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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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University Edible Garden, Leeds – a sustainable garden in the centre of the university, passers-by can help themselves to the home-grown produce
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Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
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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
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz