Why are Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez trying to make the world think they're still together?
Why are Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez trying to make the world think they're still together?
On my radar: Nick Laird's cultural highlightsThe poet and novelist on politics, pugs and reading plays over Zoom Nick Laird, poet and author. Photograph: Murdo Macleod/The Guardian
So many people have diabetes—about 1.5 million are diagnosed in the United States each year, and nearly 1 in 10 Americans have it—you'd think it'd be easy to spot. But although the condition is relatively common, many people go undiagnosed because the early symptoms can be vague, easily overlooked at first, or confused with other conditions. Here from Eat This, Not That! Health are the first signals your body might send when you develop diabetes. Read on to learn about the new study—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Signs Your Illness is Actually Coronavirus in Disguise. 1 Increased Thirst A very common early sign of diabetes, increased thirst happens because diabetes causes sugar (glucose) to build up in the bloodstream. Normally, the kidneys process glucose, but when they become overwhelmed, the excess glucose is flushed out with your urine. Water from other body tissues is pulled along with it, leaving you dehydrated and craving fluids to replace what you've lost.The Rx: Experts such as Harvard Medical School advise drinking four to six cups of water per day. If you're hydrating adequately but you've noticed an uptick in thirst, talk with your doctor. 2 Frequent Urination In early diabetes, the body will increase urine production, attempting to flush out that excess blood sugar, and you might find yourself having to go more often. "It's important to know what is normal for your body," says Leigh Tracy, RD, LDN, CDE, a registered dietitian and diabetes program coordinator at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. "The average individual urinates between seven and eight times per day, but for some, up to 10 times per day is normal."The Rx: "If you are urinating more than your norm, and especially if you are waking up multiple times in the middle of the night to urinate, speak with your primary care physician right away," says Tracy. 3 Excessive Hunger Diabetes causes blood glucose to rise uncontrollably. At the same time, it prevents cells from using glucose for energy. That lack of energy can make you hungry.The Rx: "If you notice you're constantly hungry even though you have just eaten regular meals and snacks during the day, you should speak with your doctor," says Tracy. 4 Fatigue Because diabetes elevates blood sugar at the same time it prevents the body from using it for energy, that can make you fatigued. Frequent urination can also disrupt your sleep.The Rx: There's a difference between tiredness and fatigue. Normal tiredness gets better after rest. But if you still feel worn out despite getting an adequate amount of sleep, it's worth discussing with your doctor. 5 Blurred Vision According to the Mayo Clinic, high levels of blood glucose pull fluid from your tissues, including the lenses of your eyes. This can affect your ability to focus and cause blurry vision. Diabetes can also cause new blood vessels to form in the retinas, damaging established vessels. If those changes progress untreated, they can lead to vision loss.The Rx: If you're experiencing any signs of diabetes such as blurred vision, it's important to see your doctor ASAP, and regularly if you're diagnosed. "Diabetes is a progressive disease, even in patients with excellent lifestyles," says Sarah Rettinger, MD, an endocrinologist at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California. 6 Cuts or Bruises That Won't Heal Diabetes can make skin injuries, such as cuts and bruises, slower to heal. High blood sugar can stiffen blood vessels, slowing blood flow and preventing oxygen and nutrients from getting to cuts and bruises to heal them. Diabetes can also impair the immune system, slowing the body's natural repair processes.The Rx: If you notice that cuts or bruises aren't healing as quickly as they have in the past, see your healthcare provider. 7 Unintentional Weight Loss Losing weight without any changes in diet or exercise may sound great, but it's the definition of too good to be true: It can signify a serious health condition such as hyperthyroidism, cancer or diabetes. When diabetics lose glucose through frequent urination, they also lose calories. Diabetes may also keep cells from absorbing glucose from food for energy, and the body may begin to burn its fat stores as fuel instead. Both can result in weight loss.The Rx: If you're shedding pounds without trying, see your doctor and ask if you should be tested for diabetes. 8 Tingling, Pain or Numbness In Hands or Feet Diabetes can lead to a kind of nerve damage called neuropathy, which can cause tingling or numbness in your extremities like hands or feet. This is dangerous because numbness can make cuts or injuries easier to overlook, and because diabetes can cause wounds to heal more slowly, complications can result.The Rx: Be aware of what's going on with your body, and if you're experiencing any unusual pain, numbness or tingling in your hands or feet, see a healthcare provider without delay. 9 No Symptoms "People often have no symptoms of diabetes," says Kristine Arthur, MD, an internist at MemorialCare Medical Group in Irvine, California. "Sometimes they may notice weight gain, persistent hunger and increased fatigue associated with high insulin levels, but these symptoms can be present in other conditions, so it is important to have blood tests done to find out what is the cause."The Rx: Have your HgbA1c (sometimes called "A1c") levels checked with a blood test every year during your routine checkup. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Plus, there are cooking demos for some items!
