Three years in the Hovel
By Nicholas Lezard - 14 September 8:55

I write this on the third year, to the day, of my arrival at the Hovel. How am I going to celebrate this auspicious anniversary? At the moment I'm thinking of clearing out the fridge.

Plastic’s not fantastic
By Will Self - 13 September 8:23

A rustling and puckered moment at a convenience store somewhere in the switchback of streets skirting Edinburgh's Castle Rock: I have placed a hand of bananas, a half-litre bottle of Volvic and three Mars bars on the counter;

By Sophie Elmhirst - 09 September 8:15

There's talk, predictably, of a civil war within the Lib Dems. Well, we all saw that coming. But the violent fate awaiting Clegg and his clan is just one example of a panoply of conflicts.

I refuse to lose sleep over this
By Mark Watson - 07 September 9:01

By the time you read this, I will be dead. Well, no, not dead, I'm exaggerating. Asleep. Yes, that's more like it.

We should have put puss in the boot
By Nicholas Lezard - 06 September 9:19

Funny to be back in Cornwall for my summer holidays for the first time since I was a child.

Mind the middle classes, Nick
By Alice Miles - 30 August 11:17

The ever-widening gap between rich and poor has meant that the real, low-income, middle classes are

The folks in the queue
By Michael Hodges - 30 August 11:06

The queue is both tempestuous and timid. Indeed, it is large enough to contain many human emotions along its winding length, a length that is only just contained within the confines of the post office.

I haven’t got the bottle to give up
By Nicholas Lezard - 30 August 11:01

I wake up at 7.30am feeling fine. This is never a good sign and, sure enough, by about noon I am feeling rotten. Ho ho, I hear you snigger, Lezard has been at the happy juice again.

Half-marathon man
By Mark Watson - 27 August 9:08

I've decided to run a half-marathon in Bristol. In a couple of weeks. Why not? Well, there are all sorts of good reasons why not. For a start,

The estate agents
By Michael Hodges - 23 August 8:50

The estate agent is apparently honest, very polite and utterly upbeat. "Oh," he says, surveying the dilapidated property we stand in. "This is

The charming, chatty, holiday me
By Sophie Elmhirst - 20 August 12:53

Every year, I'm surprised by the number of people who make it back from their holidays. I always half-expect to get calls from friends or

Doing it for the kidults
By Will Self - 20 August 11:53

Did kidult culture spawn kidult restaurants, or was it perhaps the other way round?

The mosques aren’t working in Bradistan
By Samira Shackle - 20 August 11:49

Bradford's Pakistani community predominantly originates from the Mirpur region. 

The Hangover, Hovel-style
By Nicholas Lezard - 20 August 11:46

I stumble downstairs on a muggy, sultry morning to find, miles from his natural habitat, an adult bull walrus asleep on my sofa.

What if . . . France had taken Quebec
By Dominic Sandbrook - 19 August 8:16

It is the morning of 13 September 1759. On the Plains of Abraham, just outside the walls of Quebec City, Britain is losing its great gamble for world power.

Cameron’s nation of unhappy campers
By Alice Miles - 19 August 8:16

The Prime Minister has suggested that Britons should holiday more in the UK. But for the middle clas

The perils of recruitment
By Victoria Brignell - 17 August 15:39

In the second part of her series on social care, Victoria Brignell describes the challenge of recrui

iMac, therefore I am
By Mark Watson - 16 August 9:30

In the face of Mac-owning fervour, I retreat behind my trusty PC.

The Hovel is a home from Holmes
By Nicholas Lezard - 16 August 9:28

I have become half-obsessed with Steven Moffat's excellent updating of Sherlock Holmes for the BBC. At the time of writing, I have seen only the first two episodes, back to back, but am very impressed.

The genes don’t fit
By Oliver James - 16 August 9:12

It’s lazy to assume that our health and happiness are moulded more by genetic inheritance than by th

Supermarkets should be seen and not herd
By Will Self - 13 August 9:23

Sweets and batteries by the tills - isn't that the way of it? And Good Housekeeping, too.

Down with the masters in lab coats
By Susan Greenfield - 13 August 9:20

It’s time male scientists stopped hogging all the power in experimentation, funding and research and

Laurie Penny on Mad Men: Airbrushing the truth about women
By Laurie Penny - 12 August 9:19

The equalities minister, Lynne Featherstone, wants us to embrace Mad Men’s curvy secretary Joan as a role model. Wrong choice, right idea.

The caravanners
By Michael Hodges - 09 August 9:14

The Yorkshire Wolds make for an unimpressive horizon. Middling chalk downland that struggles north from the Humber for 40 miles, they fail to be truly noticeable at any point between the M62 and the coast.

It’s all gravy down the Stockpot
By Will Self - 06 August 9:13

Will Self and Nick Lezard visit a no-nonsense Leicester Square restaurant.

Harry Potter and the house of bored kids
By Nicholas Lezard - 06 August 9:05

The school holidays. Jesus wept. Because booking things months in advance is not exactly my strong suit, this involves schlepping back and forth between the Hovel and the family home in Shepherd's Bush.

The worried patients
By Michael Hodges - 02 August 9:02

The phone rings for some time before the man behind the reception desk picks up the receiver, listens and then says abruptly, "No, they are not ready. We did say ring for your results on Tuesday. Today is Monday."

My kids have led me to wreck and ruin
By Nicholas Lezard - 02 August 9:00

To Toy Story 3 with the children. I know enough by now about my own state of mind and the efficiency with which the good people of Pixar can churn the human heart, so I am bracing myself.

The psychic cult of Stieg Larsson
By Will Self - 30 July 9:49

Were Stieg Larsson to return from the grave, he'd need a sack of banknotes on his back in order to h

Basking like Alice in the sun
By Nicholas Lezard - 26 July 8:50

The weather is being a bit silly right now, alternating between rain and brightness, but I am holding on to fond memories of last week's mini-heatwave.