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14 June

In the headlines

Britain’s economy grew by 0.2% in April, helped by strong trade in bars and pubs. But there’s “mortgage misery” on the horizon, says the I newspaper: people take out far bigger loans relative to their income than they used to, so interest rates approaching 6% will pummel homeowners as much as the double-digit ones of the 1980s. Russia has lost 54 tanks in the week or so since Ukraine’s counter-offensive began, Vladimir Putin said yesterday. The rare admission of battlefield setbacks came as Kyiv’s forces advanced up to a kilometre on parts of the front line over 24 hours. Doctors could soon be using emojis to communicate with patients, says the Daily Star. According to one US healthcare expert, non-speaking invalids, like those suffering from strokes, could point to an icon to indicate how they feel. “The 👨‍⚕️🛞🌊🐑 now.” (The doctor wheel sea ewe now.)


British artist Justin Bateman uses different-coloured stones to create portraits on the beach. Each pebble picture can take up to five weeks to complete; his subjects include Marilyn Monroe, Raphael’s cherub, the “Stona Lisa”, and Cristiano Ronaldo. See more of his work here.

Inside politics

When she resigned as leader of the SNP in February, Nicola Sturgeon was “hailed by self-regarding sensibles across the land”, says Steerpike in The Spectator. Her Westminster colleague Ian Blackford called her “the finest First Minister Scotland has ever had”; The Guardian’s Owen Jones said she was “the most formidable politician we’ve got” and a “class act”; former Observer editor Will Hutton praised her “graceful, clear, honest resignation speech”. I wonder, in light of her arrest over campaign finance issues, if they’ve changed their tune?

Staying young

As Britain’s weather gets properly hot for the first time this year, says Hannah Coates in Vogue, here are a few tips for getting to sleep on a sticky night. For starters, keep your windows shut during the day – when it’s hotter outside than in – and have a cold shower in the evening to get your body temperature down. If you’re feeling more adventurous, try taking a frozen hot-water bottle to bed, or sticking your pillowcases in the freezer for 15 minutes before you hit the hay. And for those with a really high-risk appetite: “position a bucket filled with cool water next to your bed” and dip your foot in it as you drift off.


Donald Trump’s arraignment has generated an avalanche of commentary, says The Washington Post – not least from interior designers. Among the photos released from his Mar-a-Lago estate was a picture of a shower room stacked with boxes under an enormous crystal chandelier. What on earth is a light fitting like that doing in a bathroom? It looked “simultaneously decadent and drab, the light fixture equivalent of Miss Havisham”, especially when paired with a flimsy beige curtain on a tension rod. Still, the picture does make Trump more relatable: “The former president, like so many of us, has an outdated bathroom in disrepair.”


To The Economist:

Should you translate place names into your own language? When living in Spain, I was amused to note the locals refer to Newcastle as Nuevo Castillo. New York was Nueva York, Cape Town Ciudad del Cabo and St John’s in Newfoundland the delightful San Juan de Terranova. Curiously, the reverse process seems less common, as we all go to Las Vegas rather than to The Meadows and Buenos Aires rather than Fair Winds.

David Scott, Isle of Man



They’re dew-drop nails, this summer’s hottest manicure, says Bustle. It’s all about adding what looks like a “subtle splash of water” to your fingertips, bringing to mind pool parties and trips to the beach. The 3D technique is hard to perfect at home, so it’s best to go to a salon where they have the proper resin moulds to create droplets. Another option is pre-made stick-on dew drops, but be warned – it takes “some patience to get them just right”.




“A bad lawyer is one who can make a case stretch on for ages. A good one can make it go on even longer.”

Victoria Dowd (a lawyer)