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1-7 October 2021

Behind the headlines

Global Update


quote boris Starmer 1.10

“You can’t rule out the possibility that beneath the elaborately constructed veneer of a blithering idiot, lurks a blithering idiot.”

Boris Johnson on Top Gear in 2003, as recalled by Keir Starmer

Inside politics

Sir Keir lays down the law

Keir Starmer’s party conference speech “took Labour a step closer to power”, says the Daily Mirror. While the arrogant Boris Johnson lurches from crisis to crisis, Starmer delivered a “serious speech for serious times”. The far-left hecklers “only drew attention to the fact they are now on the margins of the party”. And with strong performances from Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves and Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds, Starmer looks like he has a “Cabinet in waiting”.


noted tiktok 1.10

TikTok has reached a billion users in the four years since its launch – half the time it took Instagram.



quoted aldrin 1.10

“I believe that every human has a finite number of heartbeats. I don’t intend to waste any of mine running around doing exercises.”

Buzz Aldrin

After Hours

The country house

Robbie Williams put a lot of love and affection into his 17th-century house in Compton Bassett, Wiltshire, which is now up for grabs. It’s set in 71 acres, with a tennis court, a football pitch, a temple, paddocks, parkland and woodland. Mod cons include an indoor pool, a spa and a helicopter hangar. £6.75m.

The townhouse

On a quiet lane in Hampstead, this Grade II listed Regency house has a paved garden and views across London from the upper levels and roof terrace. The four-bedroom property has been beautifully refurbished, with a Smallbone kitchen, french doors and sash windows. It’s a short walk to Hampstead Heath and the nearest Tube station. £4m.

The pied-à-terre

This two-bedroom flat is in a Grade I listed building on the Plymouth waterfront, near a food market, an outdoor cinema, a theatre and restaurants. It has an open-plan kitchen and living area, Juliet balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows with views of Plymouth Sound, the harbour basin and the Rame Peninsula. The city centre is 20 minutes away. £600,000.

The cottage

Appletree Thatch is a cottage in the pretty Dorset village of Chideock, with three bedrooms, exposed beams, flagstone flooring and stone fireplaces. It’s less than a mile from Seatown for its beach and spectacular cliff walks; or relax in the conservatory, which has views of the garden and the surrounding countryside. £425,000.

The hideaway

Get off the grid at this eco-friendly eight-bedroom farm in the Spanish countryside near Girona, which has 500 olive trees, 200 fruit trees, a pool and a vineyard in its 21 acres. There’s a private water supply and electricity comes from solar panels. As well as the main farmhouse, built in 1805, there are several stylishly restored outbuildings. €1.95m.


noted supermarket 1.10

The Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo is introducing 200 “chat registers” for unhurried customers who want to have a natter during checkout. The initiative is designed to address loneliness, especially among the country’s elderly.


quoted barnes 1.10

“We have a terrible fear that if we stop for a moment we will miss something. The exact opposite is true.”

Journalist Simon Barnes

Five of the best

Pub walks

Norfolk Coast Path and the Neptune

You’ll see beaches, tidal marshes and coastal channels on this five-and-a-half-mile circular stroll from Old Hunstanton, one of Condé Nast Traveller’s best pub walks in the UK. After your hike, head to the Michelin-starred Neptune for locally caught fish and lobster.

Waun Fach and the Felin Fach Griffin, Powys

There’s something for everyone on this 7½-mile hike: spectacular scenery, a village ramble and the highest castle in Wales, Castell Dinas. Once you’ve walked along the Dragon’s Back, you’ll deserve a refuel at the Felin Fach Griffin, famous for its locally sourced dishes.

Rievaulx Abbey and the Star Inn, North Yorkshire

The arches and cloisters of ruined Rievaulx Abbey are a defining part of the North York Moors landscape. This 5½-mile walk takes you through Nettle Dale and over Rievaulx Bridge before you settle in front of a roaring fire in the thatched Star Inn at Harome. Its “modern Yorkshire” menu has earned a Michelin star

Tarn Hows and the Drunken Duck Inn, Cumbria

This two-mile walk is quintessentially Cumbrian: it passes Beatrix Potter’s favourite lake and forest en route to the Drunken Duck. The pub’s name was inspired by real-life ducks that were found passed out on the roadside, having imbibed from a leaking beer barrel.

The Derwent and the Devonshire Arms, Derbyshire

Get the full Chatsworth experience on this 4½-mile wander through Beeley village, past the mills at Rowsley and along the Derwent as it wends through Chatsworth House’s grounds. End the walk with a pint and upmarket pub grub at the estate’s 18th-century inn, the Devonshire Arms.

On the way out

On the way out pasta 1.10

Pasta. Canada exports two thirds of the world’s durum wheat supply, but 49.6C temperatures destroyed the harvest this year. Production fell by a third. “As if fuel shortages are not bad enough,” says Paul Simons in The Times.


It’s dropped… Savage X Fenty

Rihanna launched her latest lingerie collection last week. For lacy bralettes, snakeskin slips and silver lamé shorts hot off the runway, check out the Savage X Fenty website. Two bras cost £29, and they’re now selling men’s boxers too.

It’s sustainable… Gucci nail polish

Gucci’s “romantic and sustainable” Vernis à Ongles nail polish is free from 12 toxins that are commonly used in cosmetics, says Bloomberg. “Durable” and plant-based, it comes in several shades, including cobalt blue and blush pink – but costs an eye-watering £24 a bottle.

It’s suave… N Peal X 007

N Peal collaborated with James Bond’s costume designer, Suttirat Anne Larlarb, on No Time to Die. Its 007-themed collection includes a navy ribbed army sweater, £345, grey combat trousers, £245, and a roundneck T-shirt, £195.

It’s back… chintz and comfort

The English country house has “conquered” the world of interior design, says Airmail. The fashionable are buying fabrics from Colefax and Fowler, sofas from George Smith, kitchens from Plain English and “nearly everything on offer from Soane”.

They’re revolutionary… Pebble Pods

Misho’s Pebble Pod earrings keep your Apple Airpods in place, so you’ll never lose them again. Longlisted for a Dezeen design award, the 22-carat gold-plated earrings are “a bit Black Mirror”, but “very useful”, says The Sunday Times. £88.


From the archives

The name’s Bond, James Bond

When Daniel Craig first played James Bond in Casino Royale, the scriptwriters saved the film’s most famous line right until the end. “The name’s Bond, James Bond” are the last words Craig says on screen. But how does his delivery compare to previous 007s? Watch them all here.

Quirks of history

quirk mr radio philips 1.10

A Dutch electronics salesman is being hailed as an unsung hero of World War Two, says The Guardian. Jan Zwartendijk, known as “Mr Radio Philips”, worked at Philips before becoming acting Dutch consul in the Lithuanian city of Kaunas. In 1940, when the country was under Soviet occupation, he issued thousands of counterfeit visas to Jewish refugees, granting them passage to the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao. His operation was almost thwarted when a curious Russian soldier spotted queues outside the embassy and went to investigate. Zwartendijk saw him off by bribing him with a newly released Philips electric razor, which the Russian declared to be miraculous. A close shave indeed.


24 Sept: Gaza Beach, Palestine, 26C 🌅

30 Sept: Hefei, China, 20C ✨

26 Sept: Sochi, Russia, 15C ❄️

29 Sept: St Andrews, Scotland, 15C 💨

27 Sept: Valladolid, Spain, 14C 🎆

1 Oct: Sydney, Australia, 15C ☁️

25 Sept: Santa Barbara, California, 15C 🚘