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.
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television The BBC have commissioned a series of programmes doing away with high-production values, commentary, script or drama
Arts and Entertainment
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
Nigel Farage addresses the panel
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable