Any pub or bar worth its salt has its regulars, people you can be sure of running into most nights a week, their steady patronage a welcome affront to the churn of the city. But what do they do over Christmas, when the boozers close?
Sophie McBain speaks to a professional Santa about the highs and lows of the job.
There are daunting challenges for the church at this time of year, says Lucy Winkett
The first time my father caught fire, I was nine years old.
If you’re the kind of person who thinks, “It’s Christmas – A&E will be empty,” and comes in to have their verruca treated, you are wrong.
Alice O'Keefe's "squeezed middle" column.
To St Michael’s Church in Highgate with the children for the annual Christmas concert.
More Marquis de Sade profanity than Enlightenment sweetmeat.
Amol Rajan, editor of the Independent, writes the diary.
At the latest count, wandering round my fun-filled room and my fun-filled mind, looking down the hall, opening drawers and cupboards, I reckon I currently have 20 different collections on the go.
The sculptor takes the NS Centenary Questionnaire.
A former president of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland argues that the word “cancer” is unhelpful in efforts to lead patients away from quacks.
Tyson's early life was characterised by incarceration and petty crime, but he lucked when he fell under the tutelage of boxing trainer Cus D’Amato.
We got a new toilet.
I’ve often thought that sex is just a series of humiliations punctuated by orgasms, and this film is a confirmation of that.
The Rhône and other rivers are the arteries of France’s natural environment, which produces some of the best wines in the world.
My mother struggled to cope as her husband's personality and ability disintegrated as his brain rotted and shrank, until she contemplated committing suicide. In the end my dad died of dementia, but also because dying was the easiest way to treat him.
From footballers’ work rates to the world of Big Data, the cult of “productivity” seems all-pervasive – but doing nothing might be the best thing for your well-being and your brain.
Of course I'm delighted, says Stella Duffy, but it is painful that it has come too late for those many thousands of gay couples denied this equality in the past.
Charles Dickens’s soot-stained Coketown of “unnatural red and black” faded away, now most of those warehouses are listed buildings.
If my son wants to wear lipstick and dresses, that is just fine. We are not the kind of parents who are going to have a problem with that.
The painting that gives me an unmistakable case of Stendhal syndrome is Rembrandt’s <em>Self-Portrait with Two Circles.</em>
The thing about the north is that, of course, there is no such place. It’s full of different places, just like London or Paris, some parts being looked down on, ignored, feeling chippy, feeling slighted.
Rugby league is the product of a very English revolution. It still has an egalitarian, anti-establishment, strictly northern way of viewing the world. That it has failed to make the world listen, or watch, only confirms its outlaw – and so grittily romant
My village, just outside Barnsley on the A635, used to supply the workers for lots of coal mines: Darfield Main, Grimethorpe, Houghton Main, Dearne Valley Drift, Goldthorpe, Barnburgh, Cortonwood; names of closed pits ringing like bells.
Rachel Cooke has now been Down Here far longer than she was Up There, but is still suffused by a hard-to-describe northern sensibility.
Perhaps a cervical screening test is the “gateway to womanhood”, the rite of passage I’ve been waiting for.
Forget chickens, what about battery children?
As the top-performing countries in Asia and Europe demonstrate, excellence and equality are not in opposition – they go hand in hand.