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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
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