The Ghost House in Stratford-upon-Avon by BPN Architects with Baynes & Co

A house in Northern Ireland and a home by Irish architect Niall McLaughlin are on the 20-strong longlist for the Royal Institute of British Architects(...)

Back in the 1980s, fans of Brideshead Revisited wanted to go to Trinity - as long as they were able to pose in tweedy jackets, corduroy trousers and tank tops. Photograph: Nicola Dove

Back in the 1980s I don’t remember anyone being psychometrically tested or going to wonderfully informative college open days ahead of deciding what t(...)

The Ulysses Centre will be mainly housed in the former Aula Maxima of UCD on Stephen’s Green.

“This the way to the museyroom. Mind your hats goan in!” So says the museum guide early in Finnegans Wake, as visitors to Dublin are taken on a tour o(...)

Studies prove that we’re hardwired to prefer what we know. Image: Getty

The time of year has put holidays in my mind. We’ve all had the experience of arriving at our destination and your heart lifting at exactly how lovely(...)

The suicide of Stoic Roman philosopher, dramatist and statesman Seneca the Younger,  who was ordered to kill himself by Nero, and counselled that a wise person “lives as long as he ought, not as long as he can”. Photograph:  Mansell/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

“This book is not a suicide note,” declares philosopher Simon Critchley at the outset of his short, fascinating treatise on suicide. The disclaimer s(...)

Happiness is like a butterfly that lands on your hand and as soon you notice it, the butterfly flutters away. I think that’s a pretty good attitude to happiness.  Photograph: iStockphoto

Nobody has a right to happiness. I heard a woman declare this on the radio while I was walking through the kitchen. I kept going but what she said cir(...)

 Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious with his girlfriend Nancy Spungen in 1978. Photograph: Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

It is because of Heathcliff that we are like this,” Susan says and takes another sip from the salt-rimmed glass. “It was irresponsible of them to tea(...)

The best things about Christmas really are free: the carol singing, being around children, long walks, and meeting friends and family. Ignore all the hype. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

December is a bitter month and not just weather-wise. Christmas festivities hardly ever live up to the way they are portrayed in television advertisem(...)

Footballers’ Wives: one of the best things about it was that it never showed any football being played

I used to have a vague addiction to the ITV series Footballers’ Wives. Full of tongue-in-cheek excess, the show centred around the fictional club Earl(...)

Author Alain de Botton (R) makes notes during his week as writer-in-residence at Heathrow Airport, west London, on August 20, 2009.

Internet research has convinced some we can know everything. But away from Google’s spoon dipped into Wikipedia’s stockpot, the idea of the mystery of(...)

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