Extras
 

There's still time to snap up a crafty gift for Christmas that will look great and keep little ones busy in the holidays

Shopping: Tea time

China cups, cake slices, silver spoons - afternoon tea is an elaborate ritual, and all the better for it.

Indoor: Flowers good enough to eat

The stuff of ... cakes. Sally Staples discovers the delicate art of sugar craft

The Weasel: My eye was taken by the interior of a nuclear reactor (`Please keep off the core')

"We were spinning out of control in space at 3-4,000 mph," yelled the American astronaut. Despite the excitement of his yarn, yelled against a hubbub of milling schoolchildren, his audience steadily dwindled. Even the thrill of exploring the infinite cosmos cannot overcome the far-from- limitless attention span of the modern child. The voice of the spaceman - in fact, an actor in a spacesuit - was reduced to a husky bellow by the effort. "If anything goes wrong," he croaked, "you dehydrate within seconds..." I felt in need of a drink myself while visiting the Science Museum during the Christmas rush, when attendance more than doubles to 4,000 a day.

Rather odd fairy cakes, ladies ...

"It Is high time our party stopped talking about 'the women' as if we are from another dimension or another species," said Mrs Peta Buscombe, the grandly titled Conservative Party Vice Chairman with Responsibility for Women.

City: I work for Julian Metcalfe

Beaky Evette works for the chairman of the Pret A Manger sandwich company

Chancellor must avoid boom and bust policies

The first working day after both the CBI and the TUC called on Gordon Brown to do something about the uncomfortably strong pound, lo and behold, the level of sterling falls sharply. An amazing demonstration of the possibility of talking down the pound, if only the Chancellor would make the effort?

Brass Eye wins over watchdog

The watchdog for television standards has gone out of its way to praise the controversial Channel 4 satire Brass Eye despite upholding complaints from two Tory MPs who were fooled into appearing on the show to criticise a fictitious drug called "cake".

A fish cake named desire

SIR CHARLES NAPIER: Spriggs Alley, near Chinnor, Oxfordshire OX9 4BX. Tel: 01494 483011. Open Tues-Sat 12-2.30pm and 6.30-10pm, and Sun 12-3.30pm. Table d'hote lunch menu Tues-Sat, pounds 14.50. Average a la carte price, pounds 30. Credit cards accepted

Two by two in Charlotte St

PIED A TERRE; 34 Charlotte Street, London W1P 1HJ. Tel: 0171 636 1178. Mon-Fri 12.15- 2.15pm and Mon-Sat 7.15-10.45pm. Three-course set lunch pounds 22. Set dinner, three courses pounds 29.50, seven courses pounds 46. Credit cards accepted

Guy Fawkes strikes again

Tim Stein meets a firestarter extraordinaire

Books: Concrete and cakes in Cavan

THE BEND FOR HOME: A Memoir by Dermot Healy, Picador pounds 16

I Stole Freddie Mercury's Birthday Cake by Malcolm Hardee with John Fleming, 4th Estate pounds 8.99.

What could a man who has built a career around the public display of his genitalia (albeit occasionally shielded by a hard-pressed balloon or three) possibly have left to reveal? A fair bit, it turns out. This characterful and not overly ghost-written autobiography contains a feast of scabrous reminiscence. It is also a great deal more fun than Malcolm Hardee's act - but then again, so is having your appendix removed.

Baker grabs a slice of the action

Tea for two? Chris Arnot finds a burgeoning cake maker who has attracted Fortnum & Mason

The chocolate test

You put down the phone and panic: six unexpected guests for dinner this evening. Two obvious puddings to turn to are chocolate mousse, and a rich chocolate cake - both are comparatively quick and simple to make, and everyone loves them.

Pick of the Week: Scottish Food Proms

When the musical Proms come round each year, they invariably provoke a wide range of foodie metaphors. So what can one say about the Fifth Scottish Food Proms? It's a high note in Glasgow's cultural year, beautifully arranged, and the list of tastings, kitchen tours, exhibitions, will be music to the ears of all but the
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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
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The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

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BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

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Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

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Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

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