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Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, was due to chair a meeting of the Government’s crisis committee Cobra in response to the bad weather and power cuts.

Books: The Books Interview: A biographer's backyard

After epic journeys into other people's lives, Michael Holroyd tackled his own family history. By Frances Spalding

Dance: Glory days

DON QUIXOTE LONDON COLISEUM

John Walsh on Monday: The soul of Britain on a summer night

SUMMER NIGHTS in London and oh, the romance of the alfresco life: the Dulwich lawns still bright at 10pm, Blue Note jazz on tiny speakers in the trees, seared corn-cobs tucked aside like shy dancers on abandoned barbecues, giddying cocktails of Pimms No 6 and bison-grass vodka, the bare midriffs and strappy shoulders of 12-year-old girls long past their bedtime, the unfeasibly long Stanley-Matthews-in-Antigua shorts of relaxing arbitrageurs, people playing table tennis in a Balham garden at 3am, the white ball whizzing to and fro in the dark like a neurotic glow-worm, the sudden oh-my-God flurry of tawny goldfish just before the rain starts, Boris Becker's pale eyelashes glimpsed, mid-interview, on a small kitchen television screen with the sound turned down ...

Gratitude, not grief, for modest monk who touched the lives of so many

THERE WERE, in the main, no tears. Rather, it was a morning of sad smiles as Cardinal Basil Hume, head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, was laid to rest at Westminster Cathedral yesterday during a funeral service attended by thousands.

Monitor: All The News Of The World - Cardinal Basil Hume

Tributes to the Roman Catholic archbishop, who died on Thursday aged 76

Faithful and true, Father Basil's flock are praying for him

IN WESTMINSTER Cathedral, things are all bustle and fret. At 12.20pm. It's not the 20-strong crew of American youths with their LL Bean rucksacks emblazoned with "England Tour 99" that's the problem; nor the Italian beggar with the rosary around his neck and a mouth full of broken teeth, nor the tall black guy beside the font talking to himself as if on a mobile phone, though both his hands are empty.

The day the BBC grovellingly apologised (only kidding)

I ONCE, a long time ago, met the man who was responsible for running the BBC's daytime TV output, and as it was about the time of the new year, I asked him what sort of a Christmas he had had. I meant Christmas in a social sense, but he took it professionally.

Books: He makes Bruce Chatwin look like a sleepy stay-at-home

The Poet as Spy: The Life and Wild Times of Basil Bunting by Keith Alldritt, Aurum pounds 19.95

Church leaders criticise capitalist bosses

Church leaders criticise capitalist bosses

Churchmen attack work on holidays

TWO CHURCH leaders will warn tomorrow that family life in Britain is under threat because flexible working arrangements are designed to suit companies rather than employees.

Mmm, smells like Christmas

If alcohol doesn't get you in the mood, try perfume.

Obituary: Basil Saunders

BASIL SAUNDERS was one of Britain's pioneers of modern public relations in its path towards professionalism.

Rhyme with no reason - an American visitor's guide to that quaint British slang

THE THING that really separates the British from the Americans is our use of rhyming slang. As all Americans know, the streets of our great cities are full of Cockney people speaking to each other in rhyming slang, and maybe the lanes of our great villages as well, come to that. Just as the English suspect that when they go into a Welsh pub, everyone in there switches immediately from English to Welsh, so Americans have a vague suspicion that when they wander into a group of Britons, they will immediately start conversing in rhyming slang, not so much to avoid being understood by the Americans as to seem a bit more colourful and add a bit of zest to their humdrum tourist existence.

Buy me: Antique handbags

From Emma Noble to Liz glittery knickers Hurley, premiers and opening nights look more like a scene from a Russ Meyer film. Everyone rocks up in see-through slips and negligees and it's been left up to the accessories to lend individuality to their wearers. Enter then, the handbag - no longer a mere receptacle but a statement of intent.

Choice: Performance

David Strassman and Chuck Wood, Fairfield Halls, Croydon (0181-688 9291)
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A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
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You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

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Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

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