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How to do Christmas Lunch, Without Crying

How to do Christmas Lunch, Without Crying

That moment has come – lights and decorations are shining in our faces, crackers exploding, everywhere we turn we are reminded of holidays, fun excitement – it’s the best moment of the year.  Everyone’s gathered to celebrate around the table, to celebrate being together and eating together and cooking together. Even teenagers seem to enjoy Christmas. But there is a dark side, too. Christmas has a dark side. It starts weeks earlier. It’s started now. Fears grow about lists and shopping: will it be good enough, will I make a mess of it, will everyone be happy with their...
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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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What Yoga is and Why You Should Try It

What Yoga is and Why You Should Try It

Ask a hundred yoga devotees, and you’ll get a hundred different answers. But most will agree that yoga in the modern world is having a bit of an identity crisis. At one end of the spectrum, it's an ancient system of physical and spiritual discipline, with its origins in the Indus Valley perhaps as long as 5000 years ago. At the other, it's a multi-million pound industry, a wellbeing cliché that's used to sell everything from probiotic yogurts to cashmere hotpants. Yesterday I saw a poster advertising “BoxingYoga™” – just the latest of many attempts to...
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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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