Meet the woman telling us it’s OK to fail
An award-winning journalist and novelist with a double first from Cambridge, who looks like she could be Rachel Weisz’s younger sister, on paper Elizabeth Day seems to be one of life’s winners. What could she possibly know about failure? Full story here.
Do you have bad money manners?
“The lack of transparency around finances is one of the reasons why the UK average gender pay gap still stands at 18 percent. It does us no favours when it comes to friendship either.” Full story here.
Advice from my mum (that’ll come in handy for my own daughter)
“When I was a teenager I revelled in the gothic glamour of chipped Tipp-Ex on my nails, with the initials of whoever I fancied overlaid in Biro. It drove my mother insane.” Full story here.
How not to hate your partner after having a baby
“Sometimes it seems we’re trapped in a never-ending game of one-upmanship. It’s as if respective points of view are eclipsed by a baby-shaped moon, blocking each other’s light, leaving both feeling misunderstood.” Full story here.
My mother was right about Christmas tradition
“People padded about in slippers with wild hair like extras from Braveheart. By nightfall everyone – except me – was trolleyed again and I ended up weeping in the bath. I missed my mother – a real adult who had a sense of propriety and structure.” Full story here.
Why I hate Fashion Week
“People with clipboards run around as if in an operating theatre, tasked with performing open-heart surgery blindfolded with only a spoon. The self-aggrandisement is eye-popping.” Full story here.
“Katherine Ormerod, fashion journalist and influencer, is talking to me about social media. Or, more specifically, why social media is ruining my life. It’s probably ruining yours too, especially if, like the average person, you touch your phone 2,617 times a day.” Full story here.
No stomach for dry January…
“‘Why do you have such a strong desire to lose control and to throw yourself into wild abandon?’ asks Ruby Warrington, who has coined the term ‘sober curious’ to describe anyone exploring their relationship with alcohol and considering life without it.” Full story here.
Best new books to read right now
Brexit, social media, a sociopathic sister and a fox with a poetic soul all feature somewhere in this round up of books you should be putting on your wish lists – or treating yourself to – right now. Full story here.
“IT’S a bright autumn morning in east London and I’m having tea and biscuits with a self-proclaimed witch who is preparing to cast a spell on me. With a cat, a cauldron and a crystal ball — as well as long neon-green fingernails and a wardrobe of black — Semra Haksever very much lives up to the ‘witch’ stereotype.”
Full story here.
The politics of raising a girl
“Pink is not just a colour. It’s a message about expectation. Pink stands for domesticity and decoration. If you don’t believe me, go into any department store and take a look at the girls’ toys.” Full story here.
The best afternoon teas in London
I spent a fortnight doing some important investigative research (eating scones and cake and crustless sandwiches) into afternoon tea at London’s most decadent hotels. Full story here.
Best new books about motherhood
From poetry which sees motherhood as another country to a chilling literary thriller, I discuss the books which have fresh perspectives on the role of mothers. Full story here.
Diary of a Mum: Sick bay
“For anyone interested in experiencing the fiery infernos of hell, may I suggest what I assume to be a close comparison: having a baby with diarrhoea and a temperature of 40˚C on a long-haul flight from Cape Town.” Full story here.
Diary Of A Mum: Back to work
“I’m proud of my daughter and I’m sick of pretending she doesn’t exist in case a 25-year-old hipster thinks I’m a mum. I am a mum. But I’m other things too, it’s just a case of believing it.” Full story here.
Best books for girls
Traditionally ‘heroines’ just look pretty in pink as they wait for princes to return lost footwear or rescue them from the top of stairless towers. Tired trope, indeed, but the good news is that there are plenty of children’s books out there that feature girls who are any or all of the following: strong, clever, independent, fierce and witty. I rounded up the best. Full story here.
Getting buff post baby (is a total nightmare)
“I no longer want to wear shirts so huge they resemble the covers people use to protect their cars outside the mansion houses of St John’s Wood.” Full story here.
Review: Luxury Treehouse
“In the mornings you can expect to wake naturally to the sound of birdsong and leaves rustling in the trees, rather like in the original Cinderella animation except woodland creatures won’t actually put your dressing gown on and you’ll spend the much of your time joyfully barefoot and not trying to wedge feet into a glass stilettos.” Full story here.
Portraits from Siberia
This is just one image from Alexander Khimushin's latest collection of portraits. The photographer spent six months travelling across Siberia, capturing the lives of those living in some of the most hard-to-reach communities and inhospitable environments. Full story here.
“It’s as if everything as far as the eye can see has been created by set designers whose brief is to make an environment so otherworldly, vast and overwhelming that it couldn’t possibly exist in real life.” Full story here.
Hot mess: my first night out as a new mother
“Gin and tonics, flutes of champagne, espresso martinis – by 9pm I was roaring about childbirth to a table of terrified male strangers.” Full story here.
Do you worry about worrying too much?
If so, you may have Generalised Anxiety Disorder. And even though it could give you a heart attack, the WORST thing you can do is fret about it. Full story here.
Life in Canada's smallest town
If you've ever dreamed of the quiet life, you'll no doubt be jealous of the residents of Tilt Cove, Newfoundland, where the population is four. Full story here.
Diary of a Mum: Thanks dear friends
“Friends show their love in times of trouble,” so said Euripides, and while I’m not given to quoting philosophers or feeling #blessed by sisterhood, I can’t ignore how lucky I am. Full story here.
Cathedral interiors that will blow your mind
The interiors of England’s 42 Anglican cathedrals are strikingly different. Award-winning photographer Peter Marlow has captured them all on camera. Full story here.
Small Penis Party: the men who celebrate their shortcomings
“It’s Saturday evening and after only one gin and tonic, I find myself surrounded by a handful of completely naked men. Some are young, some are old. Some are fat, some are thin. Some are dancing. One has an elaborate network of chains dangling from his goolies. But they all have one thing in common. They all have small penises.” Full story here.
How journalists deal with difficult interviewees
Yes/no answers, drunk subjects, walkouts, I've been on the receiving end of them all, and learnt the hard way how to get the best out of human zip-mouth emojis. Full story here.
Pigging out in complete luxury
“The kitchen isn’t mean with portions, presenting helpings that were presumably prepared with Henry VIII mind and this can almost be frustrating so you’ll need to manage your greed from the get-go.” Full story here.
Diary of a Mum: Weaning and delusion
"I might be the next Ella of Ella's Kitchen," said I, fantasising about a new life as a human brand with my own TV show. Unfortunately the joy of weaning a baby onto pureed pumpkin is short-lived. Full story here.
Ian McKell on his iconic image, Babs
Photographer Ian McKell has documented British life throughout his career – from teenagers in seaside towns to punks and gypsies. Here, he talks about Babs (1976).
Big Top Treat
A travelling circus that tours one of the most picturesque corners of Britain and boasts hits of nostalgia and world-class showmanship in equal measure? I needed no encouragement to hit the big top... Full story here.
Summer in Whitstable
Famous for its native oysters, the charming seaside town of Whitstable celebrates the ocean’s bounty each summer with a festival that marries ancient tradition and ongoing popularity. Full story here.
Beauty and folly are old companions
The word ‘folly’ is defined as something silly, a mistake, a nonsense. So it follows that these buildings – created mainly for decoration or as a show of extravagance, that are fanciful in shape, or have elements of the foolish about them – should share the same name. Full story here.
Diary of a Mum: All the drugs
I said to Dionne, my midwife, that my birth plan was basically “all the drugs”, as well as shutting up for once in my life and listening to instruction. Full story here.