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On the first day of ... Australian family finds live koala in their Christmas tree

When the McCormicks came home on Wednesday, the Christmas tree in their Adelaide house had acquired a new ornamentThe McCormicks went for a silver, pink and blue theme on their Christmas tree. The old plastic leaves were worn but looked beautiful with baubles on each branch and twinkling lights.But this year the family tree included one very unexpected ornament: a wild – and somewhat confused – juvenile koala. Continue reading...
Tags: Animals, Environment, Christmas, Life and style, Australia news, Wildlife, Adelaide, South Australia, McCormicks


Australian family finds live koala in their Christmas tree

When the McCormicks came home on Wednesday, the Christmas tree in their Adelaide house had acquired a new ornamentThe McCormicks went for a silver, pink and blue theme on their Christmas tree. The old plastic leaves were worn but looked beautiful with baubles on each branch and twinkling lights.But this year the family tree included one very unexpected ornament: a wild – and somewhat confused – juvenile koala. Continue reading...
Tags: Animals, Environment, Christmas, Life and style, Australia news, Wildlife, Adelaide, South Australia, McCormicks


17 delicious loaf tin recipes (that aren’t banana bread)

The traditional 2lb baking container isn’t just for using up fruit – you can create everything from paté to panna cottaA traditional 2lb loaf tin does not weigh two pounds, nor does it cost £2 – even the cheapest model will set you back about £2.50. It is called that because it is designed to accommodate 2lb of bread dough – about 900g.So, it is not a size, but a rough measure of capacity – any 2lb loaf tin will hold about 1.5l of water. The shape, however, will vary from tin to tin – some are b...
Tags: Food, Cake, Life and style, Bread, Baking, Ice-cream and sorbet


How drawing comics is helping me mentally survive lockdown

In quarantine, I’ve faced down loneliness and fear with paper and inkI’m sitting at a cafe table in Paris, wearing impractically high-heeled boots, sipping espresso and blowing cigarette smoke into the air. Here I am swimming in the deep ocean, making friends with an octopus.One week after our state declared official lockdown, I found a way to travel safely, without mask or temperature checks, to explore other worlds and discover a sense of possibility that I acutely miss. Continue reading...
Tags: Life and style, Art and design, Drawing, Paris


I tried hacking my life with Instagram gadgets. Did it work?

Over the course of the pandemic, I’ve been assailed by targeted ads for ‘life-changing’ products – so I put a selection of them to the testIf, like me, you’ve been involuntarily participating in this wild ride people are calling “the pandemic”, you may have experienced the same embarrassing urge as I have. Which is to fill the wide, empty void in your life with things: gadgets, gizmos, subscriptions, speakers, a little brush for your facial hair. Buying stuff online is, simply put, something to ...
Tags: Technology, Instagram, Life and style, World news, US news


The BAME women making the outdoors more inclusive

The British countryside remains a distinctly white and often intimidating place for BAME communities. We interview three outdoor enthusiasts seeking to address this lack of diversity The British countryside being the preserve of the white middle classes is a perception that is backed by stark figures, with ethnic minorities often deterred from heading into the outdoors due to deep-rooted, complex barriers.At the time of the last census in 2011, 13% of the UK population, around 8.1 million people...
Tags: Travel, UK, Fitness, Life and style, UK News, Health & wellbeing, Walking, Day trips, Walking Holidays, Swimming Holidays, Rest And Relaxation, Health And Fitness Holidays, Natural England


'The equals of Klee and Matisse' – the Alabama quilt-makers who shook America

They made quilts to keep the cold at bay. And their bold creations ended up being hailed as masterpieces – the visual equivalent of jazz and blues, tokens of solace and defiance in tragic timesLoretta Pettway Bennett remembers well the moment everything changed for her tight-knit, rural community. The 20th century was drawing to a close. She was in her late 30s, living with her husband and sons on the site of an old cotton plantation on a deep bend in the Alabama River. Any spare time she could ...
Tags: Art, US, Alabama, America, Life and style, World news, US news, Culture, Art and design, Craft, Matisse, Boykin, Alabama River, Klee, Pettway Bennett


Elliot Page: star of X-Men and Juno announces he is transgender

Actor takes aim at transphobic politicians and ‘those with a massive platform who continue to spew hostility’, saying they ‘have blood on [their] hands’Elliot Page, who rose to fame as the lead in teen pregnancy comedy Juno as Ellen Page, has announced he is transgender.“Hi friends,” he wrote on a variety of social media platforms, “I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot.” Continue reading...
Tags: Gender, Celebrity, Film, Life and style, Society, World news, US news, Transgender, Culture, Sexuality, LGBT rights, Ellen Page, Juno, Elliot, Elliot Page


Elliot Page: star of Juno and X-Men announces he is transgender

Actor takes aim at transphobic politicians and ‘those with a massive platform who continue to spew hostility’, saying they ‘have blood on [their] hands’Elliot Page, who rose to fame as the lead in teen pregnancy comedy Juno as Ellen Page, has announced he is transgender.“Hi friends,” he wrote on a variety of social media platforms, “I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot.” Continue reading...
Tags: Gender, Celebrity, Film, Life and style, Society, World news, US news, Transgender, Culture, Sexuality, LGBT rights, Ellen Page, Juno, Elliot, Elliot Page


The virus that stole Christmas: meet the Santas giving this season a miss

They are used to spending Christmas up close and personal, but the criteria for playing Santa – being older and overweight – put them at significant risk of catching coronavirusRandyl Lee Walker starts bleaching his hair and beard every October. Both are dark, so it takes six weeks to reach the snow-white shade he’s going for. When he’s finished the result is nothing short of transformative. Related: Elbow bumps and open windows: UK scientific advisers' Christmas tips Continue reading...
Tags: Family, Gender, UK, Christmas, Life and style, Unemployment, Infectious Diseases, Santa, Lee Walker, Coronavirus


Deep dive: empty swimming venues during lockdown – in pictures

In the last of our lockdown diaries series, photographer David Levene visits some of his favourite swimming venues in London Continue reading...
Tags: Photography, Science, London, Fitness, Life and style, UK News, Culture, News photography, Art and design, Swimming, David Levene, Coronavirus


'We all need magic in our lives': how Santa's grottos moved online to beat the pandemic

It’s 130 years since Father Christmas first appeared in a department store. But this year is the strangest one yet – with virtual calls taking the place of shopping centre visits. Is it enough to keep the ho ho hos flowing?Five bearded men, dressed head to toe as Santa, wearing fur-trimmed face masks, file into an office building in London and sit behind wooden desks – laptops and webcams in front of them. The room has been made magical with the addition of a red and gold curtain, a snow-flecked...
Tags: Technology, London, Christmas, Life and style, Retail industry, Britain, Acting, Santa, Jimmy Wales, Lovell, James Lovell


It's Father Clickmas: can Santa save Christmas over Zoom?

It’s 130 years since Father Christmas first appeared in a department store. But this year is the strangest one yet – with virtual calls taking the place of shopping centre visits. Is it enough to keep the ho ho hos flowing?Five bearded men, dressed head to toe as Santa, wearing fur-trimmed face masks, file into an office building in London and sit behind wooden desks – laptops and webcams in front of them. The room has been made magical with the addition of a red and gold curtain, a snow-flecked...
Tags: Technology, London, Christmas, Life and style, Retail industry, Britain, Acting, Santa, Jimmy Wales, Lovell, James Lovell


Bake me happy: 10 deliciously different mince pie recipes

From the perfect traditional version, to brownie hybrids, deep-fried delights and a throwback from 1591, homemade never looked so goodNothing should make the heart sink quite as much as the phrase “homemade mince pies”. The chance of failure is simply far too high. Pick a bad recipe and you run the risk of serving up a tray of inedible pastry bin lids gummed together with a miserly Marmite smear of mincemeat.But it doesn’t have to be like this. An endless array of mince-pie variations are now av...
Tags: Food, Christmas, Life and style, Christmas food and drink


Scandal’s Kerry Washington: ‘My mother’s nightmare was for me to be a starving actress’

She hit the big time playing the high-powered political fixer Olivia Pope. In real life, she has spent years campaigning for Kamala Harris and her fellow Democrats. So what’s someone who lives and breathes politics doing in Ryan Murphy’s musical The Prom?In a rational world, somewhere deep in the Democratic National Committee headquarters, a small staff would be hard at work planning Kerry Washington’s presidential bid. “Washington 2028: Tough on Scandal” or “2032: Ms Kerry Goes to Washington” –...
Tags: Kerry Washington, Film, Washington, Scotland, Life and style, Culture, US television, Ryan Murphy, Kamala Harris, Ray, Democratic National Committee, Olivia Pope


Desperately seeking headbangers: the lonely hearts who found love in the back pages

It was tough being a punk or metal obsessive in a small town. Seven fans who sought love or friendship via music mag ‘lonely hearts’ ads tell us if they found what they were looking forFrom headbangers in Hastings to new romantics in Norwich, pen pals and lonely hearts columns were a staple of music magazines from the 1970s to the 1990s. Hopeful, passionate and bored fans sent in their photos, names, addresses and obsessions for publication and crossed their fingers, hoping for a big response. D...
Tags: Music, Media, Relationships, Life and style, Society, Newspapers & magazines, Culture, Pop and rock, Magazines, Punk, Yorkshire, Young People, Social history, Norwich, Southend, Hastings


'I stopped trying to control my body': the women who gave up grooming in 2020

From shaving to threading to dyeing to painting, the little touches that used to seem so important have been squeezed out by the pandemic. And many Britons are all the happier for itDuring the first lockdown Afsaneh Parvizi-Wayne, a 55-year-old entrepreneur, went for a drive around London. “I remember looking in the rear-view mirror,” she says, “and I noticed all these little hairs coming out of my chin. That was a bit of a shock. Like, bloody hell, I’ve really been growing these out.”Parvizi-Wa...
Tags: Fashion, London, Makeup, Life and style, Beauty, Women's Hair, Afsaneh Parvizi Wayne, Parvizi Wayne


Creative therapy and shared support can help with grief after losing a child

A retreat for grieving parents provides therapeutic benefits, writes a mother whose daughter was stillborn 22 years agoAfter my daughter Grace died when I was eight months pregnant, my first impulse was to write it all down: the birth, surrounded by candles; the coffin and funeral where there should have been a christening; how her death had been accompanied by snowdrops fighting their way through the frozen ground in the first stirring of spring. I felt I was the only one really to have known h...
Tags: Psychology, Family, Science, Life and style, Health & wellbeing, Death and dying, Parents and parenting, Grace


My husband donates money to the church, but leaves me short

It’s not about the money, says Mariella Frostrup. You describe your husband as if he were a stranger, so think hard about your futureThe dilemma I’m a 60-year-old woman and although I have worked for years teaching English, I have always been financially dependent on my husband. He is very involved in the evangelist church and gives them a percentage of his salary. The knowledge of this, together with a constant struggle to get by, has made me feel so bitter. I contemplated leaving, when the chi...
Tags: Family, Marriage, Money, Life and style, Mariella Frostrup


Leap of faith for historic home in France

To renovate her parents’ home, one French designer insisted they throw everything out and start from scratchAfter graduating from architecture school, Marine Bonnefoy decided it was time to get her hands dirty. “My studies were very intellectually oriented and had no link to actual construction,” she recalls. “By the end of them, I hadn’t even been taught what holds a wall up.” To find out, she decided to spend a year working for a building firm. “I demolished facades with a pneumatic drill, lea...
Tags: France, Life and style, Marseille, Paris, Homes, Interiors, Palais Royal, Bonnefoy


Fendi’s magic touch: the woman behind the world’s most famous handbag

Artisans from every corner of Italy are putting their spin on Fendi’s iconic Baguette bag. Its designer, Silvia Venturini Fendi, explains whyLast year, Silvia Venturini Fendi was on holiday with her girlfriends in Palermo when she came across a small bottega run by a middle-aged artisan and his father. Enchanted by the beautiful handmade homewares on display, she spent all morning in the store-meets-workshop buying up pieces for her Roman home. A passionate preserver of Italian artisanship, she ...
Tags: Accessories, Fashion, Women, Life and style, Italy, Handbags, Palermo, Fendi, Silvia Venturini Fendi, Venturini Fendi


'It stretches the limits of performance': the race to make the world's fastest running shoe

With its supercharged sole, the Nike Vaporfly bounced on to the winner’s platform at nearly every major marathon last year, smashing world records. Can its rivals keep up? Natasha Cockram never really cared about shoes. When the Welsh runner entered her first marathon in 2017, she wore a pair of two-year-old Nike racing flats that cost her £15 at an outlet store. And she was a talented athlete: a former junior cross country and middle distance champion, she had won an athletics scholarship to th...
Tags: Nike, Sport, Life and style, Running, Athletics, Oklahoma, University of Tulsa, Cockram, Natasha Cockram


Blind date: ‘I thought she looked like Emma Watson’

Kate, 25, whisky marketing associate, meets Maz, 24, charity workerWhat were you hoping for?A lovely evening, or a funny anecdote. Continue reading...
Tags: Life and style, Kate, Emma Watson, Maz


