Good news – or bad news, depending on your familial relationships: Spotify Family Mix is finally here in the UK. Trialled in the US and Ireland earlier this year, the new feature was quietly rolled out in the UK three weeks ago and is set to either gently improve or completely ruin your life.
I share my Spotify family account with my entire extended family: my dad (Motown fan, thinks the only good music after 1979 is made by Adele); my sister (embarrassing ska-punk only); my brother (whimsical folk); my boyfriend (metal or Kelly Clarkson, nothing in between); and brother-in-law (claims not to like music, not sure why he has an account). It is fair to say that we have very different musical tastes. So when the Family Mix – where Spotify jumbles together a selection of everyone in the family’s most-played tracks – appeared on our phones last month, the result was absolute chaos.
Frances Hardinge and Liz Hyder create rich worlds, while Holly Bourne explores toxic love
Frances Hardinge is on dazzling form in Deeplight (Macmillan), a fantasy adventure of gods, monsters and mythology. On the islands of the Myriad archipelago, street urchins Hark and Jelt scavenge the deep waters of the undersea for relics of long-dead gods. A dangerous discovery challenges the boys and their friendship to the very core. Hardinge is best known for Costa book of the year The Lie Tree, which was grounded in Victorian society, but here the freedom of an entirely imagined landscape showcases her staggering originality. A masterclass in world-building.
It’s a brave debut author who writes their novel from a first-person viewpoint and in a phonetic dialect, but Liz Hyder does just that in Bearmouth (Pushkin) – and pulls it off. Since early childhood, protagonist Newt has lived in the oppressive darkness and hard labour of Bearmouth mine. The arrival of new boy Devlin lights a spark of “revolushun”, kickstarting a gritty but thrilling tale of power and rebellion. Don’t be fooled by Newt’s naive voice; the novel becomes ever darker as the nightmarish conditions are exposed, including the threat of sexual violence. A bold, arresting first book.
• Coach says team’s semi-final preparation was being filmed • Beatable All Blacks will be feeling the pressure, claims Jones
Eddie Jones has claimed that England have been spied on ahead of their World Cup semi-final against New Zealand on Saturday. Jones also sought to turn up the heat on the All Blacks, who are bidding for a third straight World Cup win, by claiming England have nothing to lose and that New Zealand will be feeling the pressure.
Jones believes that his squad’s training session in Tokyo Bay on Tuesday was filmed from a nearby high-rise apartment block and joked that England had someone spying on the All Blacks in response.
Pendragon, the UK car dealer, continues to be shunted by Brexit uncertainty.
Whilst the improved performance during the period is encouraging, we continue to expect economic and market conditions to be challenging, with the ongoing uncertainty around Brexit impacting consumer confidence.
The full-year underlying loss before tax remains in line with the Board’s expectations.
There’s clear evidence this morning that the clouds of Brexit uncertainty are hurting UK companies.
Shorter-term trading conditions in the UK regional market have been difficult, particularly in the business segment where we have a higher proportion of our revenue, whilst trading in London remained strong.
Premier Inn owner Whitbread: “UK market conditions challenging with business confidence weak, leisure confidence in decline, coinciding with heightened political and economic uncertainty: impacted demand, particularly in regional market, where 80% of Premier Inn hotels located”
Away from Westminster, among those pouring over the details of the Brexit deal were Loyalists in east Belfast who gathered to discuss what meeting organisers described as the ‘betrayal act’.
The Belfast Telegraph reports that one of the speakers was the Loyalist activist, Jamie Bryson, who said it was opportunity for unionists and loyalists to voice their anger.
There needs to be some method of channelling and acknowledging loyalist discontent. Establishment unionism has acted exploitatively and showed poor leadership. This isn’t just about Europe- it has roots in how peace was/wasn’t produced. https://t.co/RYXN6nixyG
It was published last night at 8pm, giving MPs preparing to vote just 12 hours to digest details of one of the biggest constitutional changes to the UK’s status in decades.
But hey.. it’s just 115 pages long, with an extra 126 pages of explanatory notes.
The judging panel’s choice for this award, Jess Vaughan, makes dairy products that fly off the shelves at farm shops. Her secret? A small herd of happy, well-cared-for cows, aka the ‘ladies’
It’s like the milk I remember drinking as a child,” is what Jess Vaughan’s customers tell her when they inevitably come back for more. In an industry that views milk as a cheap and homogenous commodity, sloshing down the motorways in vast tankers, Vaughan has blazed a trail in turning the output of her British Friesians and Brown Swiss into cult ingredients. As well as the milk, her cream, yogurt and kefir are revered for their rich, untampered flavours. Vaughan’s secret? “A small herd of happy cows,” she says, but there’s more to it than that.
I enjoy sex, and have had long-term partners, but I have never experienced an orgasm from penetration
I’m a 35-year-old woman and have never been able to orgasm from penetration. I have had a few partners, some long-term, and I enjoy sex, but can only climax from oral/manual stimulation. Is this normal? Sometimes it’s hard to explain to a partner that I do enjoy it if they do it right (they think there’s something wrong with them or me if I don’t climax from penetration). And sometimes with a newer partner I’m too embarrassed to ask for what I really need. But I don’t want to fake it.
For you – and for most women – the most heightened sensations of sexual pleasure emanate from stimulation of your clitoris. Vaginal penetration will only bring you to orgasm if the nerve endings in your clitoris are sufficiently engaged. But many people do not know this, and the politics of sex and gender have meant that incorrect beliefs have prevailed, and feelings of inferiority and frustration remain widespread. There is nothing wrong with you; your sexual response is completely normative. From now on, take charge of your pleasure. Try to find ways to receive more direct clitoral stimulation during intercourse, perhaps manually (your partner’s hand or yours) or through experimenting with different positions, styles or toys. But if you prefer, just relax and allow yourself to be brought to orgasm separately the way you like. Educate your partners and show them exactly what you need. In most cases they will be grateful for the clear instruction, and you will more profoundly appreciate them – and yourself.
Even better, by playing, at the age of 74, the title role of HBO’s Catherine the Great, Mirren is portraying a woman “half her age”, while simultaneously reminding the world that many women actually like sex. And continue to do so as long as men do. Shocker.
Justin Trudeau has won a second term as Canada’s prime minister, losing his majority but delivering unexpectedly strong results despite having been weakened by a series of scandals that tarnished his image as a liberal icon.
Canada’s 43rd election campaign capped a particularly bruising year for Trudeau, but in the end his right-leaning rivals fared worse
Liberal supporters trickled into the party headquarters in downtown Montreal on Monday night, apparently worried that they were about to witness an electoral comeuppance for Justin Trudeau.
Yet any jitters quickly turned to cheers as the party secured a minority government, thereby rescuing Trudeau’s legacy – and probably tilting Canada’s political landscape further to the left in the process.
The proportion of ethnic minority staff in senior roles is low, even in areas such as London. Why?
It was a Friday evening in spring last year and headteacher Evelyn Forde had arrived at the Association of School and College Leaders’ (ACSL) annual conference dinner in Birmingham. To her surprise, the table she had reserved was already occupied by another woman and her group.
“I said I had reserved the table. The lady said to me: ‘Are you sure?’ I said: ‘My colleagues are on their way. They’ll be here soon.’ And then she said: ‘Oh, I’m sorry! I thought you worked here.’
Court hears job was outsourced repeatedly before fifth hitman offered to stage the death and pocket the payment
A court in southern China has sentenced six men to prison for attempted murder in a hit job that was botched after being subcontracted several times.
According to the Nanning Intermediate People’s Court in Guangxi, in the autumn of 2013 a real estate businessman by the name Qin Youhui hired someone to take out a businessman surnamed Wei, who was suing Qin. But the hitman kept half of the 2m yuan ($280,000) Qin paid and outsourced the job, offering a new assailant the other half.
The name on my passport did not exactly match the ticket which only showed my first and last name
I recently flew from Albania to Italy on a Blue Panorama/Albawings flight booked through Kiwi.com. The day before the flight, I received an email saying that online check-in was not permitted and I would have to do it once at the airport.
When I got there, I was told I could not check in because my passport did not match the ticket, which only showed my first name and surname. The Albawings helpdesk insisted I would have to buy a new ticket for €300 (£259). Kiwi was no help and, given that I could not miss the flight, I had no choice but to buy a new ticket. I researched this and found lots of other people had suffered this fate for failing to include a middle name.
The rapper’s troubled Bristol childhood is at the heart of this ultimately uplifting memoir charting his progression from petty criminal to trip-hop pioneer
It’s nearly 25 years since Tricky stopped pop music in its tracks with Maxinquaye, a debut album of stunning originality and claustrophobic intensity named after his dead mother, Maxine. Her presence hovers over this autobiography from first to last, beginning with Tricky’s earliest memory as a bewildered four-year-old staring into her coffin – she had killed herself – and, in a ghastly echo, ending with an afterword acknowledging the death of his 24-year-old daughter, Mazy.
Between those two events, family is never far away. Most pop memoirs hurry past childhood to the glory years, but Hell Is Round the Corner puts Tricky’s extended clan stage centre; a patchwork of great grandparents, half-siblings, second cousins and scary uncles centred on Knowle West, a 1930s Bristol council estate known for criminality and violence. Tricky describes it as “a white ghetto”, though his own family contained every shade of skin. The young Tricky – plain Adrian Thaws until celebrity arrived – found himself shuttled between relatives, beaten by his step-grandfather and mentored by gangster uncles. One uncle, blaming his sister’s suicide on her husband, was only prevented from “getting” Tricky’s father by the seven-year stretch he was serving in Dartmoor.
US professor’s daughters can now join her – but Leicester offers no help to its researcher fighting deportation to DRC
The Home Office has made a sudden U-turn on its decision to ban the young children of an Oxford University professor, Amber Murrey, from living with her in the UK – the second time in a week it has reversed a visa refusal for the child of an Oxford academic following reports in the Guardian.
Now the university and the elite Russell Group of universities, of which Oxford is a member, are calling on the Home Office to change its rules on child visas.