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Forgotten authors No. 13: Dodie Smith

I'd like to think that Dodie Smith is not forgotten by new generations of readers, but her curse is to have been eclipsed by Disney, for Ms Smith wrote The Hundred And One Dalmations. It would be a shame if she was remembered only for the films, for there was far more to her career. A Lancastrian born in 1896, Smith entered RADA but failed as an actress, and went to work for Heal's furniture store. During this time she became a successful author, inspiring the headline "Shopgirl writes play".

The Smoking Diaries: The Last Cigarette, By Simon Gray

This valedictory from Simon Gray, who died in August, is a delight, full as it is of all that is best and worst about human nature: hatred, fear, joy, generosity, compassion, honesty. In it, he is facing up to the end of 60 years of smoking, so a certain irascibility is inevitable, but it's always amusing how the small things cause the greatest outbursts – for example his utter disgust at the woman next to him on a plane who can't stop sneezing and blowing her nose and stuffing paper cups with used hankies.

Just After Sunset, By Stephen King

These scary stories are strangely reassuring

Parties: It's full-on at half-term

When the London College of Fashion held a catwalk show and after-party on 27 October to kick off its inaugural Fashioning the Future summit, a series of seminars on the subject of sustainability, your average punter would have been hard-pressed to spot a famous face. But for the clamouring students, a veritable dream line-up was present, from the ever-dapper Jaeger chairman Harold Tillman and ex-Topshopper Jane Shepherdson (now of Whistles) to Browns boutique owner Joan Burstein.

Fashion: Sell high, buy low?

Political upheavals and economic woes may come and go, but our fascination with the vagaries of female footwear reigns eternal. Last month, an announcement by shoe designer extraordinaire Christian Louboutin, in which he unveiled his dastardly plan to unleash a pair of eight-inch stilettos on the world, led the fashion press to declare that heels, and women's irrational love of them, are set to reach new heights this season.

Fancy restaurants are going to the wall. Could this be the perfect time to open a tearoom?

Orange Pekoe: 3 White Hart Lane, London SW13, tel: 020 8876 6070

Culture: Why Little Dorrit's grown in stature

I was having dinner at the Hix Oyster & Fish House in Lyme Regis with a well-known restaurateur last weekend when conversation inevitably turned to the credit crunch. Was his restaurant suffering? The answer was yes. He had had only 60 covers in the previous night, down from 75 a week earlier. What about the restaurant we were eating in? Would this high-end seafood restaurant in Dorset attract enough customers to ride out the storm? Only if it lowered its prices, he reckoned. We then noticed a recent addition to the desert menu: "Credit crunch ice cream". At £1.50 a scoop, it was significantly cheaper than any of the alternatives.

Austerity entertainment: Hot to trot!

Trouble ahead? Then grab a partner, face the music and try dancing with the old-time party animals who are flocking to wild jive nights and afternoon tea waltzes all over Britain

The Austerity Issue: don't panic

Amid the bewildering complexities of the global financial crisis, one simple fact stands out: the little we have left needs to go a lot further. Fear not! We'll show you how to endure the forthcoming recession with a bit of grit, some nous and the wise advice of our post-war forebears. And you never know, you might have a laugh or two along the way... To begin our special issue, a celebration of the true heroine of austerity Britain: the housewife

Austerity craft: Never mind the flatpacks

Who needs Ikea when your local skip has so much to offer? Drills at the ready as we show how to turn a load of old junk into the hippest of homeware

Austerity style: Men of Britain, put down your hair gel

...and pick up your shovels – because with hard times ahead, man-bag-clutching metrosexuality is out, and old-fashioned machismo is flexing its muscles once again

Austerity interiors: To serve us all our days

1940s homeware is back in fashion. And it'll last forever, says fanatical collector Johnny Vercoutre

Why I love: Passing it on

Jamie Hector, Actor

Austerity food: Fresh from the back of your fridge

Britons waste more than three tonnes of food a year. It's time to find a happier home for those curled-up old lettuce leaves

Bites: Ice, slice and two sugars please

Yesterday, Bistrotheque, Pablo Flack and David Waddington's hip east London eatery, spawned Flash, a "guerilla" restaurant made entirely of art storage boxes, at London's Royal Academy. The menu is French/Californian, while afternoon tea includes the option to swap your brew for a pot of Tanqueray gin cocktails. How decadent.

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Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor