The Independent | Commentators

Middle Class Problems: The first 48 hours of our escape to the country are bliss. Then we are bothered by a nagging itch...

If you don't live there, the countryside is easily romanced into an Enid Blyton dreamscape where .....

DJ Taylor: Dutiful citizen Sally Layte's tasks are sadly nearly all superfluous

"Now girls," brisk and beady-eyed Sally Layte instructs her twin daughters shortly before their d.....

Alison says: 'You risk becoming one of those people who sits back and broods inwardly rather than, say, throwing yourself at strangers publicly, which tends to be my approach'

Alison Taylor on relationships: Call it my Warren Beatty phase but, when it comes to romance, you need a little 'what if'

What if... How many bad decisions have been made on the back of those two words? And by the same .....

Tim Key: There is nothing so liberating as a pile of pineapple chunks

I've just ordered 'off menu'. I think that's the phrase I'm after. What I'm saying is, I've asked.....

Middle Class Problems: Our kitchen is still a building site - when will we get to finally use our Smeg hob?

It should all have been over by Christmas: old units out, one little wall down, panoramic window.....

DJ Taylor: Managers flee in terror from female misogynist Amanda Jenkinson

A casual visitor to the Lothbury offices of Messrs Tender & Mainprice, chartered accountants,.....

Alison has decided that her friends and 'concerned' acquaintances aren't the problem - she is

Alison Taylor on relationships: Being alone is a skill, OK?

When I started writing this column, I wrote about how friends, and friends of friends, seem obses.....

Tim Key: I do find it tough to get a tan. I think I'm just not built for it in the way that my dad is

I feel like I'm not getting enough credit for my suntan. I've got one, don't worry about that. I'.....

Jihadist militants leading away captured Iraqi soldiers in Tikrit, Iraq, in June

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now President Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink?

DJ Taylor: Arch manipulator Trisha Parkinson constantly demands that a fuss should not be made

There is perhaps a slight feeling among her many friends that, at 79, Mrs Patricia Parkinson is t.....

Middle Class Problems: Allotment etiquette is tricky - maybe it's time to renew the organic veg-box order?

Courgettes the size of your arm, sweetcorn towering majestically, beanpoles twined gaily with swe.....

Alison says: 'What strikes me as interesting is this fast-tracked meta-relationship and proclamations of intensified feelings from the get-go'

Alison Taylor: It's pursue pursue pursue, like a lovesick puppy, then make like a dead person and disappear

Have you heard the one about 'girlfriend simulation'? Apart from Kelly LeBrock in Weird Science a.....

Tim Key: I wouldn't say I've travelled the world to listen to karaoke, but...

My God. I love karaoke. Not doing it, obviously. But watching it. Or, more accurately, listening .....

DJ Taylor: How does ageing student Lucian afford his (surprisingly expensive) post-graduate lifestyle and what does he hope to get out of it?

People introduced to Lucian for the first time – usually fellow students at the University of Loa.....

Middle Class Problems: Group holidays are innately stressful

Holidays, of course, are about shedding the stresses of daily life. Group holidays, on the other .....

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Day In a Page

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A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

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Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

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This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
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Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

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Al Pacino wows Venice

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Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

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Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

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Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering