Money

Homeowners are more inclined to improve their current property rather than move house, research carried out by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has found.

Monsoon admits mistakes

MONSOON, the underperforming women's fashion retailer chaired by Peter Simon, reported its first fall in profits for 13 years yesterday alongside a poor Christmas trading statement which showed sales declines accelerating, writes Nigel Cope.

Theatre Mr Puntila and his man Matti

After taking the Edinburgh Festival by storm and enjoying a sell- out run in London in October, Mr Puntila and His Man Matti (right) now looks like one of the shows of 1998. If not the show. Lee Hall's jaunty new version of Brecht's 1940 satire on the class system is directed by theatre de complicite's Kathryn Hunter. The production has further enhanced the glowing reputation of both the Almeida theatre and the right size, whose extraordinary double-act skills provided the impetus for the revival. This time last year, Hamish McColl and Sean Foley hit the West End with their wondrous two-men-in-a-bathroom lark, Do You Come Here Often?. Now these soon-to-be TV stars have again gamely agreed to give up most of their Christmas resuming the lead roles of the drunken landowner Puntila and his put-upon chauffeur Matti for 20 performances. It's physical, it's funny, it's certainly not festive. Get dialing.

Parliament: The Sketch: Redwood hotly denies holding talks with bathroom sponge

WHAT GENIUS of melodrama arranged for the announcement of the law lords' ruling on General Pinochet's appeal? Surely serendipity alone could not have marshalled the occasion so perfectly, first of all ensuring the verdict would arrive on the old villain's birthday, then procuring the perfect sequence for the individual judgments to be read out. In dramatic terms the hearing has been rather like the kind of experimental theatre favoured by German directors of a sadistic bent - a celebration of enigma in which old atrocities mingled surreally with the picking of legal nits. In the early days, though, the subject matter alone guaranteed that it was something of a hot ticket, with various celebrity politicians turning up to listen, staying for just long enough to realise that they had not the faintest idea what any of it meant, and then departing for something a little more vaudeville. Kavanagh QC it wasn't. The main body of the audience, whether they were the claque of Pinochistas in cashmere and silk or the rather more coarsely fibrous group of protesters, were doggedly attentive, but even they couldn't pretend it was easy stuff to sit through.

TIPOF THE WEEK: SPRUCE UP THE BATHROOM OR KITCHEN FOR A FEW QUID

DOES THE silicone seal around your bath or kitchen worktop look tired and mouldy? It's really easy to replace it with a new one.

Blue Circle to sell businesses

BLUE CIRCLE Industries has confirmed it intends to dispose of its bathroom and ceramics businesses, which could be worth up to pounds 250m.

Theatre: Curtain Calls - Do you come here often?

Not since Morecambe and Wise has a double act engendered such hilarious happiness. The night I saw this joyously inspired, supremely silly show, based on the entirely barmy premise of two men trapped in a bathroom, the entire audience gave them a roaring standing ovation. I insist you go.

Taking Liberty

Liberty is always a treasure trove at Christmas and, with purple and silver as this year's key colours, the mock Tudor building is bound to look fabulous. Contemporary designs sit beside traditional Liberty style threoughout the store. Look out for the excellent selection of modern Italian designs in both the kitchen and bathroom department and the eagerly anticipated crystal collection from John Rocha.

The Time: Evening, The Place: Bathroom

The Essentials: Soaking in a long, hot bath has to be the best way to relax after battling home from work on a cold, dark winter's night. So, here we've chosen some must haves to turn your bathtime into pure self-indulgent pleasure.

Life's a vacuum without it

Men, it seems, still escape their fair share of housework. And yet there are those who find joy in scouring the bath and keeping the wife out of the kitchen.

Home-owners do it themselves

Home-owners have been spending an average of pounds 320 a year each on DIY - more than one-fifth of the total amount they splash out for work on their homes, a report shows today.

What makes a des res

The features most likely And those that keep a

Letter: Maths in the bathroom

Sir: Excited by the prospect of possessing my very own piece of practical Penrose tiling ("Kleenex art that ended in tears", 12 April), I purchased the last two-pack of white quilted Kleenex toilet tissue in my local supermarket.

There's a Welshman in the waterworks

I am glad to welcome back once more Dr Rudolf Reinhardt, the expert on bathroom science, who will answer all your questions about the strange scientific phenomena which occur only in bathrooms and nowhere else. All yours, Doctor!

Dirt, death, decay and old fingernails

I want to talk to you today about spring cleaning ...

All work, all play

Slava Polunin is widely acknowledged as the world's greatest clown. But don't ask him to be anything less than serious. By Adrian Turpin
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
New Articles
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Career Services

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
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
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