My daughter rents a two-bedroom flat and pays for water on a meter. She rang Severn Trent immediately and gave it a reading — it said the charge was now £450. The flat is rented through a letting agent, who hired a plumber: it took three visits to fix the leak. She is a single parent and can’t afford to pay this bill. Severn Trent says she can pay it back monthly over a year, but this seems harsh as it wasn’t her fault.
On Wednesday, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr will become the 46th President of the United States, a testimonial to the enduring strength of America’s democracy, its resistance to assaults from without and within. His immediate priority is to persuade Congress to pass his American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion relief bill that will add $1,400 to the $600 every American household has received, beef up state unemployment benefits, raise minimum wage to $15 an hour, and more. The spending, paid for with borrowed money, puts flesh on the bones of an economic theory that holds that with interest rates close to zero, it is virtually costless for the government to borrow money that will speed the transition from a pandemic-crippled economy to one that will lead
We haven’t seen my mother-in-law for six months, and I miss her. When we’re all allowed to, we’re planning on travelling to Bristol — me, my husband and two kids — to spend the weekend together at her home. My mother-in-law, who is in her early 60s, has said that assuming she hasn’t been vaccinated at this point she would like us to get tested for Covid. My husband agreed we would do this, but the cost to test a family of four privately will be about £350 to £400, and, should it come back negative, we will only know for sure that we didn’t have Covid on the day we took the test. I’m close to my mother-in-law, she’s lonely, and we’re all desperateSponsored
I am on my sixth pair of housekeys of the last year. I did not want to commit to a flatshare with strangers in lockdown, so I have been jumping between family (at 25 I am a little past my sell-by-date) and friends’ rooms, when they get furloughed and leave London. In many ways I feel free and independent, but I am also exhausted and bored of seeing all my belongings in the boot of an Uber. I want a home, but flatshares are complicated — and the relationships often ambiguous. We should all take a vow, I think to myself as me and my network of vagrant millennial friends move from one
I hesitate to write about QAnon. Why offer the oxygen of publicity to a bizarre online conspiracy theory that claims there is a vast paedophile network orchestrated by the political and business elites that will eventually be taken down by Donald Trump? Shouldn’t we ignore such delusions or, perhaps, even censor them? I am not so sure. I think we have something to learn from QAnon — about ourselves and our relationship with truth.
Has there ever been a time when we’ve needed a good pair of jeans more? It’s now almost a year since we entered these strange times and the way we dress has evolved and fluctuated along the way. So step forward, denim. It’s not an all-time classic for no reason: dress it up with a shirt and heels if you are in work mode, go casual with a jumper and trainers if not. The right pair of jeans will flatter while being comfortable, anSponsored
And though intubation is the emblematic procedure of the pandemic, this moment, this patient, his pair of wide and roving eyes, is the hospital’s first time. Four people loom around his bed, swathed in blue plastic, masked and gowned, disguised behind thick Perspex visors. Normally in an ICU it is the patient who becomes dehumanised. Punctured and crisscrossed by a cat’s cradle of wires and tubes, alive thanks only to the bedside machinery that hums and chugs and sucks and blows, a Frankenstein version of a body. Veiled behind their protective equipment, they hover like ghosts at the bedside, preparing nervously to act.
The rise of Fred Turner, a 25-year-old British wunderkind and Oxford dropout, was head-spinning. A year ago the Yorkshire transplant had just launched Curative, a Silicon Valley start-up developing diagnostic tests for sepsis. When the pandemic struck, he and his nine-person team switched gears. By the time summer rolled around the company had become one of the biggest testers in America, having carried out more than 11 million from coast to coast. Curative picked up contracts with some of America’s biggest cities
Send your comments to email@example.comWalter Presents lifted our lockdown depression with not a slew of Nordic misery, but a sunlit dose of Danske hygge in the shape of Seaside Hotel. Sean PurcellSponsoredIt is one of the best things from Walter Presents. Dick PriceThe Bidding Room (BBC One) is just not a credible programme. Who would travel the length of the country, sometimes with very large items, just to sell them for £100 or so? Colin VibertIf you want a half hour of pure switch-off and relax TV (ie forget about Covid), then I can strongly recommend Bob Ross and The Joy Of Painting Winter Specials (BBC Four).
Midwinter is bleak at the best of times, but take a look in the garden and there are the joyous, spirit-raising signs that plants are gearing up for spring, with shoots already pushing through the frosty soil. Even though the weather may mean that we don’t want to linger for too long outdoors, there’s still plenty of planning, preparation and planting to give us something positive to focus on. Fortunately garden centres are still open, but if you can’t get to one there are plenty of mail-order and online companies that will deliver everything you need to kick-start the gardening year (see the bottom of this article). Spring displaysDon’t worry if you didn’t get around to planting any bulbs last autumn because garden centres
Deliveroo plans to expand into a further 100 towns and cities in the UKTakeaway giant Deliveroo has raised $180m at a valuation of more than $7bn (£5bn) as it prepares for a bumper stock market listing. Deliveroo has 140,000 restaurants on its platform and last week said it would expand into a further 100 towns and cities in the UK. It plans to use the cash to roll out its network of dark kitchens — set up for delivery only — and grow its online grocery business. SponsoredThe app, founded in 2013 by Will Shu, a former investment banker, had already raised $1.5bn from investors. Deliveroo and its rivals have
✉ Chris Haslam’s article (“Namibia at its most deserted”, last week) reminded me of when I was a student back in 1995 and, armed only with naive confidence, I hitchhiked with a friend from Cape Town to Windhoek, then via Swakopmund to Etosha and the Caprivi Strip. We dodged huge herds of elephants and traversed sandy, potholed roads and spent a couple of magical nights in the Okavango Delta. We got stuck at the Zimbabwean border — as you could not cross on foot — but, thankfully, a lovely Italian family drove us over and dropped us at Victoria Falls, just in time for a cold beer. Beatrice Woodgarth, via thetimes.co.uk✉ Namibia is amazing. I’ve been lucky enough to go more than
It’s a thing! Sexy vampire energyBreaking news: Gen Z has discovered Twilight. One of the TikTok trends of last year was teens posting videos making fun of the corny film saga — the lip biting, the intense stares, the awkward silences … ah, the memories. And where Gen Z goes, pop culture follows. Coming to Netflix soon is First Kill, a YA vampire series produced by Emma Roberts, and out in March is the Marvel film Morbius, an update on the classic vampire tale starring Jared Leto as a
Mike Lynch tried to strike a cautiously upbeat note in a round-robin new year email to his contacts. The founder of former FTSE 100 software giant Autonomy remarked that with Brexit done, the government would be looking to forge a new identity for Britain as a “scientific and technological superpower”. He said the landscape for entrepreneurs was “very different now from where I started — it is much easier to found and grow a company to multimillion-pound valuations”. He welcomed Lord (Jonathan) Hill’s review into stock market listing rules, which could encourage promising start-ups to stay in Britain rather than go abroad. SponsoredIt was only after this preamble that Lynch, 55, addressed the elephants in the room: he is facing extradition to America on 14
In the late spring of 1940, more than a third of a million lantern-jawed soldiers of the British Expeditionary Force were lined up on the border between France and Belgium, each with a pocketful of Woodbines and a plan. They’d give Jerry a whiff of Sten and then they’d go home for tea and medals. Instead, they did quite a lot of fleeing and panicking, and when they reached Dunkirk, still fleeing and panicking, it really did look as though virtually the entire British Army would be captured before the war had even got going. SponsoredThese were grim times, so Winston Churchill sanctioned something called Operation Dynamo, which called for anyone with a boat to sail over the Channel and pick up as many soldiers