You might be forgiven for thinking that our economy has fully recovered, especially with unemployment back to pre-recession levels, and the UK showing the strongest growth in Europe, surpassing all predictions. The view from many is that we're through the worst. But, the reality is different for many people, especially those who either have just left or are leaving school to compete for the limited number of jobs available.
n an R.E lesson the subject conveniently turned to the afterlife, and, without needing any cue, Freddy got up and spoke wonderfully in front of the whole class about Jade and most poignantly about how he sees her as a beautiful butterfly. Heart melting stuff and Ms H took the golden opportunity to elaborate and congratulate Freddy on such a brave show of emotion. Realising she was beneath the barrier, something wonderful happened between teacher and pupil and an understanding was made. This was confirmed when a Loom-band bracelet appeared anonymously on her desk with a note proclaiming her to be the best teacher in the world.
"First that bum tattoo and now this," they'll say. "She can't be thinking straight." But since does when such an announcement, where two people declare their love for each other, invite such scathing remarks? For me there are two root causes for narrow-mindedness.
I spoke to Petra Giloy-Hirtz, the curator of 'The Lost Album' at The Royal Academy about her work on this exhibition and her work.
This week's blog comes from the top of Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh. Well not the very top, not the stone itself, but one of the little rocky groups literally six feet away from it. The actual top is pretty dinky and currently awash with a group of Spanish tourists - it seemed rude to hog it for long enough to write a blog!
I guess it comes down to how you like your Richard III. I prefer mine to be brooding with conspiracy and charisma, for me to be sickened and amused by him in equal measure.
Celebrities seem to be mad for this. Recently we've had Apple, North West, Blue Ivy and Brooklyn. That last one apparently came about because that's where Posh and Becks conceived the kid. Even if that's true, well that's information you shouldn't share with anyone ever.
I asked some well known friends of mine if they would read it and give me their thoughts. Ricky Gervais said it it was; "funny from beginning to end" David Baddiel said it was; "Very funny" and Jimmy Carr said; "It's the perfect romantic comedy, I loved it". It has been suggested I use a female pseudonym to sell the book, or have a sex change - but I'm not going through that again.
I know what it's like to lose your childhood to war. When I was five and conflict raged in Sudan, my family and I were amongst the lucky ones to leave for Egypt. Four years later we were granted asylum in the United Kingdom. Inspired by legendary South Sudanese basketball player Manute Bol, my siblings and I took up basketball which helped us fit in. Like Manute, I was lucky enough to turn the sport I loved into a career as a professional NBA player in the United States.
Something so harrowing happened today that I can't get it off my mind. I took the children to watch the Tour de France come tearing through the tiny country lanes in a neighbouring village and I ended up comforting a woman as she watched her husband slipping away before her very eyes. I just can't comprehend what she must be feeling right now.
The first 'leg' of our UK Tour of Annie Get Your Gun has drawn to a close at the New Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham. Six cities, 51 shows, 255 knife throws, 459 stage kisses, 561 balloons popped and a remarkable 2703 shots later, it's no wonder that the whole company are relishing a week away...
Being a teenager is difficult enough without having to also cope with the impacts of drinking dirty water and not having somewhere to go to the toilet or manage your period. I know now why WaterAid's work is so vital.
Dennis Hopper is probably as well-known for his reputation as a hellraiser as he is for his acting and filmmaking. But he was also a wonderfully talented photographer and it's this talent that is the focus of this revealing and surprisingly emotive exhibition at the Royal Academy.
This cake idea was inspired by looking at my twitter feed and seeing how many people were preparing for Ramadan this year and the anticipation of Iftar. 'Iftar' which is the meal that is eaten to break fast. Usually starts with a date and some water followed by an array of protein, vegetables, carbohydrates...
The Secretary star joined me in central London to discuss The Honourable Woman - her most challenging role - as well as London life and future plans with her actor husband, Peter Sarsgaard.
The vitalidad of Barcelona (or BarTHelona, as they say) is largely down to the Spanish people themselves. They are my kind of people; relaxed, work-hard play-hard types, and advocates of wine and tapas, at any hour of the day.