Published in The Sunday Times November 22, 2020
When the Green Homes Grant was announced in July it seemed like perfect timing. I was in the process of buying my first home, a draughty Victorian terraced house in Sheffield. The idea that the government would help pay to insulate it properly, and replace the ancient single glazing — to the tune of several thousands of pounds — within a month or so of me moving in appeared . . . almost too good to be true.
Continue reading “The Green Homes Grant is an own goal for Rishi Sunak”
Published in The Independent February 2, 2019
If you’re a British woman, you’ve probably got Mary Quant in your wardrobe. OK, maybe not literally – but if there’s a sleeveless shift or a tunic dress, a Peter Pan collar or a skinny-rib sweater, a pair of brightly coloured tights or even a PVC raincoat, you’re wearing Quant. And that’s before mentioning her most famous creation: the miniskirt.
Continue reading “More than just a miniskirt: Two exhibitions reveal how Mary Quant shaped our world”
Imagine a world where your partner could arrive in an Amazon package. So goes the tagline for Sex With Robots and Other Devices, a new play about to open at London’s Kings Head Theatre. Continue reading “Sex With Robots and Other Devices explores what happens when AI meets shagging”
“A eus le rag hwedhlow dyffrans?” So goes the first track on Le Kov, the second album by Welsh singer Gwenno Saunders. But it isn’t Welsh: it’s Cornish, a minority language spoken by fewer than a thousand people. The line translates as “is there room for different stories?” – and this is the question at the heart of her record, which celebrates variance in language, culture and identity. Continue reading “Welsh singer Gwenno’s new album is in Cornish. It’s one of many ‘lost’ languages being reborn”
I wrote a piece for Oh Comely about a project with pals: Welcome to the Places of My Life sees us visiting each other’s hometowns
I wrote a piece on the 100th anniversary of artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant moving to Charleston, for the Homes section of Tatler.
Your jaw tightens, your tongue tingles, and your cheeks pucker like you’ve downed a shot of vinegar. A first taste of sour beer often comes as a rather sharp shock. But it can soon prove addictive stuff: the perfect crisp, refreshing pint to sup in the sunshine. Continue reading “The beer for people who don’t like beer”
Had you been sitting in the Royal Strand Theatre one evening in April 1870, you might have noticed a giddy young woman in a low-cut cerise silk dress, larking around in a box before repairing to the ladies’ lavatory. If you had looked a little closer, you would have realised this was no lady after all: rather, a 22-year-old man by the name of Ernest Boulton. Or, to give her the name she preferred, Stella. Continue reading “The cross-dressing gents of Victorian England”
I am suffering from absent nest syndrome. Consider it the opposite of empty nest syndrome, when parents pine for their fledged offspring: my parents have moved out of my childhood home, and put their stuff in storage, and gone on a gap year. Continue reading “The joy of wearing my mother’s clothes”
The series Fresh Meat returned to our screens recently – with the gang of Manchester students soon to graduate and face the real world. In the second episode, reluctant teen Luca is sent by his mum round to the flat share, to see how brilliant university life is. Continue reading “Generation Boring? British teenagers are partying less”