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

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project