After admitting to other Black dads he found parenting difficult, Marvyn Harrison began transforming his relationship with his kids
It was on Father’s Day, five years ago, that Marvyn Harrison sent a heartfelt message to his friends that would change his life for ever. Back then, his son was three and his daughter was six months old. And he couldn’t seem to help feeling constantly like a fake, an impostor. “I felt like I was being fraudulent,” he says.
He was going through the motions of being a loving dad and a supportive husband, without feeling the intense emotional bond with his children he had always expected to feel. Looking back now, he says, “I didn’t understand how to connect deeper.”
Find unspoiled nature, uncrowded shores, peace and tranquillity on these small islands
Côte d’Azur too hectic? Try peaceful Porquerolles, one of the Îsles d’Hyères islands that lie just a ferry-hop away from Hyères on the French mainland. With no cars allowed, the only way to get around this densely wooded island is on foot or bike, and the only sound is the crackle of fragrant pine needles under your wheels. The best beaches, such as Plage d’Argent, hug the north coast. They’re busy during high season, but once the daytrippers have left, peace reigns again. Right in the heart of the village, Hôtel Résidence Les Mèdes offers rooms and apartments. From £138 per night, hotel-les-medes.fr
As interest grows with TV shows, books and now a major a new exhibition in London, the idea of repairing beloved items is about more than cash
Early in 2020 Claire Catterall, senior curator at London’s Somerset House, began exploring the potential of an exhibition about mending. Inspired by the proliferation of social media hashtags #visiblemending and #mendingmatters, and pop-up repair cafes, she observed a new generation of thrifty fashionistas wanting to preserve clothing using traditional methods and contemporary creativity.
“There was growing interest in the craft of repair,” recalls Catterall. “Artists such as Celia Pym and Bridget Harvey spearheaded an artistic approach to the process, and mending felt relevant to all the conversations about sustainability.”
It had been years since I’ve visited York. The last time involved leaving, not so much on a jet plane but a steam engine. This time I arrived on the regular train, from Leeds. As I’d left Leeds the number of hens and stags alighting was staggering and as I arrived in York the number of them roaming the streets, a blaze of pinks and oranges and Hawaiian shirts, equally so.
This did not deter me from finding Tempt York, a plant-based chocolatier that had been recommended to me, along a little street called High Petergate within the city walls.
The Cooking With the Stars presenter eats a lot of cake and doesn’t mind a microwave – but won’t go near anything that has a shell
I’d never seen a “Hollywood handshake” before I got one [on The Great Celebrity Bake Off]. So when he shook my hand, I was like: “Aww, thanks Paul.” Then we were filming afterwards and I realised: “Err, it’s a thing?” Now I’m annoyed because I probably didn’t relish it enough. But it was a very firm, warm, slightly moist hand.
You basically eat biscuits and Deliveroo when you work on a TV show. For example, Cooking With the Stars or The Voice involve long, consecutive days, 8am till maybe 11pm. And your dressing room is filled with sweet treats that you love and you feel shit after eating them every single day for 10 days. Then you order from Deliveroo and eat it in your dressing room, on your own during a break. Sorry to shatter the illusion.
If you dream of salt pans and chalets on stilts, wild heather-clad hillsides and car-free isles …Hidden … Greece | Croatia | Italy | Portugal
France, the world’s most popular tourist destination, is getting back on track this summer with a focus (and a €50m government investment) on eco-friendly holidays, slow travel and sustainable tourism. That means going beyond the usual hotspots to an unexplored France of bamboo forests, pink salt pans, chalets on stilts, prehistoric horses and maybe a weekend as a lighthouse keeper.
The author on her close friend Toni Morrison, her fear of rodents and a 24-hour flight without smoking
Born in New Jersey, Fran Lebowitz, 71, had a column in Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine in the 1970s. Her first book, a collection of essays entitled Metropolitan Life, became a bestseller, as did her second, Social Studies. In 2021, her documentary series Pretend It’s a City premiered on Netflix and was nominated for an Emmy. She lives in New York City and brings her show An Evening with Fran Lebowitz to the UK later this month.
When were you happiest?The moment I realised I knew how to read. I was five.
As the temperature rises, no one wants to spend hours at the stove, and these no-cook recipes tick all the right summer boxes
At this stage of the year, three days from its longest day, “cooking” is often more about shopping and assembly than time standing at the stove. I like to spend a moment making interesting and punchy dressings and infused oils, then using them in near-instant meals. Fruit- and veg-wise, the bounty of colour, flavour, shapes and sizes around in summer means that much of the work has, joyfully, been done for us already.
UK readers: click to buy these ingredients from Ocado
UK readers: click to buy these ingredients from Ocado
The US cosmetics firm has filed for bankruptcy, unable to keep up with online competition and celebrity-led brands
The end of the pandemic was supposed to usher in another “roaring 20s”, with bumper makeup sales as wearing lipstick became a “symbol of returning to life”. But the party is over for one of the most storied names of the makeup business, after Revlon collapsed under the weight of its debts.
It is a story of social media star power trumping old-school glamour in today’s beauty industry.
Stylist Hannah Bullivant radically downsized into a second-hand static caravan to save for a deposit
In January 2021, Hannah and Dave Bullivant posted a leaflet through every letterbox along the main road in their village. The note asked the residents of Oare in east Kent if they could move their cars on a particular day to make way for a wide load that would be travelling through the village to a field behind their friends’ house.
“There were two or three incredibly tight corners with very, very old buildings on either side,” says Dave. “We knew it was going to be tight.” Within moments of the leaflet landing, Dave’s mobile started to ring. “It caused such a furore,” he recalls. “People were coming out on to their doorsteps to voice their concerns. It took all of my placation skills to calm everyone down and explain that it’s all going to be OK.”
Make the most of heritage tomatoes’ individuality, or add spicy zing to cherry tomatoes and put seasonal produce centre stage
Tomatoes may be available all year, but the quality of those grown in the UK in summer is unsurpassed. Farmers’ markets display a bounteous beauty pageant of them: misshapen tomatoes that look like pumpkins; the silky-fleshed and saffron-coloured ones; the grape-sized, candy-sweet ones. I am always in search of the ripest, juiciest, most fully flavoured fruits. They’re robust enough to eat with only some olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt, but applying some heat enhances and concentrates their natural sweetness.
UK readers: click to buy these ingredients from Ocado
UK readers: click to buy these ingredients from Ocado
This simple lentil dish uses spices, an onion and beetroot leaves to create something truly tempting, inexpensive and easily adaptable
Today’s dish is from my book Eating for Pleasure, People & Planet, in which I write: “The streets of Paharganj in Delhi are home to some of the most delicious foods I’ve ever eaten. I love exploring on foot, tasting treats from stall to stall, like fresh lassi, fried puri, samosas and sweet jalebi. However, my favourite dish is perhaps the most frugal: dal fry, a classic lentil dal topped with freshly fried spices, chillies and vegetables.” Beetroot leaves are widely used in India, popular for their earthy flavour and nutritional value, and go perfectly in a warming bowl of dal.
Netflix, my phone and the new fizzy water device are all conspiring against me
A few weeks ago: I’m in Connecticut, driving my father, who is 100, to his doctor. It’s in an area I haven’t been in for years, and although I’ve entered the destination into my phone, I can’t make the map come up on the hire car’s screen. During a sharp left the phone slides from its perch, and is now issuing muffled instructions from under my seat.
“I was fine until I got the flu last month, when your brother was away,” my dad says.
Chef patron Gareth Ward has brought Wales its first two-star Michelin restaurant with this moody converted coastal hotel – and no swearing at staff was required
At the National Restaurant Awards on Monday, Ynyshir, a restaurant with rooms nestled in dense woodland on the Welsh coast, topped a list that was otherwise mainly dominated by London.
In some ways, it was an unsurprising result for chef Gareth Ward, who was awarded his second Michelin star in February (a scoop for him, but arguably more pleasing for Wales, which has never had a two-star restaurant before).
Prof Rachel Batterham thinks obesity can only be tackled with concerted cross-government action, Les Bright says the Tories should be used to dealing with admin problems, while Peggy Thomas says obese people are not greedy, they are poor
Sir Michael Marmot is right to say that the government’s national food strategy won’t tackle the obesity crisis (Food plan unlikely to beat obesity crisis, leading UK inequalities expert warns, 13 June).
Obesity is a complex, multi-factorial disease that can only be truly tackled with concerted cross-government action. Given the government’s recent delay on banning multibuy junk-food deals and advertising these products before the watershed, the promise that the upcoming health disparities white paper will set out further detail on food and diet may be met with some scepticism.
In Seville, Dior plays with elements from flamenco and bullfighting but the big style takeout is the fan
Hiding behind sunglasses is so last year. With the UK and Europe facing a heatwave while rising energy prices drive up the cost of keeping cool, the It accessory for summer 2023 is a handheld fan.
In Seville, where temperatures soared above the June average to top 40C (104F) this week, concertina-fold fans were the standout style takeout from a Dior catwalk show. Abanicos Carbonell, a 200-year-old fan factory in Valencia, collaborated with the Parisian house of Dior to make black lace fans which swung from the models’ belts.
Whatever blooms you are sporting, style them with a dash of irony to make it clear you’re not stuck in a period-drama time warp
Some types of fashion work best with a dash of irony. Case in point: the floral dress. I love a floral dress in the summer. Who doesn’t? It’s a classic. Look around any office, any train, any park and you will see women covered in daisies and roses, in blowsy painterly blooms or carpeted with ditsy sprigs.
But the best accessory to a floral dress is not a flatform sandal or hoop earrings. It is a tongue worn in one’s cheek. A dash of irony makes the difference between looking like a Sally Rooney character headed to a steamy assignation in the park, and, in the same dress, looking like the Countess of Wessex about to open a garden centre.
Your response very much depends on how seriously at risk you think the child is
I am the grandmother of a six-year-old boy. The mother divorced the father four years ago because of abusive behaviour. Although both parents are British, the mother and her son live in the UK and the father in another European country. The child has a chronic condition which means frequent visits to hospital and daily medication.
The father remains extremely hostile to the mother. Access has been arranged by court order, and the mother is very conscious that the child needs time with his father, which she tries to facilitate over and above the court order. The child’s medication and update on his condition need to be passed over at the handover, but this doesn’t happen because of the father’s hostility.
More women in England are making up for the decades when they felt shut out of the game
It’s Saturday-morning 11-a-side at a football pitch squeezed between a scrubby path running along the River Lee Navigation and a technology campus in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Hackney. A dark-haired woman in red defies a gaggle of defenders with a skilled pass to the front. “Yes! Beginner’s debut, right there,” yells coach Julie Leaff at the top of her Mancunian lungs. The player breaks into a grin.
The camaraderie and joy on the pitch, where women are playing football, some for the first time, is noisy and infectious. This is Clapton Community Football Club’s open access training, one of thousands of grassroots sessions in England that have sprung up as women’s football has advanced. Unlike many targeted at encouraging young women and girls to take up the sport, however, it is for all ages.
Analysis: Asos and other retailers report rise in returns as buyers order many items but keep only a few
Asos warns on profits amid increase in customer returnsOpinion: twentysomething Asos looks more fragile than agile
Asos is blaming a “significant increase” in returns from shoppers as the big reason for its latest profit warning – the third in less than a year.
It is not alone. Retailers across the fitting-room-free world of fast fashion, where ordering online means buying before trying, are processing a deluge of unwanted items. “Everyone is experiencing a swamping of returns,” said Kayla Marci of Edited, a retail technology company. “It spiked after Christmas, and is now higher than it was this time last year.”
We’ve all had an everyday interaction go horribly wrong. Experts give advice on how to handle difficult issues like sex, money and even dog poo
Tricky conversations are easy to put off – but dodging them only makes things harder. They’re often about something that could make life easier or better but the fact that the exchange may be embarrassing or difficult for one party or both, forms a big barrier.
Remembering a few ground rules could make things easier. First: this is a two-way thing. It’s not just about you – the other person may also be nervous, uncertain, defensive, scared or unhappy.
My three ex-wives all found me dull; not in the bedroom, but in every other part of the house
I grew up in Small Heath, Birmingham, known to most as Peaky Blinders territory. I was interested in football and history at school, and studied art and design at Aston University. Birmingham has 35 miles of canals, which intrigued me because my dad was born on a canal boat.
My claim to dull fame came in 2018, when I was named Anorak of the Year by the Dull Men’s Club. It’s an international collective of people – we welcome everyone, not just men – who find joy in the mundane. Our motto is “celebrating the ordinary”. Other members include a drain spotter and a guy who has collected 20,000 milk bottles. After that, newspapers began to dub me “Britain’s dullest man”.
Fast fashion pioneer has changed habits but is yet to prove it can reliably make decent returns on capital
After two decades as a public company, you’d think Asos, “the world’s leading fashion destination for twentysomethings”, would be showing signs of maturity and stability by now. But it isn’t. A pattern keeps repeating: every time the online retailer appears to have achieved lift-off in profits and share price, disaster strikes.
Back in 2014, the problem was a hit to margins for a few years to fund investment: the stock collapsed from £70 to £20 in no time. By 2018, optimism had returned as £100m of annual profits were seen for the first time and the shares soared to £77. Cue woes with new warehouses in Atlanta and Berlin and a plunge to £22.
Our tipsters highlight brilliant spaces great and small, featuring Arts and Crafts design and eco-sensitive planting to adapt to the changing climate
The Walled Garden of Scampston, near Malton, offers so much: it’s a series of contemporary garden rooms within the walls of the 18th-century kitchen garden, and has a beautifully restored conservatory, a garden cafe and a plant shop. In 2003, Dutch designer Piet Oudolf (who co-designed New York City’s High Line) created contrasts in structure and form: from yew pillars, box squares and pleached limes through amber drifts of molinia grasses to the perennial flower meadow. Scampston Hall is the Legard family home and in its grounds you can explore trails through the 18th-century Capability Brown landscape, passing mature trees, follies and an ornamental lake.Gardens-only ticket adult £9, child £5, scampston.co.ukSusanna Callaghan
With soaring flu cases and other illnesses lurking, experts weigh in on which Covid prevention measures are worth keeping up, and which to ditch
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We’re two and a half years into the Covid-19 pandemic and it seems other viruses are making a grab for the spotlight.
There are outbreaks of hand, foot and mouth disease at childcare centres across the Northern Territory and north Queensland, soaring influenza case numbers, and the emergence of monkeypox in Australia (though experts say it’s unlikely to take off).