There's no way around it: salt is, well, delicious. Sprinkled on top of popcorn, sticking to steaming-hot, crispy french fries, adding a dynamic flavor to salmon, steak, or other meats, there are many uses for this essential spice. But with anything yummy and thus, potentially addicting, consuming too much salt can lead to problematic health issues. Some of these are incredibly serious, like heart disease, premature death, and stomach cancer. However, one significant short-term side effect worth noting if you're eating too much salt, mainly as we head into summer, is hydration.Think about how you feel after you eat a serving of chips or another super-salty meal or snack. Your mouth and throat feel dry, your skin feels itchy, and you may even experience a crash in energy. This is because salt makes us dehydrated, even though most of our sweat is, well, salt. So when we eat salty foods while also being under the sunshine, our thirst becomes even more intense. When this happens, we may go overboard with water, resulting in way too many trips to the bathroom. (Related: 108 Most Popular Sodas Ranked by How Toxic They Are)However, if we don't fulfill our body's craving for water, it can have a dangerous impact on our system, resulting in a condition called hypernatremia. This is when we have abnormal salt levels that are well above what's considered healthy and safe. As a way to recover and dilute the sodium, our body may release water out of our cells into our bloodstream. If this goes on for far too long, it can cause seizures, a coma, or in the worst-case scenario, death.So how can we keep ourselves protected? By matching our sodium intake with adequate water consumption. Rather than having a sweet beverage with your salty craving, make sure you down plenty of water to make up for the dehydration. If you're feeling particularly dehydrated, you can also add electrolytes as recommended by your doctor.Bottom line? A little bit of salt makes a meal balanced and satisfying. But too much of a good thing can pour salt on your wounds, and it's better to resist the temptation to indulge.More Side Effect Stories on Eat This, Not That!Dangerous Side Effects of Eating Too Many EggsSurprising Side Effects Coffee Has on Your Immune System, Says ScienceOne Major Side Effect of Late-Night Snacking, Says a New StudyOne Major Side Effect of Eating Fast Food Every Day, Says Expert
A dose of nostalgia (and alcohol).
"One Love! One Heart! Let's get together and feel all right," sang Bob Marley. But without a heart, one can forget about love or frankly — anything else. The good news is that if you manage to avoid certain mistakes and adopt a couple of simple rules you can keep your heart in mint condition for years. Love your heart and you will feel all right. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Signs Your Illness is Actually Coronavirus in Disguise. 1 You're Not Making Muscle Health a Priority "Not making muscle health a priority is a major issue for your health. Make sure that you treat your heart with the respect it deserves," says Dr. Neerav Dilip Padliya, Ph.D., PMP, Vice President, Research for MYOS RENS Technology. If you don't know which heart risk factors you have, ask your healthcare provider to conduct or request screening tests during regular visits.Here are the key screening tests for monitoring cardiovascular health recommended by the American Heart Association:Blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends checking your blood pressure during each regular healthcare visit or at least once per year if blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg.Cholesterol. The recommendation is to check it every 4-6 years for normal-risk adults; more often if any you have elevated risk for heart disease and stroke.Weight/Body Mass Index (BMI). The American Heart Association recommends checking both during your regular healthcare visit.Waist circumference. The recommendation is to check it as needed to help evaluate cardiovascular risk if your BMI is greater than or equal to 25 kg/m2.Blood glucose test. The American Heart Association recommends testing it at least every 3 years.Discuss smoking, physical activity, diet. Each regular healthcare visit 2 You're Not Exercising Regularly "The most unhealthy heart habit is a sedentary lifestyle. With the COVID pandemic and everyone stuck at home, it has been hard to keep an active lifestyle for most people," says Dr. Paris Sabo. "The best thing you can do for your heart is to keep it pumping by being active regularly. The best activity is walking to get your heart rate up. Try to walk outside if you can, a minimum of three days a week for 30 minutes each." 3 You're Smoking "Do not smoke — it's by far and away the biggest risk factor for coronary artery disease. It does not matter how good your cholesterol is or how far you can run if you smoke one pack per day," says Christopher Drumm, MD. "Put the Newports down. A pack a day over 5 years costs around 12,000 dollars and many years of your life." 4 You're Drinking Too Much According to Hopkins Medicine, "Heavy drinking is linked to a number of poor health outcomes, including heart conditions. Excessive alcohol intake can lead to high blood pressure, heart failure or stroke. Excessive drinking can also contribute to cardiomyopathy, a disorder that affects the heart muscle." 5 You're Stressed "Stress increases cortisol levels, a hormone that is pumped out in excess during times of stress," says Leann Poston, MD. "Stress can also lead to avoiding exercise and enjoyable activities, unhealthy eating habits, insomnia, and abuse of drugs or alcohol. All of which further stress the heart."RELATED: The Easiest Way to Avoid a Heart Attack, Say Doctors 6 You're Snoring "Heavy snoring can sound funny to your sleep partner, but the condition is no joke," says Michigan Health. "Snoring is often the sign of a condition called obstructive sleep apnea, which raises the risk for diabetes, obesity, hypertension, stroke, heart attack and other cardiovascular problems." 7 You Have Diabetes "Over time, high blood glucose from diabetes can damage your blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart and blood vessels," says the NIH. "The longer you have diabetes, the higher the chances that you will develop heart disease. People with diabetes tend to develop heart disease at a younger age than people without diabetes." 8 You're Obese "Obesity changes in the structure and function of the heart. It increases your risk of heart disease," says Summit Medical Group. "The more you weigh, the more blood you have flowing through your body. The heart has to work harder to pump the extra blood." 9 You're Not Eating High-Quality Protein "One of the most common mistakes that people make is not consuming enough high-quality protein. Sufficient high-quality protein, or protein with leucine, in your diet, is integral to maintaining good cardiovascular health," says Dr. Padliya. Some of the best examples of natural protein are eggs, almonds, chicken breast, cottage cheese, and greek yogurt. Some protein to avoid is sugary yogurt, fried meats, and protein bars. 10 You're Not Thinking About the Future "Muscle loss can also begin as early as 35-40 years old, so people should be cognizant of their muscle health, exercise, and good diet intake much earlier in life," says Dr. Padliya. According to Medical News Today, "People can prevent and minimize this loss by staying active. If they do not, it may contribute to poor health and well-being. Some past studies have suggested that people with cardiovascular disease who experience higher loss of muscle mass also have a higher risk of premature death." 11 You're Over 70 And Don't Take Protein Supplements "People in their senior years should also be exceeding the daily recommended allowance since they are at greater risk of muscle atrophy or muscle loss which can result in an increased risk of injuries, leading to lessened vitality. According to a recent study, requirements change for people as they grow older so sticking to the general recommended allowance is not sufficient for those over the age of 70," says Dr. Padliya. "That said, the majority of people 70+ don't eat enough protein to even meet the general recommended daily allowance. It is recommended that a 40-50-year-old person should ingest .8 grams per kilogram of protein per day for optimal muscle health, but someone who is 70+ should really be over 1.2 grams per kilogram per day. The quality of protein makes a difference as well. You want to make sure the protein you consume has enough leucine as it is very important for building muscle, particularly in older people," states Dr. Padliya. 12 You're Avoiding Egg Yolks "Many people avoid the egg yolks opting for the egg whites only as the seemingly "healthier' option, but the majority of the essential nutrients for muscle health are found in the yolks. Egg yolks are a great source of protein. A major study released in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, concluded that consuming one egg including the yolk per day is safe for cardiovascular health, too," says Dr. Padliya.RELATED: Warning Signs You're Heart Could Stop, Says Doctor 13 You're Eating Too Much Salt "Salt is a common flavor enhancer that is in almost every food. Salt can cause problems such as increased blood pressure," says Dr. Sabo. "When eating out, ask to leave the salt out of dishes, or when cooking at home use salt alternatives such as herbs and spices that are salt-free to flavor up your food. Always look at the sodium count on packaged foods to make sure that you're not getting too much of the unhealthy flavor additives." 14 You're Ignoring the Doctor's Orders "When it comes to heart disease, not following your doctor's advice is the biggest mistake," says Dr. Rashmi Byakodi. "Heart treatment goals fail due to poor adherence to the medication regimen. Be aware of the medications you are taking and their side effects." As for yourself: To get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.
Bella Hadid joined her older sister and baby niece for a day out this week.
Rich or poor, famous or anonymous, civilian or President of the United States—Alzheimer's disease does not discriminate.The most common form of dementia, it affects about five million Americans today. That number will increase considerably in the next 30 years, to a projected 16 million Americans in 2050—which makes gaining a greater understanding of this disease critical.Yet Alzheimer's continues to intrigue and confound researchers. It's a complex disease with many risk factors, some of which you can't change, like your age or genes. But some promising research is being done that shows that you can reduce your risk of Alzheimer's and dementia through simple lifestyle tweaks.Read on to discover the healthy habits that may keep Alzheimer's at bay, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Signs Your Illness is Actually Coronavirus in Disguise. 1 You're Not Getting Enough Sleep Harvard Health reports that sound sleep may help protect your brain against Alzheimer's disease. Studies have shown a connection between poor sleep and a higher risk of beta-amyloid protein plaque accumulation—one of the telltale signs of the disease. Amyloid proteins accumulate in your brain daily. When you are in slow-wave sleep—the deep sleep phase when your memories are shored up—your brain sweeps out any surplus amyloid proteins. If your sleep is interrupted, however, during this slow-wave phase, these amyloid proteins can build up, forming plaque on brain tissue. Researchers think this may be the initial stage of Alzheimer's, and that it may occur years before symptoms emerge.The Rx: Getting a solid seven to eight hours of sleep is the recommendation. 2 You're Not Exercising Get moving: Regular exercise can reduce your risk by up to 50 percent according to the Alzheimer's Research and Prevention Foundation. Studies show that women from ages 40 to 60 who exercised regularly demonstrated a profound reduction in cognitive decline and memory loss. The benefits of regular physical activity extend to those who have already been diagnosed: Studies show that regular exercise can slow further deterioration in those who have begun to demonstrate cognitive problems. It's thought that exercise protects against Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia by stimulating the brain's ability to maintain old connections while creating new ones.The Rx: So, what is the recommended amount of physical activity? An ideal plan involves aerobic exercise and strength training. Aim for 30 to 40 minutes, three to four days a week. 3 You're Not Eating a Mediterranean Diet Prevention starts with the food choices you make. What you eat is critical for optimal brain health, and with the right Alzheimer's diet, you can influence the health of your genes. Studies of people who ate a Western diet versus those who ate a Mediterranean diet are striking. Brain scans taken at the beginning of one study show that those eating a Western diet already had more amyloid protein deposits than those eating a Mediterranean diet. Scientists believe these proteins are a waste product from the energy expended when brain cells communicate.The Rx: When we talk about the Mediterranean diet, we're talking about eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, whole grains, olive oil, fish, moderate amounts of eggs, dairy, red wine, and eating red meat sparingly. 4 You're Not Connecting Socially Humans are highly social. We do not do well in isolation, and as it turns out, neither do our brains. Studies show that staying socially engaged can protect against Alzheimer's and other dementias. Developing and nurturing a strong social network is a priority for both mental and brain health. Face-to-face connection with folks who care about you, and whom you care about, is key.The Rx: You don't have to be the life of the party, but you do need time to connect with people who make you feel heard and who stimulate your mind. 5 You're Not Drinking — But Just a Little A glass of good wine at the end of the day can help clear the mind, and now research shows that it might actually be good for the brain too! There is conflicting evidence that moderate consumption of alcohol—one to two drinks a day for men, one for women—reduces the risk of Alzheimer's. Some studies have shown that drinking in moderation can lower inflammation in the body and help your brain clear away toxins associated with Alzheimer's. But the key is moderation: There's strong evidence that drinking heavily on a regular basis increases the risk of Alzheimer's and dementia—so tipple just a little.The Rx: Check the French wine shelf in your local wine store. A study done in the French wine-producing region of Bordeaux found that red wine might be of particular benefit! 6 You're Not Keeping a Healthy Weight Here's another reason to trim that waistline! Recent research shows that people that obese or overweight at age 50 could be an increased risk for developing Alzheimer's at an earlier age. Researchers found that study participants with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or higher at age 50 were likely to develop Alzheimer's seven months sooner than those in the study who were at a healthy weight. As well, the study showed that the higher the BMI, the sooner the disease occurred.The Rx: A good way to start dropping weight is by saying bye-bye to carbonated beverages. One can of Coke contains 39 grams of added sugar, which is more than the American Heart Association recommends per day (36 grams for men and 25 grams for women)!RELATED: The Easiest Way to Avoid a Heart Attack, Say Doctors 7 You're Not Learning New Things Keep learning and you can help lower your risk of Alzheimer's disease. The more you do it, the stronger your brain becomes. Research is still being done, but studies point to mental stimulation acting like a workout for your brain. A fun way to do this is to make like Rodney Dangerfield and go back to school (not high school, but enroll in a Spanish class or learn to play guitar)! According to researchers at Harvard, new brain cell growth continues even into late adulthood—and the action of learning and having new experiences can stimulate that process.The Rx: Study a foreign language, learn to paint or sculpt, practice a musical instrument. The more novel and complex the activity, the greater the brain benefit. 