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17 August

In the headlines

Inflation has hit a 40-year high, with prices rising by a record 10.1% in the 12 months to July. There’s more to come, says The Times: “Britain is on course to suffer the highest inflation in the rich world” in October, with prices increasing 13.3%. Thames Water is imposing a hosepipe ban on its 15 million customers from next Wednesday. Six water companies have now announced restrictions, affecting 29 million people across the UK. Financial pressures are leading thousands to “let off steam” by having affairs, says the Daily Star. Adultery website Illicit Encounters has seen a 169% spike in new members, and a “whopping 85%” of respondents in a recent survey said the money squeeze had tempted them to stray. It’s a “cost-of-loving crisis”.

Staying young

At a recent red-carpet event, Jeff Bezos debuted a newly sculpted “Bravo Face”, says Claire Carusillo in Gawker. The affliction takes its name from the US TV channel, Bravo, which broadcasts the immensely popular Real Housewives series. After 22 episodes of “seeing their perceived facial deficiencies blown up on a television screen”, many cast members rush to the doctor to get their lips, cheekbones and jawlines pumped with filler, and their eyelids and foreheads “lifted and pulled”. The drawback, as Bezos seems to have discovered, is that it makes your face “look enormous on an otherwise standard-size head”.


The Scottish government has been widely mocked after appointing as the country’s first “period dignity officer” not a woman – but a man. Jason Grant, a former personal trainer, will travel the country helping women understand how to access sanitary products. Critics included former tennis star Martina Navratilova, who wrote on Twitter: “This is just f***ing ridiculous… Have we ever tried to explain to men how to shave or how to take care of their prostate or whatever?!?” Susan Dalgety, a columnist for The Scotsman, added: “It takes mansplaining to a new level.”


In a year of odd trends, denim legwarmers are surely the weirdest yet, says Refinery29. After LA designer Sami Miro debuted (and quickly sold out of) a £145 pair, savvy TikTokers have started to fashion their own by hacking the bottoms off old jeans. The trick is to sew elastic bands around the upper hem to stop them falling down.


You might think foul-mouthed Scottish comedian Jerry Sadowitz having his Edinburgh Fringe show cancelled last week is as bad as it can get. But in 1991, an irate audience member at the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal stormed onstage and knocked him out cold. His opening line? “Hello moose-f***ers. I’ll tell you why I hate Canada: half of you speak French, and the other half let them.”

Inside politics

Dave Murden, a driver for BBC’s Newsnight who died recently, was a rich source of political intelligence. He would always pass on what the guests talked about as they were driven to the show, says former Newsnight team member Meirion Jones on Twitter. When Nick Clegg was deputy prime minister, “he was sat in the back of the Dave’s blue Merc” and asked his aide for the three worst questions that interviewer Jeremy Paxman could spring on him. “They ended up being questions one, two and three.”


It’s a $1,790 Balenciaga “Trash Pouch” inspired by a bin bag. The avant-garde accessory, made from luxury calfskin leather, premiered on the catwalk in March and is now on shelves. Designer Demna Gvasalia is unapologetic about the design. “I couldn’t miss an opportunity to make the most expensive trash bag in the world,” he tells Women’s Wear Daily, “because who doesn’t love a fashion scandal?”


Quoted 17.8.22

“If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.”

Katharine Hepburn