Category Archives: Life and style

Purple hair, dreadlocks, bad boys: who says Wimbledon has no characters left?

Though the all-white dress code may be restrictive, some competitors – Dustin Brown, Nick Kyrgios and Bethanie Mattek-Sands among them – are doing their level best to stand out

It is a perennial refrain: where are the characters in tennis? Who are this generation’s rabble-rousers, our Jimmy Connors, Ilie “Nasty” Nastase, and, the most indulged brat of all, John McEnroe? Where are the psychologically impenetrable enigmas like Bjorn Borg and Ivan Lendl? Why has the sport become so straitlaced and humourless?

Related: Andy Murray stumbles against Andreas Seppi but bounces back to victory

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Posted in Fashion, Life and style, Sport, Tennis, Wimbledon, Wimbledon 2015, World news | Comments Off

The seven ages of family life: from shotgun weddings to silver splitters

It’s an institution that has undergone huge social change since the Victorian era – and now 90% of Britons say that they are happy with their own family. We chart the progress of a resilient, adaptive way of living

No other institution can have had the last rites administered so often over the centuries and with such relish only to spring back to life, tweaked, transformed, reinvigorated; the death of the family postponed once more. The Greek gods were among the first to bloody the ties that bind. In The Oresteia, written by Aeschylus (458 BC), now adapted for the London stage at the Almeida, father kills daughter, mother kills father, son kills mother and the Furies of Greek mythology beset all those who murder their kin. Nobody wins. Add to that the themes of unnatural mother-son interest (the Oedipus complex) and father-daughter machinations (the Electra complex), and the message echoing through the ages – a favourite of Shakespeare, and fodder for every television soap – is all too clear; in the bosom of the family, no one is safe. And yet …

In spite of the toxic framework in which the family has traditionally been framed, and the continual flow of negative statistics about divorce and breakdown, the latest news for Britain is surprisingly positive. Last week, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, drawing on an international study, reported that the UK is one of the happiest nations for family relationships, with more than 90% of respondents saying they were very happy or fairly happy with their family life, the fourth highest in the developed world. Given the dark tenor that colours kinship in popular culture and the family’s regular battering by critics from left, right and centre, how can that be?

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Posted in Divorce, Family, Gay marriage, Life and style, Marriage, Sexuality, Society, World news | Comments Off

What happens to my late husband’s digital life now he’s gone

Since her husband, Iain, died seven months ago, Caroline Twigg has had to face an unexpected problem – what to do with his online legacy

nyctwigg: Ah, there you are; a Skype username you created while working in New York for a month. And here I am, trying to call someone yet absent-mindedly pulling up your profile. In the tiny square picture icon, you are there in your blue T-shirt, leaning over the table and smiling at the camera. Next to your name it says, “Hear me now”.

That drove me mad; you’d sit there and repeat, “Hear me now? Hear me now?” A deliberately annoying mantra, because you knew I could hear you perfectly well. I would hang up and redial to a laughing you and we’d catch up, but today I sit and stare, wishing I could conjure up that annoying voice again. Even just once.

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Posted in Bereavement, Death and dying, Facebook, Family, Health, Life and style, Social media, World news | Comments Off

Frozen effect: Elsa breaks into top 500 baby names

After the release of the hit Disney animation, the name of its most popular character sparked a surge in real-life children’s names

The name Elsa has rocketed in popularity for US newborns, according to records collated by the Social Security Administration, and the numbers of children being given the name is at its highest level as far back as the SSA’s data is available.

As reported by the New York Times, this surge in popularity is undoubtedly due to the enormously successful Disney animation Frozen, which was released in the US in November 2013. As a result, 2014 saw 1131 girls given the name, landing at number 286 in the popularity list – up from 528 the year before.

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Posted in Animation, Baby names, Culture, Family, Film, Frozen, Life and style, Parents and parenting, US news, Walt Disney Company, World news | Comments Off

Out on the piss? Danish festival recycles urine to make beer

Organisers of Roskilde festival plan to collect 25,000 litres of waste liquid to fertilise barley crops that will ultimately be ‘beercycled’ into pilsner

Under a cloudless sky, shirtless Vikings with plastic cups of beer in hand are queuing excitedly along a patch of sawdust-covered earth to urinate in a metal trough. Their “contributions” are being collected in specially designed storage tanks, which will then be transported to nearby fields to fertilise malting barley for brewing beer.

“From piss to pilsner” is a new initiative being launched at Roskilde – northern Europe’s largest music festival – in Zealand, Denmark, this week. Organisers hope to collect 25,000 litres of urine from more than 100,000 festivalgoers.

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Posted in Beer, Denmark, Europe, Food & drink, Life and style, World news | Comments Off

Caitlyn Jenner in New York – stylewatch

In her first public appearance since transitioning, Caitlyn Jenner goes for a tried-and-tested kind of glamour

Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover was all va-va-voom glamour but for her first public performance since transitioning. Jenner went for an outfit that was would have been very familiar to viewers of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Like her stepdaughters, Kim, Kourtney and Khloe, Jenner is a fan of low-key but high-maintenance style, a formula of simple clothes and “done” hair and makeup, not quite contoured like Kim et al but pretty close. At a bar for gay pride celebrations in New York this weekend, Jenner wore all white: a V-neck T-shirt, belt and broderie anglaise pencil skirt. Nails are manicured, hair is blowdried and skin is glowing. It’s fashionable but discreet, far from look-at-me stuff, even if everyone at the bar where she was would have been doing just that. The takeaway? Jenner is a consummate professional, honed by nearly 10 years being on a reality TV show. This is a Kardashian-Jenner patented look. Expect more when her own series, I am Cait, airs on US TV next month.

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Fears for new mothers and babies as support services are cut across England

Breastfeeding classes, midwife visits and peer support are increasingly being scaled backed or stopped, threatening health and wellbeing of new familes

Support services for new mothers are being cut across England, leading experts to warn that increasing numbers of women will lose breastfeeding advice and face isolation during the first year of parenthood.

Breastfeeding classes, home visits from midwives and “baby cafes”, where parents can gather with their infants, are being increasingly scaled back or closed because of cuts to the budgets of local authorities and the NHS, the Guardian has learned.

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Posted in Breastfeeding, Family, Health, Health & wellbeing, Life and style, Mental health, Parents and parenting, Politics, Public finance, Public sector cuts, Public services policy, Society, UK news, World news | Comments Off