‘I feel bombarded with to-dos’: the hell of life admin and how to get on top

Errand paralysis might be the most boring and overwhelming anxiety of our age. How did we get so swamped? It was the eyes that I noticed first; where before hed made soothing eye contact, now he kept his gaze averted. What are you doing? I asked as he tapped at his computer. Eyes down, he replied, Im taking you off the flight. But… but I stuttered. He handed my passport back. Im sorry, he said, looking at me, now flinty eyed. You cant go to India without a visa. Youll have to go back to London. I was 18, in Schiphol airport, Amsterdam, not boarding the second half of my flight to Delhi. My mum had suggested I visit a …

Whats causing women to join the NoFap movement?

A Reddit forum dedicated to abstaining from masturbation has over 450,000 members and about 5% of them are female From a sunny sitting room, 26-year-old she explains. I think I [now] look better and I think more positively Ive been told how much more attractive Ive got. Later, she will intercut the video with photographs of herself taken over the previous eight months, her skin growing noticeably more radiant, her hair changing from lackluster to glossy. But with her before-and-after shots, Kristel isnt documenting a weight-loss journey or a new skincare regime. Instead, she credits her new glow to a movement that has lurked in corners of the internet for several years. Kristel is a follower of founded in 2011 …

My 24 years without eating (nearly) any vegetables

I grew up in Texas, where food is fast and portions are vast. Its time to ditch the chicken and waffles and embrace the greens September marks the end of summer and the start of a new school year for US students. Parents and caregivers will soon begin packing school lunches or dispensing money into their childrens lunch accounts, leaving them at the Food deserts form the tapestry of American cuisine,and most suburbs have a McDonalds or a Burger King lurking nearby. Drive-thrus serving burgers, fries and milkshakes are common, but drive-thrus serving salads are rare gems, if any exist at all. Time and accessibility are factors that determine what the average American family decides to eat for dinner. You …

‘Put your phone away and be in the moment’: how to enjoy being a parent

A recent report found parents are happier when their children leave home but why wait? Four experts share their tips on putting the fun back into family, at every age Could we go down in history as the generation that forgot to enjoy our kids? Its a shocking indictment, but the evidence is mounting: recent research found that mount after a second child, and that there are accompanying deteriorations in parents mental health. And, as a two-year-old could probably tell you, stressed-out, unhappy parents raise stressed-out, unhappy offspring. The UKs annual report, out last month, found there are more unhappy youngsters now than at any point in the past decade. It feels like a good time to ask whether theres …

‘Incel’ violence is horrific, but Joker is complex, and doesn’t take sides

Alarmist reactions to the rightwing film starring Joaquin Phoenix as a needy, dangerous wannabe star comic overlook its subtler points Tincel culture, or involuntary celibates men who see themselves as losers and beta males who women dont want to sleep with. Angry, misogynistic and feeling entitled to sex and attention, incels have been prone to real-world violence, as with the Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver (obsessed by Betsy), he becomes romantically intrigued by Sophie (Zazie Beetz), a pretty girl he barely knows, his fantasies go into overdrive. Yet romance and sex, or lack of these, is not a major factor in Jokers move towards violence; he never expresses any particular malice toward Sophie. Rather, Arthur is driven by a ( …

Too many women have pain during sex. This must not be a taboo subject | Susannah Thraves

Its a common complaint, and help is available yet still, few dare seek it out, says TV journalist Susannah Thraves Like so many, I adore women who experience pain during sex? Its an angle that doesnt fit in with steamy sex scenes in films and it definitely wouldnt have a place on shows such as thought to affect around 7.5% of sexually active women in the UK. Experts believe this condition is under-reported, and that the true figure could be even higher. Dyspareunia is complicated by the fact that the condition is usually both physical and psychological and so the problem will often not be one that can be seen on a scan. But sadly, out of embarrassment, many women …

‘No food should be taboo’: how to tackle your child’s weight without giving them a complex

A third of children are overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school. Heres how parents can help them forge good habits and avoid creating lifelong insecurities Jusna Begum lives near the South Bank in London with her four children, aged between one and 11. When a health visitor told her that her three-year-old girl was on the chubby side, Begum was surprised. I didnt think she was at all; I had felt like my children werent eating enough. She did, however, accept an invitation to join a six-week healthy parenting programme called 2% of those aged five to one-third of children are overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school, yet many adults dont see …

After a breakdown, birdwatching brought me friendship, escape and a new love of nature

A childhood hobby gave me time to reflect, refocus and find myself again, following years of drug and alcohol abuse A decade ago, aged 22 and off my face on class A drugs and alcohol almost every day, I would never have seen myself where I am today and definitely wouldnt have dreamed that Bird Therapy that birds are consistent in a way that people rarely are and I stand by this. Too often, we are let down by those we believe care about us, but I know that if I look out of my kitchen window, my garden bird community will still be there. I also know that during spring, our returning breeding birds will travel across desert and …

