Lifestyle

A new start after 60: ‘Exercise is my lifeblood – so I decided to run my first marathon at 74’

Rajinder Singh was five when he learned to run. While his father hand-cut the grass to feed their buffalo, in the village of Devidaspura in Punjab, Singh sat on a nice clean sheet, so the ants didn’t bite, and watched. When the work was done, his father taught him “how to jump rope, how to […]

Lifestyle

The schoolday I’ll never forget: ‘A teacher smashed my friend’s nose with a rounders bat’

When I was eight, I lived in fear of never making a friend. Then I made one, and lived in fear of her finding any other friends. Rosie was in the year below, puckish, quite surreal and completely carefree, which made her magnetic. You couldn’t do so much as a tour of the playground without […]

Lifestyle

The end of the wallet: how phones replaced cash, credit cards and receipts

Name: The wallet. Age: So the word has been around since the 14th century, but it used to refer to a small sack for carrying provisions. The introduction of paper money to the west in the 1600s led to the development of wallets for the way we use them today. Wallets that look like wallets […]

Lifestyle

I know it’s a TV cliche but I still adore the calm of an English village

I am among those who have yet to escape what some are calling Plague Island (Britain) to travel abroad this year. I am considering it, but more likely I will stay in the country for a break. I was thinking: seaside. But now I am thinking: gorgeous village in the Cotswolds or Gloucestershire, or one […]

Lifestyle

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain review – Cumberbatch’s cat artist drowns in quirk

Here is a sentimental biopic that buries you in a fusillade of quirks and tics and flicks, an overegged pudding of a film with producer-star Benedict Cumberbatch once again going into Sherlock Turing mode. He plays eccentric Edwardian artist and illustrator Louis Wain, a lively and arguably brilliant man who might today be considered neurodiverse, […]

Lifestyle

Delivering babies in a Nigerian camp: ‘I’ve had to use plastic bags as gloves’

Having watched a woman and her baby die needlessly after being refused admission to a hospital over a lack of money, Liyatu Ayuba wanted to never let it happen again. The 62-year-old is one of Nigeria’s nearly 3 million internally displaced people (IDPs) – driven out of their homes by the violence of the Boko […]

Lifestyle

Experience: I found the largest truffle in the world

It was 2am when I left the house that night in November 1999. I was heading out into the Motovun forest in Istria, in the north-west of Croatia, to hunt for truffles. Serious truffle hunting is done at night – it’s better for the dogs, as the moisture carries the smell of the truffle better, […]