In 2017, two years after the sudden death of his mother, Robert Willis was clearing out his family’s country home, divvying up his parents’ belongings between himself and his two brothers. It is a poignant
My part in restoring Gladys Deacon, Blenheim's most mysterious duchess, to her rightful place at the palace
There seems to be a most welcome post-Brexit clarion call to get everyone partying in 2020. In this health-conscious age, we may have to eschew lethal Black Ladies in favour of non-alcoholic spritzers
My husband thinks we’re about to reap the financial rewards brought about by a lifetime of hard work. Only I know that we’re deeply in debt. This morning he left for work, in a good mood. He’s looking
My heart went out to the Royal family this week, as the latest divorce was announced. Hot on the heels of the Queen’s grandson, Peter Phillips, announcing his split from wife Autumn, it has now emerged
As Caroline Flack's friend wonders what to tell her daughter, here's how to talk to children about death
The death of Caroline Flack left her friend Lou Teasdale wondering how to explain it to her young daughter. "Anyone have any nice advice for me with an eight-year-old learning about grief?" she asked Instagram.
Perhaps alarm bells should have rung when Agnes, my nanny, suddenly announced she was in hospital, having her tonsils out. She’d only recently arrived from Hungary, and had seemed perfectly healthy the
Put down your cup of cocoa. Step out of your slippers. It might be dark outside, but it’s only 6pm and there are hours until bedtime. It’s time to get outdoors and explore winter, not hide away from it.
I’d always felt like a natural communicator, even before I knew how I might channel that into anything professionally. As a child, I never found it particularly difficult to talk to other kids or to adults,
Dear Richard Madeley: 'I met the girl of my dreams in the strangest of circumstances, but I don't know how to ask her out'
I’ve met the girl of my dreams, in the strangest of circumstances. I work for a big financial institution. Early last autumn we were sent on a military‑style leadership and initiative exercise on Dartmoor.
In the last year of her life, my elderly great-aunt became totally disabled. She always insisted on remaining at home and being taken care of by her only child: a son, my cousin-once-removed, now in his
Twenty hours. This, according to TED speaker Josh Kaufman, is all it takes to become proficient at a new skill – which makes half term an ideal time to take up something new. “Forget 10,000 hours; people
If someone dropped into my house on a Sunday afternoon, they’d find me batch-cooking suppers and chatting to my husband while we try to get our daughters off their gadgets. And yet throughout it all, be
The big green spring clean: how to have a spotless home, without damaging the planet (or your health)
‘I’m so glad you have a properly dirty oven,” is not a phrase that anyone wants to hear from a house guest. Especially one you have met minutes before and are at pains to impress in the presence of a Christina
War doctor David Nott: 'Most humans are good – but it doesn’t take much to push somebody over to the other side'
Last week, David Nott was cycling to his day job in Paddington listening to the radio on his headphones, when a song came on that reminded him of a “joyous time” in his life, before any family responsibilities,
It is difficult, indeed heartbreaking, to watch. A woman in a purple jumper and white trousers leans down, as a pretty young girl in a mauve dress skips around her. The woman Jang Ji-sung, is South Korean,
Dear Richard Madeley: 'How can I rid myself of my toxic friendship with a self-destructive misogynist colleague?'
For the past 20 years I’ve had a close friend at work. He’s around 15 years older than me. Knowing him used to be fun – he was the office Lothario, but his relationships were consensual and with women
There were plenty of messages flying around at the Oscars, but the award for Subtle Messaging went to Natalie Portman’s cape. The actress wore a Dior cape embroidered with the names of eight female directors
But for fans and followers of the clinical psychologist and crusader against political correctness, the good news is he is getting better. This week, his daughter Mikhaila posted a bulletin on her website,
Leap years, or leap days, are a relatively straightforward occasion. At some point during primary school, most of us were told we got an extra day in February every four years, and the rest was history.
Valentine's Day is fast approaching, with plenty of people sure to panic-purchase heart-adorned cards, bumper boxes of chocolate, bouquets of red roses and teddy bears wearing T-shirts emblazoned with
How aware are you of single people, on a scale of 1-10? Do you give them a moment’s thought as you go about your day in a happy couple (or thruple; sure, it’s 2020). Do you know that millions of them among
In Cyrano de Bergerac, Edmond Rostand’s classic 1897 play, the large-nosed titular character desperately wants to confess his love for his beautiful cousin, Roxanne, but worries she will never return compliment
There was a desperate moment, about three months after I gave birth, when I emerged from the pure survival mode of night feeds and colicky days. I still felt broken; functioning but not back to normal,