I spent the first half of this summer only too pleased at the clouds, downpours and lingering chill in the air. I wanted the skies to reflect my mood, and if I wasn't feeling sunny or blithe, I was damned if anyone else should be.

Naughty, naughty Fay!

Marvel at her manicure! See how she shops! Fay Weldon, Old Feminist Icon, has become an account-card-carrying member of the Harvey Nichols tendency; The Deborah Ross Interview

The Human Condition: Do you love me because I'm beautiful?

Or would you love me more if I feigned ignorance of my own attractions? Hettie Judah asks why women's sexual confidence is such a turn-off

Football: If we lose now blame it on my denim jacket

At Large In France

Oh, we creative types talk such sense

Craig Charles shouting a poem while heading a ball was truly a genuine cultural experience

Football: England the model footballers

THE ENGLAND squad and Football Association officials model their Paul Smith designed World Cup outfits before leaving for France. The players are believed to have favoured the dark blue version of the suit, Glenn Hoddle made the final selection, opting for the lightweight beige fabric with a blue shirt and pale Italian silk tie. The team will sport specially designed cufflinks bearing the England crest. For relaxation, Smith has designed a casual outfit.

RAC ex-members try carpetbagging

MORE than 500 former members of the Royal Automobile Club have tried to rejoin since it announced the sale of its roadside rescue service. Full members will get a payout of about pounds 30,000 when the sale goes ahead later this year to the US company Cendant.

Letter: Guitar goddesses?

Guitar goddesses?



Pass me my busby, and I'll feel a new man

NAKED WE come into the world, and naked we go out; but the bit in between is a trouble, and growing worse. The other day I went to one of those parties where they have cocaine. Doesn't do anything for me, cocaine. Never did. Makes the inside of the nose go numb, but I've never been troubled by the inside of my nose. The odd blow, an occasional reaming with my Roto-Noso Gentleman's Grooming Device ("You Cannot Complete Your Toilet Without It") and, hey presto!, nosey's ticketty-boo. If I had spent years wandering about, wincing and muttering, "Dear God, if only I could find something to numb the inside of my nose", I might have fallen upon cocaine with avidity and relief, but, as it is ... nothing.

fashion: short story

Paul Smith, Katharine Hamnett, Burro and Helmut Lang are in agreement. This summer, trousers are short; if you don't want to catch a chill around your nether regions, you, too, might have to board a plane for Cuba, as did stylist James Sleaford and photographer Jeremy Maher

Feedback: Flash in fashion

After reading your article "Hi-tech is becoming fashionable" (17 February), I was pleased to see so much coverage for the fashion industry's romance with the Internet. I have visited both the Red or Dead and Paul Smith sites and agree that they are excellent.

Sultans of style and Cityslickers

Are British designers coming down to earth? No - but at least they are aiming at fun-loving career women, reports Belinda Morris

Godparenthood that rests on fame, not faith

FORGET the dictionary definition of godparent as "religious trainer". If the prospective one is famous, well-connected or royal, old-fashioned concepts of integrity and spiritual guidance go right out of the window. A famous godparent, or even a godparent married to someone famous is the accoutrement desired by every aspirational parent for their sprog.

Fast Track: Suits and blazers cut by lasers

What do you do if after your first week in an impressive City job you realise your off-the-peg suit doesn't quite come up to scratch? Holly Davies visits Savile Row for a surprisingly affordable answer

Hi-tech is becoming fashionable

The fashion industry has been slow to join the information revolution. But now designers like Wayne Hemingway and Paul Smith are leading the way into cyberspace. Andy Zneimer reports.
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
world cup 2014
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
Career Services

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A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
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Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice