Lifestyle

Melatonin in mice: There’s more to this hormone than sleep

Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Brain Science and the RIKEN BioResource Research Center in Japan, along with collaborators at the State University of New York at Buffalo, have created a mouse model that allows the study of naturally occurring melatonin. Published in the Journal of Pineal Research, these first experiments using the new mice […]

Lifestyle

‘Patriotic’ school anthem is pure anathema

Required gym and dance wear at my grammar school in the 1950s and 60s was a garment called a Ritzo, consisting of a square-necked top, attached to a box-pleated “skort”. This had to measure exactly four inches from the floor when kneeling. Most girls were still wearing the same item in their fifth form, when […]

Lifestyle

Supermarkets sell out of strawberries. Pimm’s flows freely. Ace! It must be Wimbledon

Wimbledon is upon us, when the month of June transforms the UK into a tennis-mad nation (although this year it will have some competition from Euro 2020, in 2021). Supermarkets sell out of strawberries and cream; Pimm’s flows freely; somehow people are moved to spend £35 on official insignia towels; a carnival atmosphere accompanies hours’-long […]

Lifestyle

Experience: I’m a blind foster parent

For a long time I have had problems with my sight: macular degeneration meant that I had no central vision in one eye. Then, one morning in 2013, my other eye – the good one – haemorrhaged. I was told it was permanently damaged and nothing would make it better. I became officially registered as […]

Lifestyle

How to dress for a return to the office

I used to think that “going to work” and “doing my job” were the same thing. But since last March, I have been doing my job but not going to work. I work every day, but I never go to the office or to shows. So I guess it turns out that going to work […]

Lifestyle

I adore secondhand shopping, but my neighbours’ yard sales made me nervous

My least favourite memories are the involuntary ones – the ones that flash up in the mind’s eye without warning, like a computer processing error. Even painful memories aren’t so bad if I’ve summoned them, but for them to appear randomly like that? Well, brain, that’s just rude. It happened last week, walking home. I […]

Lifestyle

The sun came out – now all I want is to wear a T-shirt without feeling embarrassed

For a while, it looked as if the biggest after-effect of the pandemic’s latest wave would be eternal rain – all day and all night, stopping us from wanting to go outside even though we’re allowed to. Amazon would have seen this coming, and gone big on raincoats, further cementing their dominance, while still not […]