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CULTURE TIP: The Luminaries

CULTURE TIP: The Luminaries

Not everyone is going to love the Man Booker Prize-winning blockbuster, The Luminaries. But I did. And not only because the author is a New Zealander (as I am), and the youngest person to ever scoop the £50,000 jackpot. It’s a deep, rich treasure of a book with an empathetic heart. Perfect for the longeuers of Christmas in front of a fire. Set in the 1860s, it starts with a mysterious combination of occurrences: a rich young landowner has disappeared, a prostitute has tried to kill herself, and a large sum of money is found in the house of a dying man. A dozen locals...
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Understanding the Psychology of Your Home

Understanding the Psychology of Your Home

Homes are more than places to live in. They might keep the rain off our heads but they also house a whole host of other issues, things that resonate with us on a deep and symbolic level, a kind of physical manifestation of all our hopes and fears. That’s why when architects are commissioned to design someone’s home, they are also hired to perform a range of way more occult services. You’re there as much to interpret a client’s dreams, intuit their desires, divine their relationships, personalities and attempt to materialise these things into the very fabric of their...
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Blue Really is the Warmest Colour

Blue Really is the Warmest Colour

Some movies are disposable entertainment, leaving nothing behind but the ticket stub. But Blue is the Warmest Colour is not one of them. It’s been two weeks now since I saw it, and – no kidding – I've thought or talked about it everyday, including an intense conversation with Anthony Lane, the man who reviewed it (rapturously) for The New Yorker. My assistant Claudine saw the film last night and we've been discussing it since she arrived this morning. It’s not the 7-minute lesbian sex scene or the controversy around whether the director exploited his young female...
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Why We Fall in Love with Pets

Why We Fall in Love with Pets

I have recently launched a Cat Campaign in my household. It is my firm belief that owning a cat will make both me and my single mother exponentially happier. Pet therapy has widely been used to treat a variety of issues ranging from depression, Asperger’s, ADHD and Empty Nest Syndrome. When her children left home for university, a family friend of mine reluctantly bought a dog to keep her company. Charlie the King Charles Cavalier proved to be this woman’s saviour. During a period of intense loneliness and isolation, she was able to channel her need to...
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Four Thoughts: Alain de Botton

Four Thoughts: Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton, writer, philosopher and founder of The School of Life, is a key thinker of our age. His most recent book, Art as Therapy explores how art may be used in everyday life to help lead a fulfilling and aware existence. Here he shares with welldoing.org his four thoughts on other subjects: money, politics, work, marriage
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10 Tips to Fight Depression

10 Tips to Fight Depression

When we're feeling low, Rachel Kelly advises us to call upon the power of breathing, of action, and of words to thrust us out of the darkness. Ten ways you can help yourself beat depression: You can’t breathe in the future, or in the past. You can only breathe now. By concentrating on your breath, you will still your panic and the anxiety, which tends to make your breathing shallow and fast. Slow breathing helps you stay in the present, another word for a gift. Place one finger over your nostril: this will half the speed at which you breathe. By forcing...
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