Mind if I join you? Solo dining with a hippo

Lonely or self-conscious when you are dining alone? No need to feel either ever again; there’s a restaurant in Japan that will seat a huge toy hippo opposite you so that you don’t have to be self-conscious about being on your own. Your rice is also hippo shaped in this Moomin themed restaurant – the animation character is hugely popular in Japan. In Amsterdam they’ve opened a restaurant specifically for

Dancing the Madison in Bande A Part

Let’s get the week off to a Gauloise smoking, sweater wearing, finger clicking start with the iconic dance scene from Jean Luc Godard’s 1964 Bande A Part (The Outsiders). Much imitated (by Quentin Tarrantino for one), the scene features Anna Karina, Sami Frey and Claude Brasseur dancing to John Lee Hooker’s Shake it Baby. It’s very very cool.

Leaning into the afternoons: some Pablo Neruda for your Valentine's Day

It’s Valentine’s Day and for anyone sick of the empty, headache inducing bubbles of Champagne and garish red of garage-bought roses, here’s a drop of the good stuff… Leaning Into The Afternoons Leaning into the afternoons I cast my sad nets towards your oceanic eyes. There in the highest blaze my solitude lengthens and flames, its arms turning like a drowning man’s. I send out red signals across your absent

In 'Friend Love' with Yumi Sakugawa

Californian artist Yumi Sakugawa‘s hit comic strip about friend love is now available as a book. A one-eyed formless protagonist reaches out to someone she feels is a perfect match as a friend in a story that is both touching and perceptive about connections in a technological age. Sakugawa, 29, says the book does come from an autobigraphical place, ‘I was a freshman in college when Facebook first came out.

The Poetry of Sex

The Poetry of Sex, an anthology, edited by Sophie Hannah is published by Penguin on 30 January. Not all the poems are about Daniel Craig, only two appear alongside poems by Catullus and Andrew Marvell’s 17th century plea To His Coy Mistress. Message by Wendy Cope, below, is a funny plea to her lover to hurry up and get on with it while they still have their own teeth. Pick up

Lest we forget: the women poets of the first world war

There is a strong but neglected tradition of women’s poetry written in response to the events of the First World War. Many of these poems are the products of direct experience of making weapons, nursing the wounded, the loss of brothers, sons, or lovers in the trenches as well as by women involved in the war effort at home. The range of this poetry is wide. It is often experimental

Yoke up the children: powerful images of child labour in America

These powerful images were taken by photographer Lewis Hine on behalf of the National Child Labor Committee in America in the early 1900s. What is striking about the images is the adult expressions on the children’s faces. The NCLC aimed to promote the rights and well-being of children in relation to working. Hine later referred to his photographic work for the NCLC as ‘detective work.’ These images are archived by the