Nigel Slaters high summer recipes

Make the most of bright summer produce with saffron and yogurt grilled chicken, tomato and roast pepper bruschetta and cherry jelly with orange cream You come back from the shops with cherries, their skins tight and bright, the colour of beaujolais. Green-shouldered tomatoes too, fat red peppers and a bunch of basil, its leaves as big as bay. A heavy wedge of watermelon perhaps, a cool cucumber and spiky bunches of hot rocket. Summer shopping is frustrating. Peaches or nectarines? Peas in the pod or broad beans? Should we buy radishes and artichokes? We need food for the grill, something to marinade, and yet we still want something of substance. (Seafood for a potato-topped pie, chicken for the barbecue.) From …

I tried Be My Eyes, the popular app that pairs blind people with helpers

The app helps blind or visually impaired people connect with users for everyday tasks and has way more volunteers than its creators expected In the oversaturated app market, one has reached a frequently neglected demographic: blind people. Be My Eyes, created by Hans Jorgen Wiberg in 2015, pairs volunteers with blind or visually impaired people in need of help with small, everyday tasks. These can range from reading an expiration date on a carton of milk to describing the color of a shirt. Wanting to be of help, I volunteered my eyes, ready to answer the call of a person in need of a snack or an opinion on an outfit. There is one flaw with the app, albeit a …

Bloating, pain and the gurgles? Read this if you can’t burp

Theres no medical term for it, but one doctor has pioneered lack of burping as a condition and is working to help no-burpers Can you burp? Not even on command just, for instance, have you burped at all in 2019? While belching is characterized as a day-to-day bodily function, for an unknown number of people, its a relief they never experience. Instead, a big meal or carbonated beverage sets off a chain of gastric unpleasantries: bloating, searing pain in the esophagus, and excessive flatulence. And of course, the gurgling, a sound reminiscent of croaking frogs that seems to come from the throat. Theres no medical term for people who cant burp, and the amount of scientific studies on the missing …

Notes from a Hollywood divorce: ‘We had a primal connection. But we hung by a thread for years’

I wrote a part for my husband in my first movie. By the time filming was over, so was our marriage In every city Ive lived, my sister has been the one to set up the printer, testing it by printing me the lyrics to George Michaels Freedom! 90. I am not the only grown woman entwined with their family, as I am not the only British person entwined with George Michael. When, in 2010, he drove his car through the wall of the Hampstead Snappy Snaps, the resulting hole was quickly daubed with the legend WHAM, by a local who meant it in a loving way. Walking to the underground, I saw it (as well as the aftermath and …

Busy Philipps on abortion: Women have held on to a lot of this shame

The actor and author who recently testified before Congress on why she got an abortion discusses the power in being vocal about uncomfortable experiences Busy Philipps big dreams for the stage never included ending their pregnancies in 1969 to the 343 French influencers led by Simone de Beauvoir who signed a 1971 manifesto wrote in the New York Times. But as women stopped talking about it publicly, the anti-abortion movement gathered steam. Busy Philipps testifies about the threat to abortion rights before a House judiciary subcommittee. Photograph: c-span By 2014, one in four women will have an abortion by the age of 45. And now, thanks to the addition of two ultra-conservative supreme court justices picked by Donald Trump, anti-abortion …

Bariatric divorce: why extreme weight loss leads to break ups

For people struggling with their weight, surgery can be a source of help and hope. But it often has an unexpected effect on romantic relationships Before Steven Jason Williams had his gastric bypass in August 2017, he attended group sessions to prepare himself. It was at one of these classes that Williams, now 44, was first told that many married patients will divorce within years of the surgery. He turned to look at his wife, Desiree, who had trundled him into the meeting using the portable wheelchair they kept in the boot of their car. Williams couldnt walk more than a few feet at his heaviest, he weighed 587lbs (266kg) and he spent nearly all his time at home, being …

Fit in my 40s: I love parkour, but running at walls is even harder than it looks | Zoe Williams

Anything that is too high to vault, you have to approach with a cat leap Andy Pearson, the founder of London Parkour, maintains that anyone can do parkour if they want to enough. I have always seen it somewhat differently, as a kind of street version of Cirque du Soleil, suitable for only the skinniest kid with a death wish. Walking towards a cul-de-sac full of low walls, I am disbelieving. Even someone carrying a lot of extra weight? Yes, as long as you start with what they are able to do safely. Even the strongest man on Earth? Yes, as long as you allow for his muscle ratio. We come to some walls. Pearson wants to start with focus …

‘I wanted to explore my own pleasure’ how I rebooted my sex life

At 35, I realised I had no idea what I really wanted in bed or how to ask for it. So I went on a sex odyssey, one orgasm at a time My story, like all the greats, starts with a disappointing wank. I was on one of the big free porn sites and I saw something that disturbed me. Now, I was used to porn; I had been using/watching/waiting for it to buffer for years. It was just what you did, if you were feeling aroused and alone, wasnt it? But on this night, I found myself thinking about a young woman in a thumbnail picture, hoping she was all right. I turned my computer off and thought about …