8 You're Not Buckling Up or Wearing a Helmet Keep your noggin as safe as you can. Certain types of head injuries may increase your risk of developing Alzheimer's or dementia. Factors that may affect your risk include the severity of an injury you may have had and the age when you sustained it. If you injure your head in a car accident or take a spill from your bike without a helmet, it could increase your risk of Alzheimer's years from now. Want to be "brain smart"? Buckle up every time you get in the car no matter how short the trip, and wear a helmet when biking.The Rx: As we age, falls are an increasing risk. Check your home for places you may slip or trip. For instance, if you have an area rug, make sure it's got floor-gripping padding underneath to keep it in place. Install easy-to-grab bars in your shower to help minimize risk. 9 You're Not Getting Balanced, Practicing Coordination With head injuries from falls an increasing risk as you age, staying steady on your feet becomes all the more critical. Doing balance and coordination exercises can keep you agile and help you avoid falls. Studies show that exercise is a well-established way to keep you steady and strong—and as you can see from this guide, it has multiple benefits for the brain and body.The Rx: Try yoga, Pilates, or Tai Chi to help stay healthy and coordinated. 10 You're Not Managing Your Blood Pressure It's not just bad for your heart; many studies also show a connection between high blood pressure and dementia. In fact, autopsy studies show it's common for people with Alzheimer's-related brain changes to also have signs of vascular damage in the brain. Observational studies have linked high blood pressure in middle age, along with diabetes and smoking, as raising one's risk for developing Alzheimer's or dementia.The Rx: Keeping your blood pressure down is good for your heart and brain. One way to do that is to limit your alcohol intake to no more than one or two drinks a day.RELATED: Signs You're Getting One of the "Most Deadly" Cancers 11 You Didn't Quit Smoking Here's another reason to quit: smoking is perhaps the most preventable risk factor for Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Not everyone who smokes will get Alzheimer's, but some studies indicate that risk increases with duration and intensity of smoking, and decreases with time after quitting smoking.The Rx: Butt out! When you stop smoking, the brain benefits from improved circulation almost immediately, and your skin will look better too. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.
With the COVID-19 vaccine shots going into arms, people are lining up to do their part to end the pandemic. Yet there is a contingent of people who fear the vaccine is not safe. It is perfectly safe, says Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who has "extreme confidence" saying so—however there are some people who should not get one. The CDC and the vaccine maker agree. Read on to see if you're on that list, according to the fact sheet from Pfizer-BioNTech—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Signs Your Illness is Actually Coronavirus in Disguise. 1 What You Should Mention to Your Vaccination Provider Before Taking the Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine "Tell the vaccination provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you: have any allergies have a fever have a bleeding disorder or are on a blood thinner are immunocompromised or are on a medicine that affects your immune system are pregnant or plan to become pregnant are breastfeeding have received another COVID-19 vaccine" 2 Who Should Not Get the Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine "You should not get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine if you: had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of this vaccine." 3 So What are the Ingredients in the Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine? "The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine includes the following ingredients: mRNA, lipids ((4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate), 2 [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide, 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3- phosphocholine, and cholesterol), potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and sucrose." 4 How is the Pfizer-BioNTech Given? "The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine will be given to you as an injection into the muscle. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine vaccination series is 2 doses given 3 weeks apart. If you receive one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, you should receive a second dose of this same vaccine 3 weeks later to complete the vaccination series." 5 What are the Benefits of the Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine? "In an ongoing clinical trial, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine has been shown to prevent COVID-19 following 2 doses given 3 weeks apart. The duration of protection against COVID-19 is currently unknown."RELATED: Most COVID Patients Did This Before Getting Sick 6 What are the Risks of the Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine? "Side effects that have been reported with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine include: injection site pain tiredness headache muscle pain chills joint pain fever injection site swelling injection site redness nausea feeling unwell swollen lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy) non-severe allergic reactions such as rash, itching, hives, or swelling of the face severe allergic reactions There is a remote chance that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine could cause a severe allergic reaction. A severe allergic reaction would usually occur within a few minutes to one hour after getting a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. For this reason, your vaccination provider may ask you to stay at the place where you received your vaccine for monitoring after vaccination." 7 Signs You're Having a Severe Allergic Reaction to the Vaccine "Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include: Difficulty breathing Swelling of your face and throat A fast heartbeat A bad rash all over your body Dizziness and weakness These may not be all the possible side effects of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. Serious and unexpected side effects may occur. Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is still being studied in clinical trials." 8 So is the Vaccine Safe? The vaccine is "safe and effective" says Dr. Fauci, who got his on live TV. So unless you have allergies to the vaccine, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.
Sunflowers: a feast for your eyes, and for pollinatorsNow’s the time to sow these jolly giants, our gardening expert says, but beware: bigger isn’t always better Seeing red: ‘Velvet Queen’ sunflower. Photograph: Deborah Vernon/Alamy
‘It was seen as an elderly white lady thing to do’: meet the new generation of male knitters For the ‘sew bros’ who took up needlework during lockdown, casting on means chilling out Vincent Williams Jr: ‘I bought a scarf and it looked like I had shopped at Baby Gap.’ Photograph: Johnathon Kelso/The Guardian
Winter came and went, leaving millions disappointed by the ending and a generation of adolescent boys exhausted from over-stimulation.
Ten years after its launch and two years after it ended, "Game of Thrones" fans have plenty more to look forward to, from TV spinoffs to the long-awaited final books.
There's no better time to test out your green thumb.
From jaunts across America to steam specials through Staffordshire, we offer our pick of great rail trips for 2021 . UK and Ireland Flying Scotsman and Tornado With arguably the two most famous steam locomotives in the world running together on the national network for the first time – and along the Settle and Carlisle line, one of the most spectacular routes in the UK – this is surely mainline steam’s highlight for 2021. Four tours, all originating from different locations and running to Carlisle, are planned during October (20, 21, 27 and 28); passengers will get to ride behind Tornado one way and Flying Scotsman the other with the locos swapping at the border city. From £135pp (a1steam.com/railtours) Bespoke Cornish Explorer Slow Travel start-up ByWay organises bespoke rail trips, making the journey part of the holiday. Their Cornish adventure begins inside a private cabin on the Night Riviera sleeper from London Paddington. The morning views over St Michael’s Mount near Penzance are breathtaking. Alight here and follow ByWay’s self-guided tour along the coast path, pausing at tiny fishing villages and swim-friendly coves. Included in the price are a kayak expedition, an open-top bus ride and a shuttle along the scenic St Ives Bay train line. Plus three nights in a luxury B&B. Upgrades and alternative routes on request. From £361pp for a four-night package (byway.travel)
A rich New York playboy with a famous surname – what if JFK Jr had lived?He and his wife, Carolyn Bessette, endured the cruelty of the press long before Harry and Meghan John F Kennedy Jr and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy in March 1999. They died in a plane crash four months later. Photograph: Arnaldo Magnani/Getty Images
‘We survived recessions and an IRA bomb. Covid has been harder’: can the UK’s independent shops bounce back?As stores reopen, one city cobbler is optimistic, while at the hairdresser’s, the waitlist is growing Danny Rogers at his cobblers in Liverpool Street, London: ‘People complain about City bonuses, but that money filter feeds businesses like mine. It disappeared overnight.’ Photograph: Christian Sinibaldi/The Guardian
Musa Okwonga: ‘Boys don’t learn shamelessness at Eton, it is where they perfect it’The writer and podcaster talks about his private school days, and why a system that prides itself on creating leaders is selling Britain shortRead an extract from his memoir One of Them below ‘I think it is unlikely many of my contemporaries have had a close black friend, and so I don’t want to conform to any stereotypes,’ Musa Okwonga writes. Photograph: Kasia Zacharko/The Guardian
(February 19 - March 20)
The best silicone-free haircare productsSilicone shampoos and conditioners can weigh down hair or make it droop. But there are good alternatives ‘If you’re curly and happy about it, silicone won’t suit you.’ Photograph: Alex Lake/The Guardian