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All the week’s wisdom in one place
10-16 September 2021

Behind the headlines

Global Update


Quoted Gavin Williamson 10.9

Gavin Williamson doesnt turn up in person to Universities UK conference in Newcastle – but uses his video link speech to warn universities to get back to in person teaching.

Times education editor Nicola Woolcock on Twitter


Noted lying 10.9

Behavioural economist Dan Ariely, Israeli-American author of The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone — Especially Ourselves has had an influential paper retracted after being caught… lying. Rival academics showed crucial data was faked “beyond any shadow of a doubt”.



Quoted lateral flow 10.9

Just saw someone doing a lateral flow test on a train and its fair to say were all anxiously awaiting the results now.

George Osborn (not that one) on Twitter

After Hours


The hideaway

Gotten Manor, on the Isle of Wight, is mentioned in the Domesday Book. Once a working farm, it’s set in five acres, with a pool, a kitchen garden and views of the south coast. The sensitively restored main house has six bedrooms, a country kitchen and a library, and the outbuildings include a two-bedroom milk house and a three-bedroom cart house. £2m.

The country house

The Hill is a Grade II listed house in Baldersby, North Yorkshire, that’s in need of modernisation. Built in 1850 by William Butterfield, who designed Keble College, Oxford, it has five bedrooms, three receptions, outbuildings and countryside views. There are trains to London from Thirsk station, four miles away. £750,000.

The townhouse

This Grade II listed Regency house is a short walk from the centre of Dartmouth, the south Devon town that hosts the Royal Regatta in August. Blending contemporary interiors and period features, it has three bedrooms, a large kitchen, a generous courtyard garden and views of the River Dart. £985,000.

The cottage

Glendale Cottage is a secluded three-bedroom bungalow in Pembrokeshire, southwest Wales, five minutes’ walk from the village of Saundersfoot and a sandy beach. It has three bedrooms, sea views, a decked terrace and a hot tub. £800,000.

The pied-à-terre

On the top two floors of a Regency townhouse designed by Thomas Cubitt, this elegant Brighton flat has two bedrooms and glazed doors that lead to a balcony with sea views. The loft could be converted into an extra bedroom. £850,000.


Noted orgasm 10.9

Having an orgasm unblocks your nose as effectively as a proper decongestant, according to a study that has been awarded the IgNobel prize. Researchers observed 18 couples and found that orgasms achieved during sex cleared the nasal passages for at least an hour after the event. A good 12-hour nose spray might last longer, but is a lot less fun. In a nod to gender equality, data was only recorded “if both individuals experienced sexual orgasm”.


Quoted internet 10.9

My dad complains about the internet to me as though I built it myself.

Comedian Alexis Gay on Twitter

Five of the best

French châteaux

Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg

This medieval castle in the Vosges mountains was restored in the early 20th century by Wilhelm II. He wanted to make his mark on Alsace, which had been ceded to Germany by the French in 1871.


Château de Chambord

One of the most famous Loire Valley châteaux, Chambord was built in French Renaissance style in the 16th century. Its double helix staircase is thought to have been designed by Leonardo da Vinci.

Fort La Latte

Also known as the Château de La Roche Goyon, this 14th-century castle on the coast of northeast Brittany has views of the Channel Islands. It played a starring role in The Vikings, alongside Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis.

Château Gaillard

This medieval castle is on a hilltop above the River Seine in Normandy. Richard the Lionheart built it in 1196, hoping to defend the region from King Philip II of France.

Château de Brissac

Founded 1,000 years ago by the counts of Anjou and remodelled over the centuries, this château in the Loire Valley has been in the Cossé-Brissac family for more than 500 years.


Noted coffin 10.9

A 4,000-year-old oak coffin the size of a telephone box has been found on a golf course in Lincolnshire. It was dug up as works were being carried out on one of the course’s ponds and contains the remains of a man and a perfectly preserved axe.


They’re back…big gowns

It’s time to “go big or go home” says The Times. The Venice film festival, which ends tomorrow, has seen sequins, corsets and trains galore, as did the Dolce & Gabbana couture catwalk. Strapped for cash? Pick up a hot pink evening gown from Ghost, £147.50, or a sequined tiered dress from Self-Portrait, £450.

We’re loving… Allbirds Trainers

Allbirds is the hip San Francisco shoe brand selling carbon-neutral trainers. Its Tree Dashers running shoes, £120, are made from eucalyptus, with a sugarcane midsole and a merino heel lining.

It’s landed… Rose Inc

“Don’t roll your eyes at another celebrity beauty trend,” says Get the Gloss. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has been “hands-on” developing her make-up line, Rose Inc. The debut collection includes a cream blush and a hydrating concealer, both £23.

It’s cosy… Kamso T-shirt

This is the best kid’s white tee out there, says The Strategist. Made from 100% organic cotton, it has rolled sleeves and sustainable coconut buttons on the shoulders. Grab one for £23.

It’s timeless…Little Greene wallpaper

Little Greene has released a wallpaper collection inspired by National Trust properties. This Belton Scenic wallpaper, £216 a roll, is based on the Chinese bedroom at Belton House, Lincolnshire. It comes in three colours, Oyster, Sunbeam and Pavilion.


From the archives

Jean-Paul Belmondo in action

French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo, who died this week aged 88, always did his own stunts. For one film he had to dive into a piranha-infested river. To check it was safe, he tossed a chunk of beef into the water. When nothing happened, he called action and jumped straight in. Here he is filming The Burglars in 1971.

Quirk of history

Quirk of history hedge 10.9

In 1869 the British grew a 2,300-mile hedge across India, from the foothills of the Himalayas to Odisha, says BBC Future. The 8ft-high “impenetrable thicket of thorny native shrubs” was meant to stop smugglers sneaking salt into British jurisdictions without paying tax – at the time, salt was taxed so heavily that few Indians could afford it. The hedge was guarded 24 hours a day by 12,000 British officers at an annual cost of £162,000. One contemporary historian compared it to the Great Wall of China, but few traces remain today.


6 Sept: Koufonisia, Greece, 24C 👙

8 Sept: Beijing, China, 25C ☔️

7 Sept: Sydney, Australia, 23C 🏄‍♀️

7 Sept: Taunton, Somerset, 18C ☁️

5 Sept: Manikganj, Bangladesh, 33C 🌊

4 Sept: Gaza City, 31C 🌅

5 Sept: Ilulissat, Greenland, 1C 🧊

5 Sept: San Pedro, California, 34C 💧