These letters appear in the Monday 14th October edition of the Independent
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Tuesday 31 May 2011
Sunday 08 May 2011
My earliest food memory... Sitting on my grandmother's knee in southern Taiwan, watching her wrap glutinous rice dumplings called zongzi in preparation for the Dragon Boat Festival. The other memory I have is trying avocados for the first time after we moved to South Africa when I was six. My mum's friend came over with two of them and slathered them all over bread. My mum took a bite and thought it was gross but then after [the friend] had left, she fried an egg, put it on top and then put some soy sauce on it. It's still one of my favourite breakfasts.
Last Night's TV - Neil Morrissey: Care Home Kid, BBC2; One Born Every Minute, Channel 4; Bored to Death, Sky Atlantic
Tuesday 29 March 2011
Tuesday 21 December 2010
I can't remember a better year for soaringly imaginative Christmas shows aimed at the children-of-all-ages market. Following on from the seasonal smash hits at the National, RSC, Royal Court and the Young Vic, the Hampstead Theatre now weighs in with Beasts and Beauties, a wickedly gleeful and gruesome gallimaufry of tales by the Brothers Grimm as reworked by Carol Ann Duffy, dramatised by Tim Supple and Melly Still, and directed by the latter.
Thursday 28 October 2010
Wednesday 06 October 2010
It is a fortunate minister indeed, but also a shrewd one, who announces a set of reforms in an unpopular area of policy to almost universal applause. We are talking here not about Iain Duncan Smith, who presented his plan for the most substantial reform to welfare "for a generation" with a disappointing lack of detail, but about the Justice Secretary, Ken Clarke, who gave the Conservative Party conference an outline of his plans for far-reaching change in prisons. From party stalwarts to officials and prison reform lobby groups, Mr Clarke's plans were warmly received – and rightly so.
Sunday 03 October 2010
The inaugural fillies' and mares' race planned for 4 December at the Bundall racetrack in Australia's Gold Coast City has run into a spot of trouble with the sport's state governing body, Racing Queensland Ltd. The idea of women in beachwear bursting from the stalls for a dash down the main straight in the Bikini Track Sprint, first prize £3,000, somehow doesn't appeal to the RQL chairman, Bob Bentley, but the Gold Coast Turf club aren't backing down. Perhaps they should leave the final decision to Gold Coast City's mayor, Ron Clarke, who spent quite a lot of time himself running on a track in skimpy clothing in the 1960s, setting 17 middle-distance world records in the process. No such fuddy-duddy attitudes in Sydney, where last week four sheilas set a world record for the fastest relay race in stilettos, teetering the 4 x 80m course in 1min 04sec wearing 3in heels. Stay classy, Australia.
Sunday 25 April 2010
Friday 02 April 2010
Once upon an election campaign, John Prescott found himself struggling with his temper after an onlooker pelted him with an egg. Now it's the turn of the former deputy PM's photogenic wife, Pauline, to bare the brunt of a grassroots protest.
Friday 19 March 2010
In chapter four, the author explains it was peer pressure that prompted him to a) throw big balls of soaked newspaper from the school bus window and b) watch Top of the Pops.
Saturday 20 February 2010
Over the past two months press releases have been popping into journalists' inboxes with one recurring message: porridge sales have glooped into orbit. Manufacturers and retailers recorded rises of up to 70 per cent during the cold snap when shoppers sought a warming bowl for breakfast.
Sunday 27 December 2009
An American journalist, Norah Vincent made her name with her 2006 account of the year she spent living as a man, a project requiring her complete "immersion" in the experience. It also saw her locked up in a psychiatric ward by her own volition, after a nervous breakdown. Her time in the psych ward occasioned a second bout of "immersion journalism" and this, her second book, about her experiences. What she found was shocking, if not surprising.
Sunday 01 November 2009
This mouthwatering anthology caters for every taste: the greedy, the curious, the lonely, the in love... Food spreads itself into many areas of life, and topics covered here in bite-size form are as diverse as kitchen cooking and food as a form of art. "The place I like best in this world is the kitchen," writes Banana Yoshimoto, while Angela Carter's protagonist seeks succour in the "domestic geography" of a new house – identity hinges on a slice of currant cake.
Tuesday 28 July 2009
Sunday 10 May 2009
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
- 1 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 2 HeForShe campaign: Iceland to follow up Emma Watson speech with UN women's rights conference – for men only
- 3 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 4 Teenagers irritable because early school hours mess with their biological clocks
- 5 Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand