The Saturday Miscellany: How to spin a yarn; Atul Kochhar's bookshelf; Ops&Ops shoes; Katharine Hamnett's t-shirts for Kids Company


How to: Spin a yarn

By Oscar Quine

A well-told tale is a glue that binds its listeners together. Keep 'em hanging on your every word, with these tips from Bobette Buster.

"Focus on a 'gleaming detail' – an image that connects with your audience and captures the emotion and idea of the story at once."

"How you tell the story is part of the magic. Evoke one of the senses – the smell of grandmother's mince pies, the curlicue smoke wafting off grandfather's pipe. It's your telling of the story that lingers, and lasts."

"Lastly, take time over dinner to tell the story of your parents to your children. Neuroscientists have shown that the more a child knows his family's story, the stronger their sense of control and self-esteem."

'Do Story: How to Tell Your Story so the World Listens', Bobette Buster (Do Book Company, £8.99)

Rotating column: A divided house

By Will Dean

There are many problems relating to the economic honeypot that is the south-east. There's that trivial stuff about regional brain drain, disproportionate spending and house prices, and blah blah blah. But consider my problem.

I grew up in Manchester in the Nineties supporting a City team with a propensity for Chaplinesque calamity. As such, I loathed supporters of our cross-city rivals, especially those from a place we referred to dismissively as Down South.

Now, I live Down South and have a son I would soon like to bully into being a football fan. My dilemma – with City being good – is this: do I put his allegiance up to tender, on offer to the most convincing Cockernee footballing bidder and end up taking him to watch West Ham for the rest of my days? Or have a glory hunter in the family?

Bids for your club to @willydean

Instant Ethics

By Ellen E Jones

Dear Ellen

Q. I fancy my colleague. I plan to make a move at the Christmas party. Am I asking for trouble?

A. Yes, you are. Especially if your colleague is junior. Unless you're in the swimsuit modelling industry, falling for someone you see everyday at the office usually means it's time to expand your social circle.


Micro extract: Keeping it real

"Put 'authenticity' into YouTube and an amazing world scrolls down forever. Many of these talking heads are, of course, American; most are busking for their own tiny store-front churches and want to tell you how to be a better person."

From 'Authenticity Is A Con' by Peter York (Biteback, £10)

Four play: Lolita* in pop

1. The Police

2. Marilyn Manson

3. Katy Perry

4. Lana Del Rey

*completed on this day, 1956

All good things

By Charlotte Philby

Flat out

Designed in London, handmade in Portugal, the all-encompassing work-shoe/play-shoe from new label Ops&Ops is probably the finest flat of the season. Available in red patent (above), black patent, gunmetal and bronze. £190;

Teed up

Katharine Hamnett, the ethical fashion designer, has teamed up with Kids Company to create a series of slogan-ed Tees, raising money for the children's charity. £30 (£5 to Kids Co);

Box clever

Forthcoming from Brooklyn-based fabrication studio Bower, this set of six geometric coasters can be arranged to form a trivet, "encouraging playful mosaic building on your table". £14.50;

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