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The Blyton question
Controversy in the quiet Buckinghamshire town of Beaconsfi eld where a row has erupted over the legacy of Enid Blyton. A week-long celebration of the author’s life is being planned for June, but some residents are opposing the festival, saying many of...
The Daily: January 21
Message in a bottle One of my dreams as a child was to send a message in a bottle, and receive a reply from a faraway land. As I grew older, I realised that it was an unrealistic and frankly ridiculous idea, or so I thought. I was proved wrong by...
The Town
If you want to find out what someone’s really like, watch them in a crisis. The Town (Wednesday, 9pm on ITV1) is a portrait of a small, provincial place. It could be anywhere in England and, with a small adjustment to the actors’ accents, anywhere in...
The Daily: November 21
General Synod Keeps Women Under Wraps A 12 year legal process to permit women Priests to become Bishops was yesterday thwarted when the General Synod's third voting body, the House of Laity, failed to gain a two thirds majority. This issue, which has...
The Daily: November 19
Obama's Historic Visit President Barack Obama has made an historic visit to troubled Burma. As the first sitting US President to visit the country, he was greeted by thousands of people lining the streets as he announced that his visit, "Marks the next...
On a fragrant trail
I travelled back to London by train in a carriage suffused with the delicate, slightly peppery fragrance of newly picked roses and a hint of something that reminded me of the very best after-dinner mints. The roses, beautiful bunches of them – and the...
Book reviews: 10 August
OUT NOW THE UNINVITED by Liz Jensen (Bloomsbury, £12.99) An original, nightmarish, eighth crime novel from Liz Jensen, whose last, Rapture, was shortlisted for the Brit Writers' Award and selected as Channel 4's TV Book Club Best Read. Similarly...
Book reviews: 15 June
OUT NOW ALWAYS YOU, EDINA by VG Lee (Ward Wood Publishing, £9.99) The Lady contributor VG Lee is no slouch. Already the author of several well-regarded novels, when she turned 60, she decided to train as a stand-up comedian. While her previous books...
The Daily: May 30
Empty gaps filled at the Tate Modern Lucian Freud’s Girl in a Striped Nightdress is one piece that is being showcased at the Tate Modern gallery. In an act of philanthropy, Mercedes and Ian Stoutzker gave the Tate Modern nine other works of art. The...
Maid in Chelsea
The front of the garden is a stylised perennial meadow, with wild-looking perennials and meadow species, loose and naturalistic, and quite romantic in feel.’ Sarah Price is describing her first full-size show garden for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show next...
Theatre Review: 11 May
ON STAGE The perils of only wearing red Hailed as a literary masterpiece, Wild Swans is potent theatre Wild Swans The shelf-like stage of the Young Vic is teeming with market traders selling birds and vegetables, even soup. You can smell it. In the...
10 beautiful hotels to visit this autumn
The leaves are turning and there's a distinct crispness in the air when you wake up in the morning - Autumn has to be one of the most beautiful times of the year in the UK and an idyllic time to escape on a mini break outside of the school holidays. So...
Book Reviews: 30 June
OUT NOW EXQUISITE by Sarah Stovell (Orenda Books, £8.99) On the surface, a deceptively simple literary thriller about obsessive passion between two women, but this debut novel is more satisfyingly complex than that: the prose is assured, the plot...
Dish of the week: Scones with a twist
Great British Bake Off champion Nancy Birtwhistle says of the recipe: A well made scone is light, springy and delicious. They are best served fresh and eaten the same day. The recipe below therefore is for just six scones – you need to eat them all in...
Book Reviews: 16 June
OUT NOW OUT NOW SYMPATHY by Olivia Sudjic (Pushkin One, £14.99) Lives ruled by electronic devices; natural disasters; disappearing aeroplanes: Sudjic’s absorbing debut novel reads like a fictional dystopia. But chillingly, the world she describes is...
Book Reviews: 19 May
OUT NOW GAVIN MAXWELL: A Life by Douglas Botting (Eland Books, £18.99) Best remembered for Ring of Bright Water, his enchanting story of the otters he lived with in a remote cottage in Scotland, aristocratic travel writer Gavin Maxwell (1914-69) was...
Book Reviews: 7 April
OUT NOW WRITER, SAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY by Nicholas Reynolds (William Morrow, £20) A titan amongst American novelists, Ernest Hemingway was as active politically as he was a writer. This new study by a former CIA officer and historian sheds light on his...
Another mother's son
The Nazi occupation of Jersey is largely neglected by cinema but it’s probably the most interesting thing ever to have happened there, apart from that episode of Bergerac that nearly had a car chase. The oddness of the invasion is brought home by a...
Book Reviews: 31 March
OUT NOW CROMWELL: The Protector by David Horspool (Allen Lane, £12.99) When Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660, the Restoration settlement was the legal, national amnesia that forgot all and forgave all (except regicides) for everything that...
Real life cancer stories: Paula
1. When were you diagnosed with cancer? I was diagnosed with lymphoma in June 2014 when my doctors told me my condition was critical and I'd need to start treatment straight away. 2. How was it initially detected? My cancer managed to evade detection...

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Live-in Housekeeper
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