Prince’s Sign O’ The Times: An oral history

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The Prince Estate / Jeff Katz

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Sign ‘O’ The Times is Prince’s most critically-acclaimed album

On 29 March, 1987, Prince swept the board at the Razzies.

His second feature film, Under The Cherry Moon, was named worst picture, while he scooped worst actor and the track Love Or Money took home worst song.

But Prince had already moved on. A day after the Razzies ceremony, he released the album of his career: Sign ‘O’ The Times – a record that finally united all the strands of Prince’s phenomenal talent.

Over two discs, he goes from apocalyptic newscaster (Sign O’ The Times); to whimsical storyteller (Starfish And Coffee); androgynous sex beast (Hot Thing); prayerful Christian (The Cross); funk band-leader (It’s Gonna Be A Beautiful Night) and pop craftsman (U Got The Look) – all without breaking a sweat.

Behind that dizzying scope lay a disorganised, almost chaotic,

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How a Team of Calligraphers Brought Jane Austen’s Fictional Letters to Life

The sight of Jane Austen’s three-legged, walnut writing table in Chawton, England, sometimes moves visitors to tears. It’s easy to picture her in the brick house where she penned Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and more—arm draped over the table, hand racing across the page. The same is true in the city of Bath, where Austen lived from 1801 to 1806. There’s something “transporting” about seeing what Austen may have seen, or retracing the paths she may have walked, says Barbara Heller, a self-professed Janeite. Places and objects can make visitors feel a proximity to the writer, who died in 1817. “It’s a physical, tactile connection across time,” Heller says.

After reading Pride and Prejudice “a gazillion times,” Heller wondered whether a special edition of the novel could capture the texture of Austen’s life and times, and bring readers closer to the characters. Heller had loved

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A Weekend Guide to Hudson, New York

Hudson has long been a favorite among New Yorkers looking for a quick weekend getaway (or a second home, for that matter), thanks to easy train connections and a plethora of vintage and antique furniture stores, art galleries, and cocktail bars to dip into once you’re there. But a new hotel is giving design lovers yet another reason to check in for the weekend: The Maker, which opened amid the pandemic this summer, channels the creative spirit that has defined Hudson for the best part of three decades.

Hudson lies just 120 miles north of the boroughs, and its proximity to the snaking Hudson River and numerous hiking trails also makes it a prime fall destination, with the surrounding mountains turning electric shades of orange and red come late September. Plus, there’s plenty of architecture to take in among the foliage: Queen Anne mansions, Victorian townhouses, and 19th-century warehouses and

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Pistorius’ fall from grace to be told in new documentary

Oscar Pistorius’ “harrowing” journey from Paralympic star to convicted murder will be explored in a new four-part documentary.

The first instalment of The Life and Trial of Oscar Pistorius will be released on ESPN+ on September 27, with the subsequent parts televised over the next three nights.

Pistorius was jailed after shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp through a locked bathroom door in February 2013.

The six-time Paralympic gold-medallist was initially found guilty of manslaughter after he claimed he had mistaken Steenkamp for a burglar.

The Supreme Court of Appeal overturned the ruling in 2015 and convicted him of murder, handing him a six-year jail term before increasing the sentence to 13 years in 2017.

Directed by Daniel Gordon and produced by John Battsek, the documentary features interviews with several figures closest to Pistorius’ story.

The film also looks back on Pistorius’ sprinting career as the South African who had both

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From buying a bike to baking the best cakes: local retailers reveal what every shopper should know | Where you shop matters

Paul Rawlinson, owner of Baltzersen’s bakery.






Paul Rawlinson, owner of Baltzersen’s bakery.
Photograph: Matthew Lloyd/Guardian

There’s a particular magic that can happen when we shop on our local high streets. Transactions become interactions and purchases can feel like lucky finds. Much of this is due to the genuine passion and know-how of local shopkeepers.

Earlier this year, Visa introduced readers to a virtual high street, featuring inspirational local shopkeepers who had been forced to rethink their businesses almost overnight in response to lockdown. We learned how each of them met the challenges of continuing to operate in a world where face-to-face shopping had almost ground to a halt.

