Life and Style

Q. I'm a single mother in my forties and I think I've begun to develop some kind of social phobia. People think of me as quite a confident person. I'm fine dealing with people in my work and at the school gate (I have two sons aged 11 and 14), but I dread any social event.

Festival goers arrive for Bestival 2013 at Robin Hill Country Park on the Isle of Wight

First summer without a festival - does this mean I'm getting old?

After too many summers spent getting drunk on warm cider and soaked by cold rain, is it time for a year off?

Chalk Talk: A tour with Blondie? That's top-notch work experience for students

Some experiences that you notch up as a student you just can't beat.

Reginald D Hunter

Reginald D Hunter at the PFA Player of the Year awards: Right man, but wrong event at the wrong time

The Independent's Sam Wallace, who was in attendance at last night's awards, provides an insight into events

Brit Awards 2013: nominations in full

Emili Sandé is the most nominated artist up for four awards followed by Rita Ora, Mumford & Sons and Alt-J with three nominations each

Rizzle Kicks have been confirmed for the Isle of Wight Festival

Rizzle Kicks added to Isle of Wight Festival line-up

Hip hop duo Rizzle Kicks have been added to the line-up of the Isle of Wight Festival along with 1980s favourites T'Pau.

Bob Geldof hasn't played with the Boomtown Rats' since 1986

Music: Bob Geldof reckons it's boomtime for the Rats

"It's time to re-Rat, to go back to Boomtown for a visit," Bob Geldof said as he announced the Irish post-punk outfit that really don't like Mondays were to reform for shows including a Sunday-night spot at the Isle of Wight Festival.

Paloma Faith would put Fifty Shades of Grey in Room 101; comedian Jack Whitehall hates 'glamping'

What gets my goat! 'Room 101' returns

A new set of celebrities reveal their pet hates. Jonathan Owen investigates

The launch of ‘He Ain’t Heavy...’ in Liverpool

Justice Collective's Hillsborough charity single He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother wins chart battle beating Simon Cowell-backed X Factor winner James Arthur

Proceeds from ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’ will pay legal costs for relatives campaigning for justice

Ellie Goulding and Debbie Harry of Blondie

Blondie, Ellie Goulding and Bloc Party join Isle of Wight line-up

Singer-songwriter Jake Bugg, Blondie, Ellie Goulding and Bloc Party are among acts added to the line-up of next-year's Isle of Wight Festival.

Paul McCartney goes for Christmas chart-topper with Hillsborough tragedy charity single

Sir Paul McCartney is to take on the X Factor for the Christmas number one after joining the line-up of a Hillsborough charity single.

Wogan addresses BBC's Savile crisis on 'Children in Need' as appeal beats 2011 total

The BBC's Children in Need appeal raised more than £26 million during this year's live television show, beating the 2011 total.

Where's Pudsey? No sign of BBC's Children in Need with only three days to go

Three days before the BBC hosts its annual Children in Need telethon it is desperately fighting to shore up public trust in the organisation.

Gary Barlow to play at Chris Evans' pub

Take That frontman Gary Barlow has signed up to play what could be the smallest gig of his career - in DJ Chris Evans' pub.

Gary Barlow tops singles chart with official Diamond Jubilee song

Gary Barlow and his Commonwealth Band have leapt to the top of the chart this week with Jubilee anthem Sing.

Paul Epworth and Adele

Behind every female superstar...

When Adele's producer stepped into the limelight at the Grammys, a Svengali was unmasked, says Elisa Bray

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions