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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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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
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis