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Spain's roadside bulls live to fight another day

SPAIN'S most famous bull has been pardoned. After public outcry, a campaign by intellectuals and a political row, the gigantic black metal bulls that tower over Spanish highways will be allowed to stay put.

Travel: Confiture con

LAST week, a bottle of Albanian brandy, this week a jar of jam (or, to be more precise, confiture). You may not be impressed with the prizes offered in this column, but the confiture is worth about pounds 250.

Visitors' vitriol

ENTRIES for the No Way competition, in which you were invited to nominate the places you would not visit even if you were paid to, have flooded in; given that the only prize is a suspect bottle of brandy, a noble effort indeed.

Obituary: Ian Board

AS PIANIST in Muriel Belcher's Colony Room from 1958 to 1960, I had daily contact with Ian Board, writes Malcolm Williamson (further to the obituary by Christopher Howse, 28 June). While I dispensed Gershwin, Cole Porter and Richard Rodgers, he ran the bar.

Racing: Ebony's durability put to test

THE TOUGHEST race at the end of a difficult week is in prospect for several horses engaged in Saturday's Grand National. Ebony Jane and Captain Brandy, the stable-companions who finished third and fourth in Monday's Irish Grand National, look likely to reappear at Aintree. 'Ebony Jane seems well and ate up last night,' her trainer, Francis Flood, said. 'The owners are pretty keen to run her so we'll see how she is and decide on Thursday.'

Food & Drink: One last drink before closing time: In preparation for the Apocalypse, a religious community is making excellent armagnac. Anthony Rose reports

IT WAS Jacques Bertholon, director of de Malliac Armagnac, who warned me that 'armagnac country is full of surprises'. Nevertheless, I was still unprepared for Notre Dame de Fatima.

The Agreeable World Of Wallace Arnold: Ah, rites of passage]

I AM delighted to see that my old friend and quaffing partner Anthony Lejeune has produced a delightful celebration of that very centre and bastion of the civilised world, White's.

BOOK REVIEW / Getting away with murder, or without it: 'Ghosts' - John Banville: Secker, 14.99 pounds

AT THE end of John Banville's previous novel, The Book of Evidence, the murderous narrator says of his victim: 'I killed her because I could kill her, and I could kill her because for me she was not alive. And so my task now is to bring her back to life. I am not sure what that means, but it strikes me with the force of an unavoidable imperative.' Whatever they thought it meant, few readers can have dreamt that Freddie Montgomery's words were to be taken literally, but Ghosts is nothing less than that unlikely, almost impossible sequel.

Equestrianism: Whitaker's precision prevails

JOHN WHITAKER gained his first win of this year's Olympia Show Jumping Championships when he rode Grannusch to victory in last night's Christmas Cracker Stakes in a jump-off round which displayed his remarkable skill and the generosity of his chestnut partner.

Brush seller leaves pounds 10m to charity

A FORMER door-to-door salesman who died trying to put out a fire with brandy left pounds 10m to charity, it was revealed yesterday. Ivan Leech, who died in June aged 84, sold brushes, soap and sponges from his bicycle for 30 years, writes John Arlidge.

Couple are cleared of stealing from Harrods

A JUDGE AT Southwark Crown Court yesterday ordered a jury formally to acquit two people of charges of shoplifting and assault after allegations by defence lawyers over inconsistencies in the accounts by two Harrods store detectives of the incident.

Letter: Cuddled for life

Sir: I read with interest the article on 'kangaroo care' for premature babies ('Kangaroos know that cuddles work best', 18 August).

115th birthday

CHARLOTTE Hughes, Britain's oldest person, celebrated her 115th birthday at a nursing home in Redcar, Cleveland, by tucking into bacon and eggs and having a glass of brandy. Mrs Hughes, thought to be the world's second oldest person, was born on the day Alexander Graham Bell launched his telephone company.
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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
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
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?