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28 February

In the headlines

It’s “1,215 days late”, says Metro, but a “Brexit deal is finally done”. Rishi Sunak’s Windsor Framework – unveiled with European Commission leader Ursula von der Leyen yesterday – will scrap customs checks on British goods remaining in Northern Ireland and give the Stormont Assembly a say on any changes to EU laws that impact the region. The long-awaited agreement has landed with almost “universal acclaim”, says Politico, with the Independent calling it “unalloyed good news”, and the Telegraph hailing Sunak’s “best day yet”. Even die-hard Brexiteers David Davis and Jacob Rees-Mogg have spoken with “cautious warmth” about the arrangement. A 16-year-old British snowboarder has become the youngest world champion in the sport’s history. Mia Brookes took gold at yesterday’s slopestyle final in Georgia, in part by nailing a trick no woman had completed in competition: a CAB 1440 double grab, which involves taking off backwards, then rotating four times in the air and grabbing the board twice.

Watch the full video here


Artist Katrin Vates embroiders intricately detailed landscapes on to canvas fabric. Each work takes dozens of hours to complete, using nothing but a needle and thread to bring to life everything from soft foliage to cloudy skies. “I very seldom do sketches,” Vates tells My Modern Met. “I prefer spontaneity.” See more of her creations here.

Quirk of history

Scotland originally united with England because of “catastrophic financial failure”, says Merryn Somerset Webb in Bloomberg. In the late 1690s, the Scottish equivalent of the East India Company announced a scheme to set up a colony at Darien, in modern-day Panama, claiming it contained vast quantities of gold and silver. “Everyone who could invest, invested” – and when the expedition ended in disaster, in 1700, it “left much of middle- and upper-class Scotland in ruin”. Seven years later, England helped seal the 1707 Act of Union by giving Scotland a one-off payment of nearly £400,000 (£395m today) – with 60% earmarked for Darien company shareholders. “The deal marked the end of Scottish sovereignty.”

On the way back

Babycham, the sweet pear cider aimed at women in 1970s English pubs, is being relaunched by its inventor’s grandchildren. The retro perry, which was the first alcoholic drink to be advertised on British TV and became famous for its camp baby deer logo, sold more than 144 million bottles in 1977 but has since fallen out of fashion. For 14th-generation booze-maker Matthew Showering, whose grandfather came up with the recipe 70 years ago, the drink shares the same “elite pedigree” as champagne: “In Somerset,” he tells The Observer, “landowners gave the farmers the cider, and kept the perry for themselves.” Gert lush 🍐🍾


If 2022 was all about “Barbie pink”, says Refinery29, this year’s colour craze is “pansy purple”. Sitting somewhere between a “deep indigo and a punchy grape”, the bold hue has dominated summer collections, from Versace’s “head-to-toe violet wedding dress” to Jacquemus’s rich heliotrope shearling jacket. Like the vibrancy of fresh lavender, the shade perfectly “lends itself to the arrival of spring”.

Love etc

During the Second World War, Roald Dahl was recruited by his fellow author CS Forester to be a British spy in Washington DC – specifically, to help entice the US into joining the war. The notorious philanderer “shagged around the socialite wives” of the city, says Helen Lewis in The Bluestocking, but he “met his match in the form of Clare Boothe Luce” – a woman with a sexual appetite even more voracious than his own. He eventually had to beg his superiors to reassign him, shouting down the phone: “I am all f***ed out!”


It’s how New Yorkers with big dogs get around a rule forbidding pets on the subway unless they fit in a bag. Examples of the canny carriers – which also include massive hiking rucksacks and roomy totes – have gone viral on Twitter and LinkedIn this week. See more portable pooches here.



“A pessimist is a man who looks both ways before crossing a one-way street.”

Canadian writer Laurence Peter