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All the week’s wisdom in one place
2-8 April 2021

Tomorrow’s world

The seafood industry threatens our oceans

The “mafia-esque” seafood industry uses some shocking practices, according to the new Netflix documentary Seaspiracy. Thai shrimp fleets employ slave labour. Whistleblowers who reveal what the industry gets up to have been murdered at sea. And an entourage of police, secret service and “undercover cops”, says the documentary’s maker, Ali Tabrizi, tried to stop me exposing the damage this multibillion-dollar racket is doing to the ocean.


James Marriott quoted

“Francesca, is that you? We met in Goa! At the breath workshop! Remember?”


The French really are Les Misérables

The French aren’t arrogant, they’re “miserable”, says data analyst Tom Forth in his blog. In polls and discussions, they’ll take the most negative position possible: “Tell them that France is a model country because of its low inequality and they’ll moan that taxes are too high. Celebrate their successful industries like in luxury goods and they’ll moan that taxes are too low.” In January 2020, Emmanuel Macron only had a 40% approval rating, but in a survey offering nearly two dozen alternatives for leader, respondents still picked him.

On the way out

Bame Noted

The government’s race report says the term Bame (black, Asian and minority ethnic) is of “limited value” because of differences between ethnic groups. A survey of “Bame” Britons by think tank British Future earlier this year found they slightly prefer “ethnic minority” as an umbrella label. Only 47% were confident they knew what Bame actually meant.



Staycation Summer quoted

“A lot of people are going to be taking a lot of expensive holidays in not very nice places.”

After Hours

Everyone’s watching


Kate Winslet dusts off her hammer and frock for this romantic biopic about the Victorian palaeontologist Mary Anning. On the rainy, windy Dorset coast in the 1840s, she finds fossils and steamy love in the form of Charlotte (Saoirse Ronan), the wife of a client. It’s one of the best performances of Winslet’s career, says Guy Lodge on the website Film of the Week, “more complex and soulfully felt than some of her most glitteringly rewarded roles, and matched to a film of equally tough-minded grace”.

The townhouse

This four-storey terraced house is in west London, a short walk from Kensington High Street, Holland Park and Earl’s Court Tube. Recently given a stylish revamp by Hogarth Architects, it has four bedrooms, a walled garden, a balcony and off-street parking. £4.25m.

The country house

Wildman’s Barn has a rugged rural exterior that matches its remote setting in the Yorkshire Dales, but inside it’s light and open, with views of the Three Peaks and the Lake District’s fells. The sensitively converted five-bedroom house is set in 31/2 acres, including meadowland, a paddock, a walled vegetable garden and a stream running under a wooden bridge. £800,000

The hideaway

This villa in Punta Galera, on the west coast of Ibiza, is surrounded by countryside and has sea views. But it’s only a 10-minute drive from buzzy San Antonio. The house has six bedrooms, a pool, fig, almond and olive groves, and an outdoor living area with kitchen, barbecue and fireplace. A five-minute woodland walk leads to a hidden cove. €2.9m.

The cottage

Built in the 16th century, this Grade II listed cottage in the village of Coldwaltham, West Sussex, has four bedrooms, landscaped gardens and a wealth of period character. Waltham Brooks Nature Reserve is on the doorstep and there are direct trains to London from Pulborough station, two miles away. £995,000.

The pied-à-terre

This two-bedroom flat is on the ground floor of a Victorian house in Queen’s Park, northwest London. It has high ceilings, a west-facing patio garden and a contemporary kitchen with a vaulted conservatory roof. £750,000


Baguette noted

France is seeking a Unesco listing for the baguette. If successful, it would join the Taj Mahal, the Great Barrier Reef and Stonehenge on the heritage register. Unesco began listing food traditions in 2010 and delicacies with this coveted status include Arabic coffee and lavash bread. The French eat about 10bn baguettes each year – almost 150 a person.


Paddington bear quoted

“I don’t like marmalade any more.”

Five of the best

Lidos: Jubilee Pool, Cornwall

Head to Penzance for a dip in the UK’s largest seawater lido, which has spectacular views of the Atlantic. It opened in 1935 and a geothermal heated pool was added to the complex last year, with toasty temperatures of 30C-35C. Simon Maycock/Alamy Live News

Brockwell Park Lido, London

To celebrate the opening of this Brixton lido in 1937, the Mayor of Lambeth threw a local schoolgirl into the pool. It later fell into disrepair and the site played host to squatters, art displays and performances until it was revamped and reopened in 2007. Alamy Stock Photo

Saltdean Lido, Brighton  

This Art Deco masterpiece is the only Grade II* listed coastal lido in the country. It first welcomed swimmers in 1938, but fell into decline before being restored and reopened in 2018. Chris Harris/Shutterstock

Ilkley Pool & Lido, West Yorkshire

The jewel in the crown of this Yorkshire spa town, this is a large freshwater pool on the edge of Ilkley Moor. In fine weather, the lawn next door is perfect for sunbathing and picnics. There’s a heated indoor pool for colder months. PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo

Bude Sea Pool, Cornwall

Part natural, part manmade, all beautiful, Bude Sea Pool is on Summerleaze beach, on Cornwall’s north coast. It’s sheltered from the harsh waves of the Atlantic, but gently topped up with seawater at high tide. Howard Litherland/Alamy Stock Photo


Economist Red Wall Noted

“Red wall” constituencies have some of the lowest house prices relative to income in the country, says The Economist. They’re filled with homeowners living in “gleaming” new-build suburbs. Given the Tories’ focus on home ownership, the question shouldn’t be why Labour lost the seats, but why it took so long for the Conservatives to win them.


She’s wearing… chunky shoes

Outdoor dining is almost here, and what better way to stomp back onto the social scene than in a statement chunky shoe? Ugg and Molly Goddard’s three-style capsule shoe collection has dropped, and the suede platform clogs bring “a much-needed sense of humour”, says Goddard. Available in navy, red or green, with a soft sheepskin lining, they’ll set you back £320. If that’s too steep, H&M’s chunky sandals are a great alternative for £30.

They’re obsessed with… sofas

“A year into lockdown, and the focus has gone from what you’re lounging in to what you’re lounging on,” says Olivia Lidbury in Vogue. The sofa is no longer just a place to park your derrière while bingeing on a box set, says Tony Freund of the luxury e-commerce website 1st Dibs – it’s the “star player in a room’s décor”. Green is the colour to go for: try one of Maker & Son’s supremely comfy sofas in Malachite, from £3,895, or Swoon’s Althaea in Kingfisher velvet, £1,699.

Everyone wants… electric insoles

If James Bond had running shoes, they’d look something like NURVV’s smart insoles. With built-in GPS and sensors, they track your route, pace, step length, balance and more. Pop them on and run like the wind – we expect you to fly. £250.

It’s pink… eyeshadow

This summer’s make-up trend is here, and Mac has you covered. Recreate Bridgerton star Nicola Coughlan’s neon pink eyes at the Golden Globes or Dua Lipa’s sparkling pink peepers at the Grammys with a Pigment pot in Kitchsmas, £17.50. What’s more, says Vogue, it’s a look that’s super-easy to apply.

We’re excited about… Easter

Deprived of a proper Christmas by the pandemic, Brits are madly preparing for the biggest Easter ever. Sales of Easter trees, wreaths, cards and crackers have gone through the roof, says The Times. Get into the spirit with this beautiful Easter Egg Biscuit Tin from Biscuiteers, £35, or send its Easter rabbit letterbox biscuits to a friend, £25.


From the archives

Life in the year 2000

A schoolboy in 1966 predicts what life will be like at the end of the century.

Desert Island Discs

Kazuo Ishiguro

This month Kazuo Ishiguro published his eighth novel, Klara and the Sun, about the friendship between a little girl and a robot. At 25, he took a creative writing course at the University of East Anglia: after trying to be a songwriter and spending an “intense” year working with homeless people in west London, the idea of going back to university was “very appealing,” he tells Sue Lawley on Desert Island Discs. He grew up in Guildford, Surrey, after moving from Japan at the age of five.

Quirks of history

Quirks of history Florentine Government

The Florentine government cracked down on homosexuality in the 15th century by setting up a sex crime agency called the Office of the Night. Homosexual activity was widespread in Florence at the time, and the authorities feared young men were having so much fun that they were putting off marriage and fatherhood. The majority of Florentine men, including Leonardo da Vinci, were incriminated for “sodomy” at least once in their lifetimes.



Mar 27: Istanbul, 6C 🌙

Mar 28: Sochi, Russia, 10C 🌞

Mar 28: Barcelona, 17C⛱️

Mar 25: Washington DC, 19C 🌷

Mar 29: Kathmandu, Nepal, 24C ⛰️

Mar 20: St-Malo, France, 20C 🌊

Mar 31: Altai, Russia, -8C ❄️

Mar 30: Blackpool, Lancashire, 17C 🌅

That’s it. You’re done