Arts and Entertainment

Given our national obsession with property prices, Tim Walker’s novel is bound to hit a nerve. His fictional couple, the Manvilles, bought their large north London home at a knock-down price in the 1990s, and it became the key to two aspects of their family life. Jerry, a successful advertising executive, undertook all the original plumbing, electrical and redecoration work; Pen devised a series of popular children’s books, The House on the Hill, whose “cheeky brat with the ridiculous schemes” is modelled on, and named after, her real-life son Conrad: 15 years on, they have done a loft conversion, and divorced.

Archie Bland: Jacintha Saldanha deserves to be more than a fable

With 2Day FM's decision to cancel its Christmas party, and promise of a £320,000 donation to Jacintha Saldanha's family, a full stop, or at least a semi-colon, may now be written in to the narrative of her death. A large sum of money, and a promise not to have any fun: these are the kinds of expressions of regret we can understand.

Jacintha Saldanha deserves to be more than a fable

Turning this nurse's fate into a lesson for modern society ignores the truth

Government will not change drugs policy despite critical report

The Government tonight ruled out any shift in drugs policy despite a damning report by an influential group of MPs which said Britain was failing to tackle drug barons or the multi-billion pound global profits of their illegal trade.

The shocking before and after pictures of meth addicts - warning: disturbing images

Warning: contains disturbing images
 

An anti-drugs video has been created, warning of the horrific effects methamphetamine can have on users.

Bing for a day: my fruitless attempt to avoid using a Google product

Bing for a day: my fruitless attempt to avoid using a Google product

It is possible I've visited Starbucks more since its tax affairs became news, but those who have boycotted the chain (which has now agreed to review its practices because of "consumer pressure", the Treasury said today) need not look far for a caffeine fix. Is there really much to separate, say, a Starbucks latte and one from the Costa over the road?

Editorial: An imperial past that the French can't quite escape

France has not lost its love-hate fascination with Napoleon Bonaparte, if the furious competition to buy one of his wartime letters is a guide. In the letter, written in code in 1812, the French Emperor, signing himself "Nap", reveals his bitter frustration with the failure of the Russian campaign and his intention to blow up the Kremlin on 22 May at 3am. It was expected to fetch up to £12,000 but, following some fierce bidding, instead went under the hammer to the Museum of Letters and Manuscripts in Paris for 10 times that amount.

Scott Walker

Scott Walker, Bish Bosch 4AD

No regrets as Scott's strange sounds prove addictive

Not just clutter: 'Between the Ears' on Radio 3 looked at downsizing

The Week in Radio: Moved by the memories of those who can't let go

"This is my life, I can't just throw it away," said an elderly woman in Radio 3's Between the Ears, the panic rising in her voice. She was in process of moving into sheltered housing, and the prospect of reducing her worldly goods was making her ill. She had, she explained, just spent three days in hospital.

Anorexia usually begins in adolescence, affecting 1 to 2 per cent of teenagers and university students

Hundreds of websites urging girls to 'starve for perfection'

Study reveals alarming rise in promotion of anorexia and competitive dieting

13 killed by 'toxic cough syrup' in Pakistan

Police officer Multan Khan said the dead were all drug addicts

Back-to-work scheme ‘failing homeless’

Homeless people are being failed by the government’s flagship back-to-work programme despite large amounts of public money being given to private firms to cut chronic employment, a new report warns.

Holly Willoughby: Hero or Villain?

On 12 November 1916, people around the United States experienced an outbreak of mass hysteria as 800 simultaneous sightings of Charlie Chaplin, then the most recognisable person in the world, were reported across the country, from the Atlantic coast to Pacific.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: Hard times, hearts and truths

Iain Duncan Smith wants to take child benefits and tax credits from mothers who have a third child and any more thereafter. Unbeatable China has a draconian one-child policy, so why not us? There is no public outcry because the proposed policy only targets the children of the most disadvantaged, those "feral" creatures, the enemy within. I thought IDS had come to understand such hopelessness.

Is it sad that I find the US elections so enthralling?

This obsession with the Obama vs Romney contest can't hide the fact its outcome will make little difference over here

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor