New Statesman
Here comes a regular: Christmas in Soho
By Yo Zushi - 16 December 13:11

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?

New Statesman
Stuck for fun? Rent a Santa
By Sophie McBain - 16 December 13:02

Sophie McBain speaks to a professional Santa about the highs and lows of the job.

New Statesman
Christmas is a time for the church to provide a range of services. No pun intended
By Lucy Winkett - 15 December 15:45

There are daunting challenges for the church at this time of year, says Lucy Winkett

On reading, love and loss
By Laurie Penny - 15 December 15:38

The first time my father caught fire, I was nine years old.

Christmas in A&E is a time like any other. Just take off the deely-boppers when giving bad news
By Brian Kellett - 15 December 15:30

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.

We're writing to Santa this year, but next year it will definitely be different
By Alice O'Keeffe - 15 December 14:28

Alice O'Keefe's "squeezed middle" column.

How to survive the annual carol concert: think about Wenceslas. Or do the crossword
By Nicholas Lezard - 13 December 18:05

To St Michael’s Church in Highgate with the children for the annual Christmas concert.

Will Self: Thoughts on the hermaphroditic hot dog
By Will Self - 12 December 18:02

More Marquis de Sade profanity than Enlightenment sweetmeat.

Taking Jeremy Clarkson seriously, a second honeymoon and the death of an elephant
By Amol Rajan - 12 December 14:53

Amol Rajan, editor of the Independent, writes the diary.

The Fan: Buy one decent item, not a load of second-rate stuff
By Hunter Davies - 12 December 14:34

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.

New Statesman
Antony Gormley: ‘‘If we lose our curiosity, we become less than human’’
By New Statesman - 12 December 14:02

The sculptor takes the NS Centenary Questionnaire.

Why it's time to ditch the word "cancer"
By Adrian Marston - 12 December 12:38

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.

Undisputed Truth: Mike Tyson’s autobiography
By Austin Collings - 12 December 12:14

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.

Blue is the Warmest Colour
Blue is the Warmest Colour is gratuitously dramatic – much like life itself
By Eleanor Margolis - 12 December 12:00

I’ve often thought that sex is just a series of humiliations punctuated by orgasms, and this film is a confirmation of that.

A river with attitude makes a pluckier wine
By Nina Caplan - 12 December 10:15

The Rhône and other rivers are the arteries of France’s natural environment, which produces some of the best wines in the world.

The cup and the knife: the reality of caring for someone with dementia
By Rose George - 11 December 14:32

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.

New Statesman
Why the cult of hard work is counter-productive
By Steven Poole - 11 December 11:53

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.

Equal marriage: The law finally catches up with love
By Stella Duffy - 10 December 15:44

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.

Prawn crackers at the chippy: growing up Chinese in Manchester
By Ben Chu - 05 December 14:28

Charles Dickens’s soot-stained Coketown of “unnatural red and black” faded away, now most of those warehouses are listed buildings.

Squeezed Middle: Staying totally cool with the whole situation
By Alice O'Keeffe - 05 December 8:51

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.

I like to think I'm tougher than I look, but Rembrandt takes my breath away
By Nicholas Lezard - 05 December 8:46

The painting that gives me an unmistakable case of Stendhal syndrome is Rembrandt’s <em>Self-Portrait with Two Circles.</em>

Will a small northern town's football club ever get in the Premier League again?
By Hunter Davies - 05 December 8:43

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.

Why is Rugby League still patronised as a mud-splattered, parochial throwback?
By Anthony Clavane - 05 December 8:24

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

In search of feral apples and underground men
By Ian McMillan - 05 December 8:19

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.

What it means to be northern when you're Down South
By Rachel Cooke - 05 December 8:06

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.

Lez Miserable: How do I tell if I'm a girl or a woman?
By Eleanor Margolis - 05 December 8:00

Perhaps a cervical screening test is the “gateway to womanhood”, the rite of passage I’ve been waiting for.

Squeezed Middle: you need to get out of London regularly to stay whole
By Alice O'Keeffe - 04 December 13:12

Forget chickens, what about battery children?

The lesson of the PISA results: high performance in education means helping your poorest children
By Hollie Warren - 03 December 18:49

As the top-performing countries in Asia and Europe demonstrate, excellence and equality are not in opposition – they go hand in hand.

The future of football depends on the fans
By Martin Cloake - 03 December 16:28

Despite football’s efforts to hamper it, the supporter governance movement is thriving.