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Sian Smith: 'She's not in trouble. We just want her back'

The mission: Colds must be fed. Where better to test this out than an `all-you-can-eatery'? Matthew Sweet suffers for science

wo phrases underpin this week's mission: "Feed a cold" and "All you can Eat". And this is the story of their horrible collision. Some people have tested the limits of the human frame by scaling mountains or blasting themselves up into space - either of which I would have been prepared to do to furnish material for this column. Instead, I was forced to take up a less noble challenge - testing how much food one human being could consume in a day. A fairly greedy human being with a stinking cold. Anyone with a weak stomach should probably now flip forward to the Crossword.

Visual Arts: It's `The Independent', but not as we know it

In his new exhibition, Richard Wentworth invites us to view everyday objects in a new way. And that includes this newspaper.

This week's top ten sports books

1 Rothmans Book of Football Records, Jack Rollin (Headline, hardback, pounds 25.00).

Restaurants: Christmas Kitsch

Walthamstow Stadium

Clubs: The best of the rest: Breeze

PUSHCA @ hanover grand

Altogether now... breathe

A COUPLE of years ago, I was looking for a poem of Auden's which I couldn't lay my hands on, so I went to Charing Cross Road to look for it. Foyle's was the first shop I went into, and was genuinely shocked to find the shelves bare of his books. I became angry: this great English poet unrepresented in what was once an international byword for bookshops. "Do you realise," I said, tersely, to the assistant, "that there is not a single copy of any book by W H Auden in stock?" "Yes," he replied, "and it's your fault." It was shortly after the release of Four Weddings and a Funeral. I knew that there had been a bit of a rush on "Funeral Blues", so memorably spoken by John Hannah in the film, but had no idea that Auden had literally reached the best-seller lists. It was a striking reminder of how poetry, the Cinderella of the written word, with sales in single figures, can, spoken aloud, be the most popular of all literary genres.

Racing: Gallagher rides through storm

DEAN GALLAGHER said yesterday that "nothing new" emerged in Tuesday's questioning by police investigating doping and race-fixing allegations. He said he was "very disappointed" at being rebailed, so that the inquiry which has racing in thrall for eight months will drag on again until at least next January. However, he intends to carry on riding as normal, resuming at Ludlow today.

Racing: Gallagher forced to wait again

POLICE QUESTIONED Dean Gallagher, the National Hunt jockey, for nearly eight hours at a central London police station yesterday as part of the on-going investigation by the Metropolitan Police into race-fixing and doping. Last night Gallagher, and six other men who had also been questioned at length, were bailed until November.

Racing: Osborne in clear over race-fixing

JAMIE OSBORNE became the second National Hunt jockey to be released from police investigations into race-fixing and doping allegations yesterday. The discharge from scrutiny by Scotland Yard's Organised Crime Group ended nine months of torment for one of winter racing's most charismatic riders.

A humanist on the information superhighway

The Metaphysical Touch by Sylvia Brownrigg Gollancz pounds 16.99

The knack How to walk the beat

"Good boots are a necessity - you're on your feet for the best part of your shift. Check the weather forecasts and make sure you've got appropriate clothes for the time of day. The early hours can get really cold and it's no good having your thermals at home when you're freezing your parts off on the street.

Serial rapist prowls railways

A RAPIST has been preying on women at railway stations as they return from work, police revealed yesterday.

Cafe Society: the good, the bad - and all points between

Paddington: Raffles Cafe-Diner corner of Spring St and Praed St, open 7am-11pm Does excellent espresso, decent sandwiches, cooked breakfasts, mezze, and has pavement tables.

Court told of girl's taxi rape

A SCHOOLGIRL who ran away from home to seek out her pop idol, Brian Harvey, was repeatedly raped by a taxi driver she trusted, an Old Bailey court heard today.

Review: A welcome return

The Amazing Rhythm Aces The Borderline, London
Career Services

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
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home