Arts and Entertainment All for one and one for all: Porthos, d'Artagnan, Athos and Aramis in the new BBC production

Peter Capaldi as the villain is patently over-qualified

What came after `A'

PEARL: A Romance by Christopher Bigsby, Weidenfeld pounds 15.99

Low rural rents 'put at risk'

Public Policy Editor

Uphill struggle: life in the slow lane

Pity the driving instructor. Not only does he have to risk life and limb on a daily basis, he has to do it with the kind of jokey blasness that instills confidence in the frightened rabbit tucked in behind the wheel. My driving instructor, 55 if he was a day, did this by wearing nothing but black and engaging me in conversation about heavy metal bands. As I also wore nothing but black at the time this worked, and I passed first time.

Letter: In care in Buckinghamshire

From Mrs A. R. Bainbridge

Rules of the capital gain


Breakfast opportunity

reakfast opportunity

How not to miss out on reducing the April bill

THE END of the tax year is only six weeks away. If you don't take action to reduce your tax bill before 5th April you may miss out on some opportunities altogether. Here is our checklist of the tax saving possibilities that run out at the end of this tax year.

LETTER: Social services in Buckinghamshire

From Ms Audrey Bainbridge

Shelter from April showers

In the first of two articles on tax planning, Anthony Bailey looks at some of the ways you can protect your investments

Pru insiders line up for the Newmarch stakes

Two dark horses have emerged as leading candidates in the race to succeed Mick Newmarch as chief executive of Prudential, Britain's biggest insurer.

London B&Bs hold 17,000 homeless

Up to 17,000 people are living in bed and breakfast accommodation in London - more than six times the "official statistic" - according to a report published today.

Get to know your way around

If you are the sort of person who finds the London A to Z confusing, a new YHA course could be for you. Its Llangollen Activity Centre (0978 860330) is offering a three-day break which teaches the skills of pathfinding, including practical experience in the hills around the Dee Valley. The cost is pounds 75 a person (excluding travel to Llangollen), with full-board accommodation.

Homeless families escape B & B

Fewer homeless families are using bed and breakfast accommodation than at any time over the past 10 years, a local government report will announce this week.

Seaside landladies fret as taps flow

THE DELICATE relationship between landladies and their guests is now troubled by a new irritant - the compulsory water meter. Worried landladies are watching their profits go down the drain while guests pamper themselves in deep baths and flush toilets with freedom.

Travel Departures: Hostel opening

AN IMPRESSIVE new youth hostel opened this week in New Lanark, the Scottish mill village built by the social reformer Robert Owen. Two cottages have been refurbished (and fitted with inside lavatories). The location, deep in a valley of the Clyde, is spectacular. Guests, who must be members of one of the national YHAs, pay pounds 6.60 for bed and breakfast.
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