An Independent week

When a village feels the cold, rockers seem so old and champagne bargains will make you bold
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Don't panic

You can organise the week here with the smart guide to what to buy, see, do or think. Ignore the WEATHER. It's going to be unsettled with heavy showers in the west. Temperatures 10C. to 13c.

because it's good to know that some things remain the same you'll want to see fabled purveyors of the three chord trick, STATUS QUO. Manchester Apollo, 0161 273 3775.

read 'Aimee and Jaguar' (Bloomsbury pounds 16.99). A wartime account of a German wife who fell in love with a Jewess. They embarked on a passionate affair which was tragically ended by the Gestapo.

discover what would happen if Salvador Dali met Sigmund Freud? Terry Johnson's COMEDY, 'Hysteria', takes the premise and runs with it. Phyllida Law directs. Duke of York's, London 0171 836 5122.

watch 'The Madness Of King George' on VIDEO (Columbia/Tristar Home). Sparkling adaptation by Alan Bennett, matching performances from Nigel Hawthorne, Helen Mirren and Ian Holm.

because mice have been scuttling inside for cover after the recent cold spell check stored FRUIT regularly, remove nibbled fruit before it rots and set traps. Perhaps it would be more ecologically correct to get a cat.

take a nibble at the Big Apple. Sunworld Skybargains (0181 313 7919) are offering return FLIGHTS Stansted to Newark for pounds 199 on Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays until 10 December.

Teasing

Chancellor Kenneth Clarke unveils his Budget. Tory backbenchers see tax cuts as their best chance of electoral salvation and Mr Clarke is unlikely to disappoint. Teasing the faithful at last month's party conference, Mr Clarke lapsed into Francis Urquhart-speak - there might be tax cuts, he couldn't possibly comment. MPs will debate the Budget proposals for five days. They will comment. At length.

Teesing

After gritting his teeth and dropping in on Downing Street, Bill Clinton follows JFK, Ronald Reagan and Perry Como in filming a promotional video in Ireland for his forthcoming gig, the US Presidential election campaign. Sadly, Bosnian detente forced the cancellation of his R&R at Co Kerry's magnificent Ballybunion golf course beside the Atlantic. Washington insiders say a golf-crazy Clinton had already memorised the course handbook.

Pleasing

Newcastle gets the chance to see what the fuss is about their rugby team. Because of union's arcane - and soon to be redundant - transfer and registration rules, Rob Andrew's recruits - including England international Dean Ryan and Scotland's Gary Armstrong and Doddie Weir - have been prevented from playing for their new club. They make their first appearance, in a friendly against Transvaal.

TODAY

Cold snap

If the recent early dusk has enhanced your winter depression, spare a thought for the villagers of Utsjoki, Finland. This is the last time they will see the sun until February. Add to that their endurance of temperatures of -20C and Britain's average eight and a half hours of daylight and temperate climate seem almost tropical by comparison.

Even Britain can't compare with Namibia whose temperatures, in excess of 33C, should provide daylight enough for anyone.

Per ardua ad-verts

Astronomical advertising costs becomes a reality with the launch of Sweden's Maxus space rocket from Kiruna. The 13 ton rocket's flight will claim the first advert in space, not to mention $1m, by bearing the logo of People Cellular Computers.

Will astronauts of the future don multi-sponsored overalls in the Formula One tradition?

TOMORROW

Without art

The days when a good view and a paint brush were the basis of great art are long since over. With works that include Damien Hirst's dissected cattle and the internal examinations of Mona Hatoum, whose earlier work critic Brian Sewell described as "a shopping trolley contraption", the modern artist may list a diversity of skills from butcher to gynaecologist. The Turner Prize winner is chosen live on Channel 4's, 'Without Walls' (9pm). Bookmaker William Hill's latest odds are: Hirst 4-5, Hatoum 2-1 and Wallinger 7-2.

Look, sees

The General Synod of the Church of England meets at Church House, Westminster until Friday. It will discuss a controversial report on the family and far-reaching plans to reform the administration of the Church. The General Synod is the only body outside Parliament which can make English law, though Parliament must approve its efforts.

Mighty Moyet

If you haven't heard her live you haven't heard Alison Moyet. Her powerful voice crosses musical boundaries and with her greatest hits album showcasing her talents this brief tour should be a force to be reckoned with. Bournemouth International Centre 01202 297297.

WEDNESDAY 29

Exit Reg

He may be The Best Soap Star ever, according to 'TV Times' readers, but, after six years, Reg Holdsworth bows out of 'Coronation Street'. Actor Ken Morley seems less keen to give up the limelight and commemorates his departure with 'Knowledge is Power' (Blake, pounds 14.99). It's his, "warts, verrucas, bunions and all" autobiography.

Able and willing

Council officials in Huddersfield will be shadowed by disabled people who will report on what changes should be made to improve the facilities. All part of a week of events culminating in Sunday's International Day of the Disabled, sponsored by the United Nations. (Contact: 0171 834 0477) Events across the country including today's Positive Choices Conference in London, which aims to examine ways of improving care for disabled children and coincides with similar events in the Sudan, Barbados and even Chile.

Rod 'n' roll

Rod Stewart (Tues-Thurs, London Wembley Arena, 0181-900 1234). One size down from his Wembley Stadium shows earlier this year but still in the round, Rod promises to deliver "all the hits plus songs not performed in over two decades" in that distinctive growl which has made his Tom Waits cover versions so appropriate.

THURSDAY 30

'Chelle shock

Her days in 'EastEnders' playing Michelle - aka television's favourite single mother - are now behind her and actress Susan Tully is busy proving that there is life after soap. She opens in John Godber's 'The New Office Party' for Hull Truck Theatre. 01482 323638

Take one

Sir Georg Solti conducts a starry line up in an evening devoted to his countryman, Bela Bartok. Lazlo Polgar and the marvellous Julia Varady sing his dramatic masterpiece 'Bluebeard's Castle' and Andras Schiff plays the second piano concerto. Barbican, London, 0171 638 8891.

Apres le deluge

The first cricket Test between South Africa and England, although a virtual washout, should have at least got rid of the recent English tradition of losing the first match of a series. Hostilities recommence in Johannesburg. Will Ray Illingworth trust Devon Malcolm? Will Mark Ramprakash make it as a Test batsman? Will Michael Atherton (above) ever smile on a cricket field again?

FRIDAY 1

Woody wouldn't he?

Having decided that 'Immortality in my work doesn't interest me ... I want immortality from not dying', Woody Allen is to be congratulated for his partial success in turning 60. Whether or not God grants him 'One clear sign, like putting millions in a Swiss bank account for me', might depend on the success of his latest film, 'Mighty Aphrodite', in which he directs co-star Helena Bonham Carter.

Sleazeball

One of football's biggest scandals makes an action replay as Zimbabwe's national hero, Bruce Grobbelaar, makes yet another appearance in court on charges of alleged match-fixing along with the former Aston Villa striker John Fashanu and Wimbledon goalkeeper Hans Segers.

More ado from Ken

Kenneth Branagh moves to calmer pastures with 'In the Bleak Midwinter'. After the monstrous disappointment of 'Frankenstein' and the luvviedom of 'Peter's Friends' this is a modest comedy about a group of am-dram enthusiasts (including John Sessions, Joan Collins and Jennifer Saunders) staging a provincial 'Hamlet'. Much ado about a little.

THE WEEKEND 2 / 3

Plant higher

Be nice to your plants. BUY the Erbale, a plastic hanging plant holder. Four vertical containers alternate with plasma pumping bags for the water, providing a steady drip. Designed by Bortolani and Beccheli it is functional, futuristic and makes your plants cascade healthily. pounds 49.95 from Viaduct, 1-10 Summer's Street, London EC1, 0171 278 8456

Beatles for re-sale

Avid music fans will descend on Wembley Conference Centre (Saturday) for the London Rock and Pop Fair (Saturday 11 am, Sunday 10am pounds 3). Besides The Beatles' 'I Want You', cut only a week before the band's split and which could go for pounds 10,000, will be a collection that includes every British single released since1968, including Agadoo.

Dee-lights

The British Comedy Awards will be shown live on ITV (Saturday 9pm) from London's South Bank, with appearances from Billy Connolly and Jack Dee. Guaranteeing a few extra laughs, if only for his My Little Pony hairstyle, is host Jonathan Ross.

Getting fizzical

Opening salvoes in the pre-Christmas high street champagne frenzy. Oddbins, Bottoms Up, Wine Cellar, Nicolas and Majestic all offer big savings. Tesco are slashing 27 per cent off a case of Charles Heidsieck, Victoria Wine 25 per cent off Lanson Brut Ros. Biggest price-cut to date is a swingeing 32 per cent off Bollinger 1988, decimated by pounds 11 a bottle from pounds 33.99 at Fuller's.

IN

The Independent this week:

AZTEC CAMERA REINVENTED: Cult band of the Eighties is back.

WEARING THE TROUSERS: The suit as fashionable as ever.

TIMBERLAKE WERTENBAKER: New at the Royal Court this week: Julie Walters in Sister My Sister.

WIN

HarperCollins audio books: TWO for the price of ONE. See Section Two, page 9 for token 2

TVR Griffith 500. See Page 12 for token 8.

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