The frill of it all: how chintz got un-chucked

“All hail the new chintz” announced the luxury (and certifiably hip) interiors brand House of Hackney (HoH) last week, describing its new collection as “an assortment of irresistibly chintzy prints and patterns inspired by British country house interiors but seen through kaleidoscopic glasses”. A bold claim, given the broadly reviled reputation of chintz, not to mention the growing ill-feeling between the haves with their country houses, and the have-nots paying rent through the nose. If you love the decor in The Crown, you’re on the right lines. HoH has been dubbed “Colefax…

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The reboot matrix: which 90s TV shows are ripe for a revival?

At this stage, it’s facile to point out that television has a problem with new ideas, especially since the past year was riddled with all manner of reboots and returns and revivals. And this isn’t letting up. Two weeks ago, Netflix announced its intention to make a dark reboot of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, starring Kiernan Shipka. Last week, Sister Sister was magically resuscitated. Will & Grace and the X-Files are again with us, and there will be more. But what will they be? Using a highly scientific formula (basically just…

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Think you can spot scammers? Just 9% of Britons really can

An official campaign to protect consumers against financial fraud has been launched after a survey showed that only 9% of people were able to correctly identify scam texts and emails in an online test. Monday marks the start of Take Five to Stop Fraud Week, which is backed by the Home Office and financial institutions, and aims to combat one of Britain’s fastest-growing crimes. According to the government, fraud is now “the most prevalent crime in this country”, with 3.3m cases in the 12 months to June 2017. One of the…

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A cold nose shows you’re stressed – what else does?

A study at the University of Nottingham has shown that blood drains from someone’s face when they are under stress. Here are the other bodily signs to look out for Touch your nose. If it is cold, you may need to calm down. Science, by using thermal imaging cameras and stressing the hell out of students, has discovered that stress causes a cold nose (and face). Blood moves from the face to other parts of the body that might need it more in a dangerous situation, such as muscles and limbs. This…

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Rugby union: talking points from the weekend’s European action

Pool 1: Wasps answer their ‘fairweather’ critics Wasps must be kicking themselves for their late capitulation at Harlequins the previous weekend for there can be little doubt it was at the Stoop where their hopes of reaching the knockout stages disappeared. To their credit they produced perhaps their best performance of their campaign to eliminate Ulster, securing an emphatic bonus point win only to come up just short as they and Exeter finished as the two runners-up who failed to qualify. In doing so they may have also answered a few critics…

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Angelique Kerber overcomes Hsieh Su-wei artistry to reach Australian Open quarters

Wim Fissette spoke from grim experience when he declared “you never play names or rankings” after the 2016 champion, Angelique Kerber, flirted with defeat before beating the world No 88, Hsieh Su-wei, on day eight of the Australian Open. Fissette remembers Hsieh only too well; he was in Jo Konta’s box at Roland Garros last summer when the doubles specialist ranked 100 in the world put Britain’s best out in the first round.

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Novak Djokovic crashes out to Hyeon Chung at Australian Open

Novak Djokovic came to Melbourne, the scene of six of his greatest triumphs, with the guarded intention of re-entering Roger Federer’s universe, of maybe even emulating his rival’s heroics of a year ago by returning to the Tour after missing half a year and winning another slam without the luxury of a serious warmup match. Those were the outer limits of his ambitions. Unspoken was the fear that it would end painfully, and it did so on the eighth evening of the tournament. There would be no room in this town…

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