Thanks to their determination, and that of thousands of local shopkeepers up and down the country, consumers have been able to rediscover the magic of buying from local merchants, benefitting from their handy know-how and advice. So, to celebrate their wealth of expertise, here are some top tips

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Queens Museum officially reopens with four new exhibits and citywide public art initiative

Following a six-month closure, the Queens Museum is welcoming back the community on Wednesday, Sept. 16, with four new exhibits free of admission, as well as the unveiling of a citywide public art initiative. 

The reopening comes after state and city officials approved the reopening of museums and cultural institutions in New York City on Aug. 24. 

“After six months of turmoil and uncertainty throughout Queens, our city and the world, we can find solidarity and comfort in the inspiration and works that unite us as a community,” said Sally Tallant, president and executive director of the Queens Museum. “We are proud to work with artists to bring forth messages of hope at this still tumultuous time and to welcome back our visitors with these meaningful new exhibits and installations.” 

The museum’s

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These are the most popular house plants on Instagram

Which houseplants are the most popular on Instagram? (PIcture: Metro.co.uk/Getty)

With restrictions on the number of people you can see set to last for months, maybe it’s time to get yourself some new plant friends.

And if you need some inspiration, Instagram is a good place to look.

Filled with home inspo, people on the social media site love to add some greenery.

If you want to fit in with the latest trends, HomeHow.co.uk has put together some research around the most Instagrammed house plants.

Looking at the number of posts with plant related hashtags last week, they found that the classic cactus came out on top, which is probably because we’re not very good at remembering to get the watering can out.

The top 10 most popular plants on Instagram

1. Cactus

Lots of cacti (Picture: Getty Images/EyeEm)

Cacti come in lots of shapes, sizes and types so you

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Halloween decorating ideas from Instagram’s biggest influencers



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Fall is officially here, which means it’s time to start gathering your best Halloween decorating ideas. But before you head to the party store, draw some inspiration from Instagram’s biggest influencers. These fashionistas don’t just throw a jack-o-lantern on the front porch and call it festive, either.

Instead, these trend-setters’ Halloween decor creates a whole mood throughout their homes. And the result is surprisingly chic. We’ve rounded up our favorites for you to recreate own spooky-stylish space. 

Looking for more decor inspiration?  Check out our favorite living room ideas.

Steffy’s pumpkin-filled living room

Style blogger Steffy is known for her year-round love for orange, but the hue hits its peak this time of year. She starts with leaf garland over the windows, then layers cozy textiles like throw pillows and fleece blankets. 

Finally, she filled in the blanks with, you guessed it, pumpkins!

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Best Instagram accounts autumn interior design inspiration

@beataheuman

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Interior architect and product designer Beata Heuman got her start working for Nicky Haslam. She now has a style all of her own, with a penchant for warm colours, bold prints and multiple textures.

@bache_balthazar

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Eagle-eyed Bache Hiscox rounds up work by the most glamorous interior designers. This image, for example, from the home of decorator Christopher Gibbs, is a masterclass in combining disparate textures, patterns and objects for an opulent yet unfussy feel.

Best places in London to get the stately home look

@studio_squire

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Angelica Squire of Studio Squire is officially Tatler-approved, having decorated

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Dust Off Desks and Boot Up Terminals: Wall St. Returns, Fitfully

Six months ago, New York’s financial industry abandoned its corner offices, conference rooms and trading floors almost overnight as the coronavirus raged across the city.

The industry’s return to office life, by contrast, has been shambolic.

The Midtown Manhattan offices of Mudrick Capital, a hedge fund, never closed, but workers were required to return only after Labor Day. Across town, the offices of a fellow hedge fund, Pershing Square, remain shut, its trading terminals idle and rooftop tennis court unused since spring. JPMorgan Chase, one of the city’s largest private employers, recently asked some senior staff in its markets division to come back starting this week. Other banks have been slower, with Goldman Sachs and Citigroup calling back more workers beginning next month.

“Covid is effectively gone from New York,” said Jason Mudrick, who runs Mudrick Capital, explaining why he sees little reason to keep his 26 employees home. “I

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