Siobhán Norton

Food, travel and wellbeing writer. 

Assistant editor at the i newspaper and

Parents’ fury at NHS failure to prescribe life-saving cannabis for children

An executive at one of the world’s biggest medical cannabis companies has said he will fund treatment for a British child with epilepsy, as the NHS continues to fail to prescribe the potentially life-saving treatment. It comes as parents increasingly give up on the NHS and turn to private wealthy funders despite the Government giving the green light to the treatment six months ago. Parents of seriously ill children, including Billy Caldwell’s mother Charlotte, have spoken of their fear, anger

How to climb Everest… without straying too far from home

It’s not unusual for a man of the cloth to embark on a pilgrimage. But when Peter Owen Jones embarked on his latest project, to scale the equivalent of Everest without leaving England, it was perhaps more of a spiritual awakening than he had ever imagined. “I wanted to see what it would be like to get above the plane, to get some perspective on life,” Owen Jones says. “But I had no idea that what would emerge in the writing of it was kind of what lay deep within me. It wasn’t the book I was pla

Hiking in Puglia: how to see the heel of Italy on foot

“Would you like to walk with us?” Some friendly-looking hikers are adjusting their backpacks and slapping on sun cream. I decline cheerfully, marching off down the path before, minutes later, saluting the group sheepishly as I retrace my steps. It is perhaps a sign of my lousy sense of direction that my Pugliese walking holiday begins in Matera – not actually in Puglia at all but neighbouring Basilicata. My first walk is a short 7km loop in the Park of the Rock Churches, across the ravine from

The man who gets through 200 glasses of wine a day

It’s not long after lunch and the room is busy, filled with people sitting at tables laden with glasses of wine. But there’s no bawdy chat, no laughter or clinking of glasses – almost everyone is silent, tapping away at their tablets after every swig. These people aren’t here for a cheeky afternoon tipple. They are among the most distinguished wine experts in the world and they are judging the best of the best in their specific region of expertise. Most wine drinkers will be familiar with the

Rio de Janeiro holiday guide: drink caipirinhas in Ipanema, and spend the day on Copacabana

When to go December to March is Rio’s high season – prices are at their highest between Christmas and New Year – but prices fall after Easter, the beaches are less crowded and the weather is still hot, if more humid, from March to May. For nature lovers, September and October are the perfect time to visit the Botanic Gardens, Tijuca Forest (in the hills above the city) and Parque Lage, at the foot of Corcovado. Carnival, in February, is Rio’s biggest draw of the year – but be warned that the we

Can this hi-tech headband that reads your brainwaves help you find inner peace?

As I sit cross-legged, eyes closed, I can hear the rain gently falling. I concentrate on my breath – in, out, in, out. It’s not long before my mind wanders – to work, to plans for later, replaying a conversation that’s been bothering me. The rain begins to fall more heavily, the wind whipping up into a storm. Concentrate! I breathe more deeply, and the rain lulls. A bird twitters, then another. Eventually, a bell sounds, and I open my eyes. I’m not in a rainforest, but in my sitting room, and w

Scream to serene: a weekend exploring Edvard Munch’s Oslo is far from melancholy

I must have the best seat in the house. Sitting by the window in Ekeberg restaurant, I can see almost all of Oslo and its inner fjord. Below, the city twinkles serenely. Snow is still frozen hard on the ground, and many people will be turning in early after an afternoon on the slopes. The water in the harbour lies as still as if it, too, were frozen. It is hard to believe this is the same view that inspired The Scream – not least because Edvard Munch intended to represent not the figure in the

Meet the tech CEO who lost five stone thanks to his own app

Many of us would never dream of darkening the door of a gym when travelling for work or pleasure. Fritz Lanman isn’t one of those people. “I went to Sweat It yesterday, do you know it? Pretty tough. I landed from Bangkok into Heathrow and I just knew I was going to have to stay awake all day, so I had to get a workout in to get my energy levels up. And then this morning I went to Another Space, I did a boxing HIIT workout and it was packed in there.” It’s hardly a surprise that the chief execu

On board the MSC Bellissima, the world’s biggest privately owned cruise ship

The sushi chef is working deftly, precisely slicing and arranging the prettiest creations. With a flourish and a smile, he presents a plate to me, as I wield my chopsticks greedily. It’s delicious, and the Japanese teppanyaki restaurant is inviting with its green decor and delicate flower arrangements. But I’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so I wander back out onto the promenade in search of my next course. The sun is setting overhead as my gaze is drawn by an inviting tapas bar. Perhaps a ge