Dior sticks by Johnny Depp in defiance of 'wife beater' ruling

Fans pledge to buy cologne still advertised by actor after court finds he abused ex-wifeEvidence suggests defiant Johnny Depp fans have been buying Dior’s Sauvage fragrance in support of the actor, who continues to be the face of the cologne despite a high court judge finding that he violently abused his ex-wife during their relationship.Depp has been the face of the aftershave since it launched in 2015 with an advertising campaign that was criticised for its racist portrayal of Native Americans...
Tags: Fashion, Media, Film, Advertising, Life and style, UK News, Culture, Johnny Depp, Dior, Depp, Sauvage


Climate ‘apocalypse’ fears stopping people having children – study

Survey of 600 people finds some parents regret having offspring for same reasonPeople worried about the climate crisis are deciding not to have children because of fears that their offspring would have to struggle through a climate apocalypse, according to the first academic study of the issue.The researchers surveyed 600 people aged 27 to 45 who were already factoring climate concerns into their reproductive choices and found 96% were very or extremely concerned about the wellbeing of their pot...
Tags: Family, Education, Children, Climate Change, Environment, Research, Life and style, Society, World news, Health & wellbeing, Higher Education, Parents and parenting, Childbirth


‘Let’s bring joy into the house as early as possible’ – why Britain is already celebrating Christmas

At the end of a truly difficult year, Christmas lights, trees and decorations are springing up, and even the shuttered shops haven’t slowed the present buying. What’s behind this race to begin the festive season?A couple of weeks ago, Christmas was unleashed on the home of Wayne Smith and his family. The tub of chocolates has been opened, Home Alone has been watched and the first Tia Maria and Coke of the season has been poured. The tree is up along with retro foil decorations and lights. This y...
Tags: Christmas, Life and style, Britain, Santa, Kent, Coke, Wayne Smith, Tia Maria, Coronavirus, Natalie Miller Snell


Shivering Dublin bay swimmers slighted for their 'fancy fleeces'

Choppy waters as clash of ‘newbie dryrobe types’ with ‘hardy’ bathers swells into debate on tribes and snobberyJames Joyce opened Ulysses with a reference to the “scrotum tightening” effect of swimming in Dublin bay, but these days there is a secondary, somewhat more visible effect: dryrobe bashing.A boom in the popularity of sea swimming in Ireland has filled Dublin’s bathing spots with people wrapped in fleece-lined hooded robes – and for some of the old-timers it feels like an invasion. Conti...
Tags: Europe, Fitness, Life and style, Ireland, Identity politics, Dublin, Swimming, James Joyce, Joyce, Ulysses


Model Halima Aden quits fashion shows over religious beliefs

Aden, one of the first models to wear a hijab, says she is being forced to compromise beliefsThe model Halima Aden has said she is quitting runway shows because working in fashion has forced her to compromise her religious beliefs.Aden, who was hailed as a trailblazer for being one of the first models to wear a hijab and walk for major fashion labels including Kanye West’s Yeezy, posted a series of images on social media that illustrated the times she had lost touch with who she is (from missing...
Tags: Fashion, Social Media, Life and style, US news, Kanye West, Islam, Yeezy, Aden, Halima Aden


'Shadow pandemic' of violence against women to be tackled with $25m UN fund

At least 30% will go to the women-led grassroots organisations that have been ‘critical’ through Covid pandemicThe UN is to spend $25m (£19m) from its emergency fund to address what has been called the “shadow pandemic” of gender-based violence against women displaced by wars and disasters.The money will be divided between the UN population fund (UNFPA) and UN Women, and at least 30% of it must be given to women-led local organisations that prevent violence and help survivors access medical and ...
Tags: Gender, Women, Life and style, World news, Domestic Violence, United Nations, Global development, Un, Lebanon, UNFPA, Sexual Violence, Women's rights and gender equality


Go floret: 17 delicious ways with cauliflower

Roasted, fried or raw, this versatile vegetable is great for salads, curries, steaks and tapas. And don’t forget the always comforting cauliflower cheeseIn culinary terms, cauliflower is often described as a blank canvas, partly because it does not taste of much on its own, but also because it is so very, very white. These days, cauliflower also comes in coloured versions: yellow, orange, purple or the pale green of the fractal-patterned romanesco variety.But if you are buying the white stuff, i...
Tags: Food, Vegetables, Life and style