The Diary

Dial S for salad box

May 12, 2016

Ben Spier has found an unusual pitch for his new salad business - a converted telephone kiosk.

The 34-year-old lawyer, originally from Sheffield, began operating out of his makeshift deli in Bloomsbury Square, central London, this week.

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Hopes pinned on Charlotte

May 12, 2016

BBC2's The Great Sewing Bee - the haberdashery spin-off from Bake-Off - starts next Monday and we'll have someone to cheer on.

Medical journalist Charlotte Newland put her upcoming appearance down to her three children. The 43-year-old from East Finchley in London said that they had been "pestering me to go on the show for years.

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Equal opportunity knocks

May 12, 2016

There is a strong Jewish presence at the top of Britain's equality watchdog. David Isaac, new chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, took up office this week, joining Rebecca Hilsenrath, who was made chief executive of the body last autumn.

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Blend me your ears

May 12, 2016

It sounds like something out of the kosher version of Reservoir Dogs. But Jew's ear - recently spotted on sale in a north London organic store – is a regular ingredient in Chinese soup.

Its original name, as the 17th-century writer Thomas Browne pointed out, "concerneth not the nation of Jews".

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Rabbits snapped up by Fox

May 5, 2016

Historian Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of weighty books on Jerusalem and Russian czars, is taking a different literary turn. He and his romantic novelist wife Santa have co-penned a children's novel called The Royal Rabbits of London, whose hero Shylo they'll be hoping joins the ranks of other legendary bunnies such as Fiver, Brer and Bugs.

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Good folk

May 5, 2016

"Never court a wee lassie with a dark and a roving eye." But you can still sing about her, as did musician Sam Lee at this year's BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards at the Royal Albert Hall. The Belsize Square Synagogue member took the prize for best traditional track with his version of Lovely Molly (from which the words above are taken).

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Divine justice

May 5, 2016

A Haifa court received an unusual request this week - to make a restraining order against God. The unnamed claimant had complained of unfair treatment by his Creator, according to Israeli website Walla. The judge was unable to oblige, although the defendant was reported not to have shown up.

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Rita Rudner comes to Limmud

May 5, 2016

Cambridge Limmud has always prided itself on the quality of its speakers and next month's event is unlikely to disappoint with novelist Howard Jacobson and three knights including Sir Lawrence Freedman, a member of the Chilcott inquiry, taking part.

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Dogs groomed for office role

May 5, 2016

If you find a dachshund under your desk or a whippet by the watercooler next month, do not be surprised - it will only be a colleague's pet taking part in Bring Your Dog to Work Day.

The annual event was launched in 2014 by Jo Amit and Mark Hirschel to support the charity All Dogs Matter.

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Reward for a telling talent

April 27, 2016

British writer Jonathan Tel has struck gold for a second time with his short story, The Human Phonograph.

His tale of a couple living on a remote Chinese nuclear base during the 1960s won the Commonwealth short story prize last year.

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