Alice-Azania Jarvis

Alice-Azania Jarvis is a feature writer for The Independent

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Last Night's Viewing: London's Burning Chanel 4<br />Lorraine's Last Minute Christmas BBC2

What with it being nearly New Year and all, we're almost at the stage where we can safely start assessing the highs and lows of the Year That Was. We are approaching the end of the risky pre-emptive period, where the combination of major world events and celebrity deaths threaten, perilously, to render us redundant. Soon, tantalisingly soon, we will be able to write our Hundred Best lists with confidence.

Bits on the side: good vegetables can make a Christmas meal

Festive vegetables that are worth sprouting about

Use these hints to give your parsnips some zip and turn even die-hard Brussels haters into fans, says Alice-Azania Jarvis

Last night's viewing - The Butlin's Story, ITV1; The Hairy Bikers' Christmas Party, BBC2

Had Billy Butlin, already established by 1936 as a successful entrepreneur with a tidy line in amusement parks, not decided to open up the first Butlin's on the unglamorous shores of Skegness, the world might have missed out on "Rockin' All Over the World". Imagine! In true Sliding Doors fashion, it was while performing at the Minehead outpost of Butlin's franchise that Rick Parfitt met Francis Rossi. And lo, a five-decade love affair with double denim and dodgy hair was born.

Lines of communication

Helplines: Call for help

A voice on the end of the telephone can be a life saver – the elderly are the latest group requiring a dedicated helpline. But funding problems threaten cuts at a time of great need

DVD: The Killing II (15)

She's back, sporting a new red jumper and tasked with solving another gruesome crime.

DVD: The Killing II (15)

She's back, sporting a new red jumper and tasked with solving another gruesome crime.

We all know that relationships come under pressure when times are tough

Is the financial crisis leading to more divorces?

The relationship between love and money is a little bit more complicated than that

William with his mother Michelle at the Swindon Rainbow Drop-In Centre

Independent Appeal: 'I was devastated and close to a breakdown'

Michelle, the mother of a disabled son, was at her wits' end before the Rainbow Trust stepped in

Season's eating: an Ocado staff member packs some crackers

Supermarket delivery services gear up for a bumper Christmas

Fifteen miles of conveyor belts, 3.7 million packets of stuffing and thousands of 'pickers'...more and more of us do the biggest shop of the year online.

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