After wanting to for years, Merryn and I finally did the sums, held our breath, signed the papers, and embarked on a house renovation. It was time. The 150-year-old floor boards of our little terrace home sagged like a tired trampoline, our bathroom leaked and our kitchen walls were crumbling. A third of the house
I have no idea why, but when anything gets too popular, I lose interest. Hip Hop was cool until it went mainstream. I ignored The Hunger Games, have never watched Eastenders, and haven’t seen Barbie (but I have seen Oppenheimer—I’m not always consistent). And so when I found Anthony Doerr’s globally-popular Pulitzer Prize-winning novel All
If you live in the UK and aren't already on it, all the Hermiones, Where’s Wallys and Cats in Hats at the school gate will soon remind you that today is World Book Day. While the UK event focuses on children, the global event (held on April 23) is a day for all to celebrate
In 2010, an 80-year-old antiques dealer named Forrest Fenn walked into the Rocky Mountains, dug a hole, and buried an ornate box full of his finest treasures. Whoever stumbled upon the box would get to keep all the gold, jewellery and gems it contained—over $1 million worth. If the game wasn’t already fun enough, Fenn gave
I saw a beautiful story the other day about a guy named Francis. Leaving his university dorm one morning, he found a group of friends waiting outside waving balloons. It wasn't his birthday, so Francis was confused. Then one of the friends stepped forward, holding a box. "There's no guarantee these will work," he said,
Apparently we are most likely to reflect on our lives at the turn of a new year or when we reach a milestone birthday. Well, a new year has come and a few months ago I turned 50—so I’ve been reflecting! And the discovery I’ve made is that these decades of adulthood, with all their
One of my favourite Christmas artworks is a painting called The Nativity by contemporary artist Brian Kershisnick. The first thing that strikes you is the hundreds of angels swooping across the canvas to get their first glimpse of Mary’s new-born son. After this your eye falls on two delightful details—first, that it isn’t Mary or
From our performance at work to our social media use, in the age of the app we are all being rated and ranked. That's a problem, but here's something we can do about it.