Travel

Lose yourself in the enchanting scenery and crystal waters of this historic chain of islands – perfect for relaxation and activity alike

Gitta Gschwendtner's giant tea-cup planter, £159, theo-theo.com

The Insider: Interesting house plants

My house plants are a disgrace: one has been with me since university, while the others are scabby hand-me-downs. But now I'm ready for some more sophisticated green in my life – especially as indoor plants can reduce stress, boost happiness and help us to breathe better...

Album: Vivaldi, Il Cimento dell'Armonia... – Avison Ensemble / Beznosiuk (Linn)

Though based in the North-East, the Avison's double-disc of Vivaldi's Opus 8 Violin Concertos rivals the sun-kissed performances of Europa Galante and Concerto Italiano.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel on his way to victory yesterday

Hamilton accused by Massa over latest crash

Brazilian rejects stewards' decision and accuses 2008 champion of 'fatal attraction'

Bermuda braced for Tropical Storm Gert

Residents of Bermuda were today hauling their boats on to beaches and shuttering their homes as Tropical Storm Gert nears the archipelago.

American Caesars, By Nigel Hamilton

These brisk studies of the 12 US Presidents from "empathetic", "prescient" Franklin D Roosevelt to "bullying, snide" George W Bush combine deft concision, sharp judgements and tremendous readability.

Bermuda: Ex-leader's son faces sex charges

The doctor-son of Bermuda's former leader sexually assaulted 12 of his female patients, including an undercover vice officer, a prosecutor says.

A Last English Summer, By Duncan Hamilton

Canterbury Cathedral is "bleached white, as though it were built from mother of pearl rather than stone", while Scarborough castle "caught in silhouette at twilight, looks as if it belongs in an adventure story for boys from the Fifties."

Lancashire hit by ground setback

Lancashire have suffered a fresh setback to their plans to redevelop Old Trafford and secure the ground's future as a Test match venue.

The Pan Book of Horror Stories, ed Herbert van Thal

When I was at school, the Pan Book of Horror series was all the rage. The later books were full of crudely sadistic stories that disgusted rather than horrified, but this facsimile of the very first one is full of tales both creepy and pleasurable.

The Wave: In Pursuit Of The Ocean's Greatest Furies, By Susan Casey

How would you feel if you knew that Homer had paid Odysseus to tangle with the Cyclops? Or that Flaubert was giving some kind of financial inducement to Madame Bovary to sleep with Rodolphe? What if Norman Mailer, while reporting on The Fight, was standing up ringside and yelling out, "Ali, stay glued to those damn ropes, I'm signing the check right now!"

Peter Tobin drops Vicky Hamilton murder appeal

Serial killer Peter Tobin has dropped his appeal against his life sentence for murdering schoolgirl Vicky Hamilton, it was confirmed today.

Now Atlantic is found to have huge 'garbage patch'

A huge expanse of floating plastic debris has been documented for the first time in the North Atlantic Ocean. The size of the affected area rivals the "great Pacific garbage patch" in the world's other great ocean basin, which generated an outcry over the effects of plastic waste on marine wildlife.

Simon Usborne: Tips for all you cycling gals (circa 1936)

Fantastic bit of British Pathé newsreel here in which Evelyn Hamilton – by all accounts the Victoria Pendleton of her day – offers advice for city riding that is just as useful today as it was in the Thirties

Kellock lauds 'brilliant' series win over Pumas

Argentina 9 Scotland 13

Hand in the Fire, By Hugo Hamilton

Outsider in a new age of anomie
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'