Sport Hail Cesar: Azpilicueta has started 14 of Chelsea’s last 16 games, adding an understated solidity to the team’s defence

Full-back tells Miguel Delaney how he worked on his strength and won over Jose Mourinho by putting ‘the team first, second and third’

Tennis: Henman rallies from base line

Andrew Longmore finds Britain's summer matinee idol at a loss for the first time

Tennis: Ivanisevic and Kafelnikov not suited to change of scenery

Good players might not become bad players overnight, but strange form fluctuations do seem to take place when they are sleeping, or at least trying to sleep, while in transit from one tournament to another. There are times when last week's winners become this week's no-hopers.

Call me an adultescent, if you wish, but I'm stuck on popular culture

It is not every day that one is stopped in one's tracks by a gang of lexicographers. But the people who edit Oxford Dictionaries have sent out a list of newly minted words that have appeared in the last year or so. And one's eye falls with horror on the portmanteau term "adultescent", defined as "35-45-year-olds with interests typically associated with youth culture". The word is new to me, but the sentiment is something I'm accused of all the time. Nobody actually says "Stop that, you ridiculous adultescent" - they simply cock an eyebrow when you reveal that you know the names (and the individual colours and apparent gender allocation) of all the repellent Teletubbies, you can differentiate between Natalie and Nicola in the All Saints girl pop group, you wear a tie (a nephew's Christmas present) emblazoned with the cartoon features of Homer Simpson, and you spend every Friday evening popping ecstasy tablets at the Brixton Fridge (only kidding). You can explain that it's simply a spillover of being a parent. But the pressure of one's post-40 peer group to make you abandon any desire to be au courant with popular culture just gets louder. Grow up, they say. Leave it alone, the club listings and the MTV videos and the hopelessness of even trying to stand up in rollerblade boots, let alone cruise down the middle of the Talgarth Road in the things. A generation of fortysomething friends now proudly admits they can't remember the last time they ordered a hamburger, stayed up until the dawn or bought a CD that wasn't a retread of an old favourite on vinyl disc (or, in some cases, shellac).

According to the boffins, it shouldn't have left the ground

Awareness of Britain's bat population is very much improved. But, writes Daniel Butler, there's still much to learn about these strangest of mammals.

Government put its weight behind hiring British videos

The Government yesterday launched a new drive to persuade customers in video shops to buy or hire British films in preference to Hollywood blockbusters.

The Houses can sell a home

When it comes to selling in the Camberwell/ Brixton area, a brochure with a picture of the Houses of Parliament works a dream. A house owner having enormous difficulty in selling her quiet family house in the same neck of the woods off Myatt's Fields, a lovely but little-known park, was amazed at the success of St Gabriel's Manors advertising campaign.

Something in the air for young birdwatchers

More than 90 countries are this weekend participating in the 1997 World Birdwatch.

Preview: Play monopoly

If you can keep out of jail long enough, why not take a chance and lend your support to The Great Monopoly Challenge which takes place around the capital today. The event, organised by The Royal British Legion to raise money for more than 50 charities, kicks off at 9.30am at King's Cross and Liverpool Street stations. Teams will collect a game card and, using only public transport, visit all the streets and sites on the Monopoly board in whatever order they wish and in the fastest possible time. The day climaxes in Battersea Park at 6 o'clock with prize-giving, live music and fireworks.

Comment: Receptionists and other pests

It may be the largest collection of living things on the planet, but some are more welcome at Kew than others. Or so I found last week at the Royal Botanical Gardens, which houses more than one in every eight of all the world's flowering plants.

Matters of the flesh

What to do with the cuddly toys? The girls undertook a census of them last week and discovered they had 73. Unfortunately they have given them all names, dates of birth and occupations so the conventional method of keeping numbers down - a midnight cull - is no longer possible. What was once an anonymous, lime-green mutant rabbit languishing at the bottom of the dirty clothes basket is now a shop assistant called Sally whose birthday must be celebrated tomorrow. Plan B was to persuade the children to take some to Kensington Palace as a tribute to Diana, something several hundred other parents have obviously thought of before me - but I could not live with the thought that some poor East European tourist might be sent to prison for three years for succumbing to the plastic, one-eyed gaze of a win-a-prize-every-time teddy bear. On the other hand, maybe it's not such a bad idea to make adult possession of cuddly toys a criminal offence, particularly when combined with broderie anglaise heart-shaped cushions on the bed.

Shore things

Driftwood mirror, pounds 69, driftwood frame, pounds 28.95, galvanised bucket, pounds 4.75, scented wooden seashore shapes, from pounds 2.50, all from Liberty, Regent Street, London W1, 0171 734 1234

BEACH VOLLEYBALL: Swimming against the tide

Nick Halling reports from Bournemouth on the difficulty facing a demanding sport in establishing itself in Britain despite its Olympic status and worldwide popularity

Hare today, gone tomorrow?

One of Britain's great survivors is now under threat, writes Daniel Butler

Southern revival

Focus on London: prices are rising rapidly south of the Thames

Shopping list: Stone studded brilliance

Coffee table by Tom Baker, pounds 345, available to order from ORE, 563 Battersea Park Road, London SW11. Enquiries: 0171 801 0919
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
London is the most expensive city in Europe for cultural activities such as ballet
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape