In the two and a bit years since the EU referendum, successive waves of optimism and pessimism have crashed across the nation as hopes for an acceptable outcome rise and fall. We still don’t know what will be decided at upcoming “crunch” European Union summits – and the possibility remains that, even if a healthy dose of goodwill enables some kind of agreement to be cobbled together, Brexit will be messy. Whatever else, undoing a half-century of integration is bound to cause some distortion. So to be prudent, you might want to “Brexit-proof” your life, just in case. Here is my far from exhaustive guide to some of the things you might (or might not) want to consider as departure day approaches. 1. Stock up on loo roll What could be more essential to civilised life? Right now your local supermarket will happily sell you as many multipacks of Andrex (other leading brands are available) as you can transport home – … [Read more...] about 20 ways to Brexit-proof your life
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Top story: Kremlin’s hackers caught red-handed Good morning. I’m Warren Murray presenting the news digest you should never leave home without. It must go down as one of the most embarrassing months ever for Russia’s military intelligence, Luke Harding writes today – the secretive GRU agency has been publicly, comprehensively and humiliatingly exposed by rival intelligence agencies and online sleuths. The group of men caught trying to hack the OPCW chemical weapons watchdog were outed by mundane details such as their taxi receipts – as well as the compromising of their cover by everything from online college histories and vehicle records to internet dating profiles, car pool records and football team rosters. Our visual guide explains the clumsy attempt to hack the OPCW headquarters in the Netherlands, which happened only weeks after the Salisbury novichok attack. The crack team, who arrived on diplomatic passports, were monitored all the way from the … [Read more...] about Friday briefing: The spies who muffed it
There’s a little lace dress, wrapped in tissue, in my mother’s chest of drawers. It is a tiny christening gown, exquisitely woven in fine silk and perfectly preserved, made for a baby girl who perished in the Siege of Lucknow in 1857. This dress holds a special resonance because that baby girl was a very distant relative of mine. Although her father, a surgeon soldier, survived the battle which foreshadowed the end of British rule in India, tragically his twin daughters and wife died in the Siege. The one remaining link from that long-ago moment is this tiny frock, a frock I too was baptised in. It is why I have always wanted to make a pilgrimage to India. So when the BBC asked me to take part in The Real Marigold Hotel, to live for a month in an old haveli townhouse in Udaipur in fabled Rajasthan, I felt if I didn’t go to India now I never would. How I could come to terms with a show about pensioners searching for retirement when I didn’t feel old … [Read more...] about The Real Marigold Hotel: What a month in India taught me about the country’s poverty, history and serenity
For the fifth year, Weekend magazine has asked me to put together a list of my favourite 200 wines for a Summer Collection. This is such a wonderful challenge that starts with me tasting thousands of wines in order to whittle them down. The wines must be the best of their kind in the country and stunning value for money. Most are new releases and there are loads of previews and first-time scoops too. It’s increasingly difficult to find wines of the highest standard for my Weekend readers. Supermarkets are cutting the number of wines on their lists while endeavouring to ramp up profits, which is bad news for consumers. And unfortunately, some wine on the shelves is very uninspiring. I have, however, found a huge number of wines for under a tenner, which are featured here. Daily Mail wine expert Matthew Jukes (pictured) reveals 200 of the best summer wines to suit every palate and budget There are flavours for every palate and I hope you find a host of … [Read more...] about The 200 best value summer wines… from as little as £4.99!