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Schoolteacher William Buchman was arrested after officers found over 300 living and dead snakes inside his property

Harriet Walker: I am Christmas personified

A strange transformation has taken hold of me this festive season: I'm actually looking forward to it.

Cinderella: the Midnight Princess, Rose Theatre, Kingston

A massive clock with a complicated system of whirring cogs dominates Ruari Murchison's fetching, resourceful set. It betokens how time is of the essence in Charles Way's inventive, charming, if slightly stuffy, reworking of the Cinderella story at the Rose Theatre in Kingston.

St Lucia: Sweet luxury in a tropical hideaway

Room Service: Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort Saint Lucia

Cuddington, Cheshire

A four-bedroom house with spectacular panoramic views across the Cheshire countryside. £485,000

Not just clutter: 'Between the Ears' on Radio 3 looked at downsizing

The Week in Radio: Moved by the memories of those who can't let go

"This is my life, I can't just throw it away," said an elderly woman in Radio 3's Between the Ears, the panic rising in her voice. She was in process of moving into sheltered housing, and the prospect of reducing her worldly goods was making her ill. She had, she explained, just spent three days in hospital.

Average cost of upsizing to a 4 bedroom house is more than £145,000

The additional cost of moving from a three to four bed property varies from £60,500 in Hull to £1.59m in Kensington and Chelsea

Jersey House is £39.95m

Property: What can you get for £52m?

He has spent 12 years making RightMove the country's top website for househunters and the property-porn obsessed, but Ed Williams, who co-founded the site in 2000, has decided it's time to cash in his chips and spend more time with his £52m fortune.

Take a shine to metal

Don't go over the top with this season's latest shiny trend. Subtly is king when is comes to metallics, says Trish Lorenz

Kristel in 'Emmanuelle': 'I thought I knew it all and I was going to conquer the world,' she said

Sylvia Kristel: Actress who became typecast by her role in the erotic classic 'Emmanuelle'

When she auditioned for the part of Emmanuelle, a young diplomat's wife who embarks on a series of ever more daring sexual adventures during a trip to Thailand, the Dutch actress Sylvia Kristel didn't expect the eponymous erotic film directed by Just Jaeckin to ever get finished or be passed by censors in France or anywhere else.

Your chance to buy an island in Fiji

It's not often that private islands come up for sale in Fiji so if you have about £6 million going spare, you could buy the pleasantly titled Nananu-i-Cake and Mabua Islands.

Grayson Perry plans to build his house on a site in picturesque Wrabness

Grayson Perry's vision for Essex

'Gingerbread house' has ruffled feathers. By Charlie Cooper

Grayson Perry plans to build his house on a site in picturesque Wrabness

Grayson Perry has a vision for Essex... but the village of Wrabness doesn't like it

The Turner Prize-winner's latest work is a holiday cottage on the coast - complete with statue on the roof

A Monster Calls, By Patrick Ness

Children's writer Siobhan Dowd died when she only had the idea for this fifth book; Ness has taken that idea and made of it both a classic tale and a tribute to her. Young Conor's mother is ill with cancer, and he is having nightmares regularly.

Osama bin Laden was killed by Navy Seals last May

Navy Seal's book rewrites story of Bin Laden's death

Account that al-Qa'ida leader was unarmed when assassinated contradicts official line

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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
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine