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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.

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.

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

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

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.

Church leaders criticise capitalist bosses

Church leaders criticise capitalist bosses

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

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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor