm as much yesterday, but an announcement is expected "in the next few weeks". Van Commenee completes his duties as technical director of the Dutch Olympic Committee when the Paralympics close in Beijing on 17 September.

Paperbacks: The End Of Mr Y, by Scarlett Thomas

Even hardcore science-fiction sceptics will find something to enjoy in Scarlett Thomas's novel about time travel to a fourth dimension. Touching on every genre under the sun – from fantasy to transgressive romance – the novel acts as a crash course in Darwin, Derrida and particle physics. Narrator Ariel Manto is a geeky expert on 19th-century thought experiments, drawn to the work of Victorian novelist and mystic, Thomas E Lumas.

Trinny and Susannah slide out of fashion

They were queens of the makeover show, and a generation of women trusted their style advice. So what caused Trinny and Susannah's crowns to slip?

Preview: Hedda, Gate Theatre, London

Carrie Cracknell and Natalie Abrahami haven't been in the job for long, but the artistic directors of the Gate Theatre have been making their mark on its line-up of international drama. Last year's The Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents and I Am Falling were forceful statements of intent. Next on the list is Hedda, Lucy Kirkwood's modern-day makeover of Ibsen's play, in a symbiosis of dance and drama.

Is it time West Side Story got a 21st-century makeover?

This month, 'West Side Story' returns to the London stage in a form unchanged since 1957. Time for a 21st-century makeover? Certainly not, says its original lyricist, Stephen Sondheim...

Album: Blue Blokes 3, Stubble (Fledg'ling)

As members of 3 Mustaphas 3, Ben Mandelson and Lu Edmonds were playing footloose and fancy-free with blended roots music “forgeries” as far back as the Eighties, so the string-band crossovers done in cahoots with folk-blues guitarist Ian Anderson on Stubble should come as no great surprise.

If I Were You, Library Theatre, Manchester

Ever imagined yourself inside your husband's (or wife's) body? No, me neither, but Alan Ayckbourn has a vivid idea of what if must be like to find yourself with the physical attributes of the opposite sex while retaining your own personality.

Ballroom glitz: Designer Helen David has given her historic sitting-room a riotous makeover

This room used to be the ballroom in this late-Georgian house in Highbury, London. The original room has been divided up but it retains that sense of grandeur and it's lovely to have a place where you can picture what might have taken place in centuries past.

Game review: Twisted Metal - Head-on: Extra twisted edition

Originally a PSP title, Twisted Metal: Head-On was one of the handheld console’s best launch titles.

Urban gardener: Designs for living

Three years ago, when the Gardeners' World presenter Joe Swift told me he was about to launch Modular Garden, a design and build company that took its lead from the TV makeover, I remember being slightly pessimistic about its chances. The public had grown weary of people storming into gardens, ripping the guts out of it and cobbling something together on a tight budget and an even tighter time schedule and occasionally (and this is the incredible bit) without the prior consent or approval of the owner. What those poor people had to put up with for our entertainment is no one's business. I mean they're hardly likely to turn round at the pay-off and say, "Bloody hell! What have you done to my garden you bastards?" Joe and I (together with the talented Ann-Marie Powell) worked on such a series on a new housing estate six years ago when the genre was at its peak of popularity. With no clients to deal with and having to build 15 gardens in 15 days, the whole thing was slightly surreal and we still bear the scars from the sound of cheap decking, flimsy screens and blue gnomes being ripped out.

Pope needs makeover, says Franco Zeffirelli

Franco Zeffirelli would like to make over what he called Pope Benedict XVI's "cold" image and his "showy" clothes, an Italian newspaper reported yesterday.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there