News Getting the hump: camels do battle in front of tens of thousands of spectators

On Sunday, more than 20,000 people will gather in Turkey to watch camels do battle in a spectacle that dates back thousands of years. It is, depending on your attachment to the ungainly beasts, a historic cultural institution to be celebrated – or a throwback to an era before animal-rights campaigns when it was OK to starve an animal for three months to make it cross.

I was too weedy for the evil weed

There was an anti-smoking advertisement which showed an alluring woman puffing away while a horrified male voiceover whined: "It's like kissing an old ashtray." As sexual aversion therapy, this seemed curiously crude. Without wishing to go as far as James Dean, whose rough-trade soubriquet was apparently "The Human Ashtray", I have to confess that the taint of smoke can be positively erotic.

Don't say it's only a spider

It's time arachnophobics got a little more sympathy, reports Annalisa Barbieri

ROSES GROW ON YOU ...

It's very refreshing to have something summery and romantic to punctuate the endless "very in" but very dull chocolate fashions that are currently being rammed down our throats. Rose prints are, surprisingly, also very "dans" this autumn (well, I do get sick of constantly saying "in"). This is because influential designers such as Anna Molinari and Dolce e Gabbana (rumoured to have made the most sought-after dress of the season in, yes, rose print) showed lots of it in their current collections. And you know how it is: where expensive designers lead, high streets stores follow. But, boring though it is to harp on about second-hand shops, they really are the places to look, because there you will find original and, let's be honest, far nicer examples of jolly nice rose prints. And with the money you save you can send your mum a bunch of the real things.

John Hillaby, walker supreme, dies at 79

The writer and walker John Hillaby, whose classic Journey Through Britain inspired countless other romantics to tread the nation's paths, has died at the aged of 79, writes Gerald Isaaman.

Olf factory ... Rolf's lunchbox ... vote for Di

There you are. Let's talk about science which, as you know, I have a mission to popularise, to strip away preconceptions about dullness and jacket breast pockets full of different-coloured pens. All last week, my science correspondent, Prof A Wright Britequark, was in Birmingham, for the Association for the Advancement of Science meeting, from where he sent this exclusive assessment of the session's most fascinating facts: 1) The unit of evaluation of the quality of building ventilation is the olf. One olf is defined as the amount of aroma, subjectively measured by a panel, given off by a single person at rest. 2) Nearly all the camels in parts of Africa are infested with the camel nasal botfly. Its Latin name is cephalopina titillator. 3) Einstein (see below) once said: "The most inexplicable thing about the universe is that it is explicable." Professor Thomas McLeish of Leeds University said: "I'm always impressed by that quote." 5) Sabanthine mosquitoes bite you exclu- sively on the nose. 6) Sandflies drink blood at a rate equivalent to a human drinking 100 pints in 10 minutes. 7) Fans of heavy metal rock music are significantly more likely than fans of other sorts of music to have a positive attitude towards premarital sex, drug and alcohol abuse, and Satanism. 8) Australia is moving north at a rate of 10 centimetres a year. 9) Tests by Nasa have found that chrysanthemums are the most effective plant for clearing the smell of formaldehyde from the air. Thank you, Prof!

TAKE A WALK ON THE MILD SIDE

For the man who hates sartorial conformity but doesn't want to stand out too much from the herd, these simple clothes are worth a closer look: a single-breasted four-button suit, a slim-fitting black shirt, knitwear in tones of aubergine and camel, and the quintessential coat, inspired by the Crombie

Rhapsody between the sheets

A HISTORY OF READING by Alberto Manguel HarperCollins pounds 25

The Kings wanted peace and a good view, so they moved to Cornwall. But are they seen as locals or holidaymakers?

Under cloudless blue skies, we looked down over the sparkling Camel estuary. Boats and the odd cyclist were the only signs of movement; the only sounds those of birds and sheep. This is Betjeman country, and the kind of scene Graham and Elaine King had only dared to imagine when they decided to move from Surrey to Cornwall. Now they have found it, they cannot imagine living anywhere else. "A good day for us is to get some work done, then sit in the peace of the garden. We never get tired of the view because it constantly changes with the tides and the seasons," says Mrs King from the sitting room of their early Victorian farmhouse near Padstow.

Camels in the Cotswolds

Anthony Scrivener QC, leading lawyer, on the perils of a townie in the country

Obituary: Brian Hartley

"Masai" Hartley, as Brian Hartley was sometimes known, fell in love with Africa in 1929 when, as a 22-year-old junior agricultural officer in the Colonial Service, he was posted to Mwanza in what was then western Tanganyika. Over the years, he was decorated MBE, OBE and CMG for his services to agriculture, and he spent most of his pension on a project that successfully introduced camels to the Masai along the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in the dusty north of Tanzania.

TRACKS OF A NOMAD

What is it like to live and travel with an alien people - and their animals? Hester Lacey talks to Robyn Davidson, no ordinary traveller

She boldly went. But not for long...

Robyn Davidson had trekked solo across Australia's outback. But her latest adventure, living with India's nomads, was a far tougher ride. She talks to Rosalind Sharpe

Unkind cut brings victory after Korea change

Sport on TV

six of the best knee-length coats

1 Warehouse, pounds 120 A brilliant shape that looks quite luxurious. The wide collar and deep pockets give it a Seventies feel. Can be worn belted or unbelted. Those dedicated followers of fashion will know that camel is still a hot colour in many stores so a wide variety of styles are available. From branches of Warehouse nationwide. Enquiries: 0181-910 1400

TRAVEL : Drover's return

Kim Hartley is a man with an ecological mission. Since 1984 he has been herding camels from Kenya to the arid Masai lands of Tanzania. Jeremy James explains why
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee