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We have become a nation of sad pill-poppers. The British, once Churchill’s ‘lion-hearted nation’, are now among the most depressed people in the developed world. The UK ranks joint seventh out of 25 countries, with double the rates of Poland, Estonia and the Slovak Republic. According to the Children’s Society, English children are more miserable

My drug trials

Antidepressants saved my life, I am sure of that. But I am also certain they made my mental illness much worse too. It has taken just under two years from my first very dark thoughts to me feeling sane and — largely — back in control of my mind. That’s not merely because it takes

Big data is watching you

From the outside it all looked haphazard and frenzied. A campaign that was skidding from scandal to crisis on its way to total defeat. That’s not how it felt inside the ‘Project Alamo’ offices in San Antonio, Texas where Trump’s digital division — led by Brad Parscale, who’d worked previously with Trump’s estate division setting

Witness to an extinction

   Laikipia, Kenya   Before vets put him down in Kenya this week, I attended the deathbed of Sudan, the world’s last male northern white rhinoceros, to observe up close what extinction looks like. Like a king he lay on his side, all 2,800 kilos of him. For millennia, his species had been one of

The big fat truth

Sofie Hagen is a young Danish comic I admire. I didn’t see her most recent show, Dead Baby Frog, but I saw her win the best newcomer award at Edinburgh in 2015 and I was happy for her. I liked her sweet face and her fury. The audience treated her as a benign oddity. Because

The Russian wives club

The Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Knightsbridge is nestled in a maze of mews streets and embassy rows somewhere between Harrods and Hyde Park. It’s as much an expat social club as it is a place of worship, and on Sunday mornings it’s packed to the rafters. In what can sometimes look like one big game

Notes on...


When Palestrina wrote his Mass settings and motets, or J.S. Bach his cantatas and passions, they could not have imagined the ways in which their music would be heard today. We can now access sacred music in our living rooms, at work and on the commute: an hour-long compilation of the choir of New College,