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The most stylish guest at the royal wedding – Miriam Clegg

Hats off to Miriam Clegg, Nick Clegg’s Spanish lawyer wife, (or Miriam González Durántez – as she prefers to be called), who I thought was the most stylish guest at today’s royal wedding – after the beautiful bride, of course.  Miriam normally looks quite frumpish, but she is utterly stunning and exotic in this gorgeous creation, which is both feminine and sexy, as well...
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Congratulations to Prince William and Kate

I’m heading off to Shakespeare Country soon to watch the royal wedding with friends – wouldn’t our famous playwright have composed the most wonderful sonnet for them! It’s clear for all to see how radiantly happy Prince William and Kate are, they seem like equals in many ways, and I cannot imagine him being cruel to her in the same way that Prince Charles was with Diana....
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Court of Protection demo and the royal wedding

The countdown to the royal wedding has begun. It is only hours away. Incredibly, police have granted one pressure group permission to demonstrate outside Westminster Abbey straight after the nuptials between Prince William and Kate. While we continue to be in a complete tizz about privacy and super injunctions, that’s nothing compared to the secrecy surrounding our Court of Protection, as...
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Bruce Oldfield and the UK’s “inhumane” adoption system

Bruce Oldfield, the renowned couture dress designer, kindly contributed the foreword to Francesca Polini’s terrific book Mexican Takeaway which describes her adventures in Mexico where she adopted a daughter after being rejected by her local authority in London. Bruce reflects on his experiences as a foster child and the “obsessive bureaucracy” of our present adoption system in...
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Francesca’s Mexican Takeaway

If you are looking for a good read over the Bank holiday weekend, then I highly recommend Francesca Polini’s riveting read, Mexican Takeaway.  When Francesca and her husband Rick travelled to Mexico, their mission was completely different to that of other tourists, they were there to find a baby to adopt and bring back to their home in the UK after being turned down by their local...
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First-past-the-post and AV

My 18-year-old son gets to vote for the first time next month on how our future MPs should be elected. This Conservative Party video – which supports retaining the present first-past-the-post system – uses the analogy of an AV sports day to demonstrate what can happen if the alternative method is adopted; how coming third means you can end up the winner. No voting system is perfect,...
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Tim Hetherington’s legacy and St Bride’s Church

If you find yourself in the shadows of St Paul’s Cathedral with a few moments to spare, please stroll down Fleet Street and visit St Bride’s Church. This is where you will find a memorial reminding us about journalists and photographers who are killed while bringing us the latest news from war zones around the world. I hold their unflinching bravery in the highest esteem. The latest...
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The magic of a bluebell wood

Bluebells at Waresley and Gransden Wood, Bedfordshire EveryTrail – Find the best hikes in California and beyond It’s hard to beat the magic of a bluebell wood on a gorgeous spring day with the sun’s rays shining on them like a laser beam. You can catch sight of them too at Waresley and Gransden Woods which I visited yesterday; they are hosting two guided walks during an open...
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The Times and its terrific adoption campaign

I would like to commend The Times for the terrific adoption campaign it is running this week. Ask any child if he wants to spend his childhood in an institution or a loving, stable home – and I think you can guess the answer. Just like troubled Maisie who was featured in a BBC documentary last week, and was desperate to be part of a family. The Times yesterday highlighted new data which...
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Cambridge Wordfest and advice for would-be authors

With publishers still adapting to the uncertainties of promoting authors in the digital era amid increased demand for ebooks (the huge sale of Kindle readers over Xmas took them by surprise), it is reassuring to know that there is no shortage of budding authors waiting for their big break. Many members from creative writing classes sat captivated as they were advised about getting that elusive...
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National Theatre ignores pleas of murdered prostitute’s mother

A play about how the Ipswich community responded to the murder of five prostitutes gets its world premiere at the National Theatre on Thursday. While many Suffolk folk whose lives have been interwoven into the storyline of London Road, may be audience, the families of the murdered women most certainly will not. After the East Anglian Daily Times published a glowing review by reporter Lynne...
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How does it feel to be an adoptive parent?

I was really moved by last night’s BBC 2 documentary featuring traumatised Maisie, who at 8 years-old had two failed adoptions behind her and was desperate to belong to a family. At first I thought the programme was too intrusive as therapists probed and opened up wounds about her troubled past, I felt that the visible distress this caused should have remained private. But then how would...
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My new iPad 2

It is quite by fluke that I am the delighted owner of an iPad 2. In fact, I have owned two in the last few days. I originally ordered one online as the Cambridge Apple store had sold out when I called in to buy one 48 hours after they were launched in the UK. I had refused to get sucked into the hype and queue hours for one when they were launched as I couldn’t believe they would sell out....
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John Bird, The Big Issue and adoptions

This post has been written by Francesca Polini, an advocate for adoption reforms in the UK, and published on her blog. I found it so interesting that I have re-published it here. Last week I was invited to the launch of the Parliamentary Friends of The Big Issue. The Big Issue was started by John Bird as a way of getting homeless people back into work and into society. The event itself was low...
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Abcodia’s pancreatic cancer collaboration

Pancreatic cancer robbed Dirty Dancing star Patrick Swayze of his life while in his prime, and has struck Apple’s Steve Jobs and our sensational soulful singer Aretha Franklin. Unbelievably, the survival rate has not improved in 30 years due to its late diagnosis. Abcodia, an innovative newly formed company I am working with, is engaged in the validation and discovery of molecular...
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