North: Fashioning Identity. The exhibition at Somerset House examines the visual representation of the north and Northerners in photography, fashion and art. A real visual treat.

The Descent of Man. I’m enjoying Grayson Perry’s new book, looking at masculinity and the stereotypes that are holding all of us back.

Freedom – International Day of the Girl. The new video set to Beyonce’s Freedom and directed by MJ Delaney is so powerful. Don’t forget to turn it up.

Laura Hunter


Great portraits

It’s an extraordinary time for seeing portraits by great modern artists in London. Three current exhibitions are:

  • Modigliani at Tate Modern
  • Cezanne at the National Portrait Gallery
  • Soutine at the Courtauld

All favourites of mine, all running into the new year, all worth a portrait-viewing binge.

John Simmons


I confess I am a slow reader. A Little Life is still on my bucket list. Add to that Pulitzer-Prize winning author Jennifer Egan’s latest Manhattan Beach. Here’s what The Guardian said about it: “This is a novel that will pull you in and under and carry you away on its rip tides…. Its resonances continue to wash over the reader long after the novel ends.” As a non-skier soon to go on a Christmas ski holiday with my children, I’ll be packing both these books in lieu of boots.

Agatha Christie is having a comeback with Kenneth Branagh’s makeover of Murder on the Orient Express. He both directs and stars – mustache and all – in this remake with a star-studded cast including Penelope Cruz, Leslie Odom of “Hamilton” and the ever-beautiful Michelle Pfeiffer as the sexy widow. And my crush Bill Nighy is starring this Christmas in the BBC’s three-part series Ordeal by Innocence, a TV adaptation of Agatha Christie’s novel. It’s not all yuletide and holiday cheer in this English-country-house thriller where actress Anna Chancellor playing the perfect wife to Nighy’s Leo Argyll comes to a grizzly end.

I loved the recent documentary The Center Will Not Hold about treasured American writer Joan Didion directed by her nephew Griffin Dunne. The sixties film footage with everyone from George Harrison to Harrison Ford to serial murderer Charles Manson brings the viewer back to a pivotal decade in US history. Didion’s comments are as poetic and succinct as her prose.

Elena Bowes


Alone Together: Tales of Sisterhood and Solitude in Latin America.

A 26 member and Dark Angel, Charlotte Mackenzie de Urrea, entered a competition, submitting a short piece for an anthology of stories. It was selected to be in the book, which is coming out in time for Christmas – Alone Together: Tales of Sisterhood and Solitude in Latin America.

Claire Bodanis


Loving Vincent is the most extraordinary visual treat – an animated film about the life and death of Van Gogh created in the painter’s own style. A huge team of artists painted over 65,000 frames in oils to produce what is claimed to be the world’s first fully painted feature film. If you’re a Van Gogh fan, you’ll love it (I did). And even if not, you can’t help but be impressed. It was premiered at the London Film Festival and is now showing at cinemas around the country. Search it out.

Wendy Jones



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Latest 26 Facebook

6 days ago
Beyond Christmas: mindfulness and creative writing - 26

As the Christmas madness has finally kicked off, here's something restful approaching in January: Writing and Mindfulness.... now breathe (and maybe write a little)!

Mindfulness is a buzz word we’ve been hearing a lot lately. What does that mean as creative writers? Can we take a mindful approach to what and how we write? Why might this matter? In late ... See more

2 weeks ago
From inboxing to thought showers: how business bullshit took over

"Business bullshit can and should be challenged. This is a task each of us can take up by refusing to use empty management-speak."
An interesting insight into the history and corrosive nature of the ... See more

The long read: Vacuous management-speak is easily laughed off – but is there a real cost to talking rubbish?

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Latest 26 images

Image by Tony Linkson
Found on the island of Giglio, Italy by Chris Bird.
26 Screenshot by Lara Muth
I live at number 26, and this is my bin!  Rebecca Thomas
Captured in Venice by Elen Lewis
Distance markers on a disused railway in East Sussex. The Cuckoo Line.  By Tony Linkson
Distance markers on a disused railway in East Sussex. The Cuckoo Line.  By Tony Linkson
Distance markers on a disused railway in East Sussex. The Cuckoo Line.  By Tony Linkson
Spotted by Marin Lee at the Serpentine in Hyde Park
Spotted in Copenhagen by Helen MacKinven.
Spotted on the airfield of Tivat airport in Montenegro by Martin Lee
I took this picture in a fabulous vegan and raw food restaurant in Turin - Ezri Carlebach
Spotted in Capri by Laura Hunter
Woods near Jouqueviel, Midi-Pyrenees, 10 minutes after I had told my walking group about 26. They gave me a funny look. By David Mathews
Image by Ed Pritchard
Image by Lydia Thornley in Krakow
Spotted in Belfast by Jonathan Holt
From Christmas travels in Krakow by Lydia Thornley
Night time lamp from Christmas travels in Krakow by  Lydia Thornley
Daytime lamp from Christmas travels in Krakow by  Lydia Thornley
26 Venice Street, Mornington, Australia by Aimee Chalmers
Spotted near Lavigny, Switzerland. Image by Linda Cracknell.