Why I’m not tickled pink by the International Women’s Day shopping suggestions

Breathe a sigh of relief, marketeers – there’s a brand new holiday to fill the gap between Valentine’s and Easter! Yes, it’s a good’un, and conveniently it’s aimed directly at the biggest consumer spending group out there… Women! According to my inbox, at least, International Women’s Day is our chance to throw caution to the wind and buy ourselves some pink-themed frippery in celebration of feminism. Some anti-wrinkle eye cream? It’s what Millicent Fawcett would have wanted. A glittery bath

For me, Beverly Hills, 90210 star Luke Perry symbolised a thrilling new era of TV for teenagers

It has been a sad week for anyone who was a teenager in the 1990s, as the deaths of two iconic figures were announced. Depending on their coolness level, many teenagers at that time would have had a poster of either Keith Flint, part of electronic dance act The Prodigy, or the Hollywood actor Luke Perry on their walls. For me, it was decidedly the latter – although I have a distinct memory of coming home from school one day to find my dad stomping around the house yelling, “I am the firestarter

This 88-year-old fitness instructor who qualified in her 70s believes everyone can keep fit

Alacia Elliott doesn’t fit the mould of the stereotypical fitness instructor – no bulging muscles, menacing stance or “push through the pain” mantra. But she’s made of tough stuff. And, at 88, is older than most of her clients. “When I retired at the age of 59 from my job in local government, my husband was still working, so I decided to take some fitness classes at the local leisure centre,” says Ms Elliott. “There was so much – water aerobics, even badminton. It was also really sociable, so m

How to transform small bathrooms from cluttered to calm

It’s no surprise that the bathroom often ends up being one room in the house lacking a little bit of love. It’s the place where toiletries pile up, not to mention overflowing laundry baskets and collections of fading bath toys. But these days, there’s every reason to turn your bathroom into a more inviting environment – somewhere you’ll actually want to spend time. And with a growing trend for hotel-inspired spaces and Instagram-friendly “shelfies”, there’s plenty of furniture and accessories

The gift of coffee bushes is sowing seeds of change for women in Kenya

If Zeddy Rotich is feeling impatient, she isn’t letting on. It’s Sunday morning, and she’s due at church soon – her neighbour, Esther, is already waiting, dressed in blue with a string of pearls around her neck. Rotich’s children, also in their Sunday best, flit shyly around us in the shaded garden, occasionally scrambling into their mother’s lap as she talks. Chickens forage around our feet. It is the second time we have met, and it’s becoming increasingly apparent how valuable Rotich’s time

Le Barn, Ile de France hotel review: a country idyll with a hefty dose of equestrian chic just outside Paris

Last year saw the opening of this country idyll with a hefty dose of equestrian chic just outside Paris. While the idea of bunking down in a barn may seem like roughing it, this is stripped back luxury at its best. The Forest of Rambouillet is what Parisians like to call “the country”, while being conveniently located just 40 minutes’ drive from the city. A stud farm of over 200 hectares is home to this rural retreat, where horses, hares and deer ramble freely. The old mill house of stud farm

The man who gave Margot Robbie a Hollywood body – and can reboot yours in just 21 days

On the morning I meet David Higgins, bloated as I am from a weekend of excess and struggling with a frozen shoulder, I don’t exactly feel that I fit the mould of his typical clientele. The personal trainer and physiotherapist has worked with Colin Firth, Margot Robbie and even Samuel L Jackson to get them fit for camera. His new book is titled The Hollywood Body Plan – and my body doesn’t even qualify as a Hollyoaks body after a sluggish start to the year. Sitting in his sleek BodySpace gym at

Dr Michael Mosley: the man behind the 5:2 diet on why he now wants you to eat just 800 calories a day

He is the man who got Britons to lose weight, has written a slew of best-selling diet books and fronted dozens of health documentaries. But don’t leave the biscuit tin unattended when Dr Michael Mosley’s around. “I have no willpower. If there’s a bar of chocolate, I will eat the whole thing. If there are salted peanuts, I’ll eat the whole bloody bowl. “Clare knows – very occasionally we’ll have a packet of biscuits in the house and she’ll say ‘what are you doing’, while I’m *makes munching noi

I’m among the millions of adults who can’t swim – but I’m finally taking the plunge

I’m never sure quite how to handle the look of surprise people give me when I tell them I can’t swim. “But swimming is fun!” Yes, I’m sure it is. “But it’s great exercise.” I don’t doubt it. The fact remains that I can’t swim. Or even take my feet off the bottom of a swimming pool. I’ve been scared of water for as long as I can remember – school swimming trips were a source of dread and the smell of chlorine still makes my stomach lurch. The thought of being hemmed in by water makes my palms
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