Gerald Abrahams dons his placard

Lonely landscaper tries alternative approach to dating

In a bid to start his year off successfully, 39-year old landscaper Gerald Abrahams walked the streets of London with a sandwich board displaying the texts: “Hot brunette wanted for 2014!”, “Dates or romance”, “Must like dogs and landscapers” accompanied by his email address.

A Skyrunner takes on the Lake District high terrain events

Skyrunning: Brutal long-distance races coming to a peak near you...

You have been warned: Skyrunning is coming to Britain. But don’t worry; it is not, despite anything the name might imply, a prog rock supergroup.

McIlroy in Sydney at the beginning of December. The former world No 1 believes he has his mojo back

Rory McIlroy targets two major wins in 2014

Former world No 1 Rory McIlroy believes he has his mojo back and wants to win two majors this year.

Streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer have generated more than £100m in UK subscriptions last year for the first time

Spotify and Deezer streaming services surge in popularity as music downloading stalls

The number of songs listened to on streaming services in the UK doubled last year

The Audit: From Towie tans to wedding dresses at the V&A

We love…  Powerful pairs

Alexander Fury: Every haircut is like Sweeney Todd, to me

Why did haircuts have to become a fashion accessory?

On a roll: Mary J Blige

Mary J Blige: Hail Mary, Queen of soul

Mary J Blige's new album shows how far she has come as an artist and as a woman, she tells Matilda Egere-Cooper

Cover up blemishes and dark circles: 10 best concealers

The festive season's a busy and tiring time which can take its toll on your skin. Cover up dark circles and blemishes with these clever concealers

10 best foundations

Get a little helping hand when it comes to complexion perfection with our pick of the best bases

Saving face: 10 best winter moisturisers

Banish dry, lack-lustre complexions and get glowing with our favourite winter face-savers

Ed Miliband has argued that the package could not go ahead during the biggest cost of living crisis for a generation

PMQs: Miliband gives tour-de-force demonstration of how not to do it

A growing economy is bad news for Ed's 'cost of living crisis'

Christians face ‘organised persecution’ from Islamists in Middle East, says Prince Charles

Victims and family members of those being 'attacked' told the Prince about their experiences in the region

'I saw Nigella with white powder on her nose, but she claimed it was make-up': Former PA tells court she found substance in chef's bag

Francesca Grillo also told the court that Mr Saatchi had a "personal vendetta" against her and her sister Elisabetta

Sequin dress £328, allsaints.com; black fur tippet £60, riverisland.com; earrings £6.50, Diva, missselfridge.co.uk

The Gothic look for the Winter season: Bad romance

You don’t have to be a member of the Addams family to sport a gothic look this party season. Try feathers, lace and sequins for a softer take on the trend

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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
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform