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The power of sport

The power of sport

What an uplifting, heartening, electrifying and engaging summer of sport it’s been – enough to backflip you out of the armchair and keep you buzzing all year around. The cynics can sit this one out: I’m here to cheer on those whose physical and mental efforts,...

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Time to stop these cruel scammers

Time to stop these cruel scammers

There is no let-up from criminals determined to grab our money through scamming, even from elderly people like my mum. During lockdown, the conmen and women have taken full advantage of our move to online shopping. Fraud now accounts for a third of all crime in...

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After 50 years, Joni’s Blue still speaks to me

After 50 years, Joni’s Blue still speaks to me

Today marks a milestone for music lovers who like songs coming directly from the heart. Like so much music produced during the magical year of 1971, singer songwriter Joni Mitchell’s album Blue stands the test of time. She bares her soul and reveals her vulnerability...

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Raining Cat and dogs

Raining Cat and dogs

I glanced only casually at the sign just as we reached the beach, but the message was crystal clear: ‘No dogs’ in Helvetica and in capital letters. Under it, a symbol of a dog crossed out, just in case. I was excited about the beach, in the same way I was as a kid,...

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Home is where the work is

Home is where the work is

Like everyone, I have my list of things I want to do and places I want to go once normal life resumes. It involves theatre trips with my pal Amanda, swapping overdue Christmas gifts with Cath and Fiona and gazing at gaily coloured embroidery threads in John Lewis’s...

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Market on the green brings new life to village

Market on the green brings new life to village

I’ve been experiencing a tremendous feeling of release as we come out of lockdown. The trouble is, I’m unsure what to make of my new-found freedom as I emerge stumbling into the sunshine. Arranging to meet friends face to face again and finally exchange Christmas...

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What makes us nostalgic for the steam age?

What makes us nostalgic for the steam age?

The vandalism at Ruddington’s Great Central Railway, Nottingham, eight days ago seems to me particularly cruel and mean-spirited. The heritage centre, run entirely by volunteers, had 112 windows of its old rolling stock smashed, with the damage estimated at £80,000. I...

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Humbled by my village’s Covid-19 response

Humbled by my village’s Covid-19 response

I am standing on my doorstep, spatula in hand, two metres away from someone I have never met before, shouting tips on how to stay safe when delivering leaflets. This was just one of a bizarre series of meetings which came about after a remarkable response to a plea on...

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Setting up a business is not for the faint-hearted

Setting up a business is not for the faint-hearted

From the throbbing heart of my burgeoning one-woman business empire – an office chair in front of the iMac every morning – I’m definitely beginning to detect a mood of brisk, get-things-done optimism in the air. It might be the new year, or new decade, or even...

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