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Victoria Lane rss

Town above the clouds: Cordes sur Ciel

Notes on …The Tarn Valley

5 October 2013

Why didn’t I know about the Tarn Valley? I’d often been right next door. But here, north-east of Toulouse, between the baking fields of Gers and the rocky mountains around… Read more

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'Morocco is a diabetic's nightmare'

23 February 2013

Fleeing streets of slush, we touch down in a north African spring, where we are driven through the desert scrub outside Marrakech, passing dusty ochre expanses filled with old plastic… Read more

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Aeolian joys

29 December 2012

It’s 5 a.m., a splashy grey dawn, and we’re out of here on easyJet. Palermo is another world of heat and brightness but we’re not stopping; at the port we… Read more

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

Incredible string band

29 September 2012

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain are performing at the Albert Hall: playing their tiny instruments in a very big space. There must be 5,000 people here, but the orchestra’s… Read more

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Brown study

4 August 2012

Stage hypnotists need the trust of their audience, but also a whiff of danger. So Derren Brown calls his show Svengali, though he is not really an evil puppetmaster but… Read more

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A life in letters

8 October 2011

Diana Athill, now nearly 94, lives in what must be the nicest retirement home in London, a large red brick house at the top of Highgate village, run by a… Read more

Dare to be dull

6 August 2011

After rootling in the BBC archives on the internet recently I started thinking, wouldn’t it be good if more programmes from the past were shown in full? The online archive… Read more

Give Charlie a break

23 July 2011

The boy’s gone to jail. Isn’t that enough? I was watching the news on the evening of 10 December, some follow-up reports about the student protest the day before, and… Read more

In the beginning was the crossword

12 February 2011

On Thursday evening, a stream of distinguished visitors poured through the doors of 22 Old Queen Street. These were the readers who had applied and been picked to attend a… Read more

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For his next trick …

23 October 2010

‘I think he is probably the devil,’ said the work experience boy when I was going to meet Derren Brown, the magician, mindreader, ‘psychological illusionist’, what-have-you. ‘Because he does exactly… Read more

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An 80-year-old mystery

10 February 2010

‘The older I get, the more inclined I am to say those three words: I don’t know,’ says Baroness Rendell of Babergh. She turns 80 this week, and seems milder… Read more