Voices

On a recent trip to Paris, I noticed that the French are really quite tardy about taking down their Christmas decorations. I can't speak for the private homes of individuals, but in the streets, there they were, twinkling on against January's grey skies.

Light snow covered areas of Cumbria and Northumberland earlier this week

UK weather: Bookies slash odds of white Christmas

At least one bookmaker has halved the odds of a white Christmas in just 24 hours as forecasters predict cold could turn rain to snow

Album of the week: Nick Lowe, 'Quality Street' (Proper)

Warmth and wit light up this festive box of delights 

£2,399 - Caribtours

Travel challenge

Winter sun in Barbados after Christmas

Community spirit could help save village pub

Residents of a small village in Cornwall hope the spirit of Christmas will help bring an historic pub into community-ownership.

Consumers will spend £47bn this Christmas

A record £31.9bn is predicted to be spent on debit cards this festive season while a further £14.9bn of cash will be withdrawn from ATMs.

Pope Francis gives Christmas presents to 2,000 immigrants

Pope had gift packages delivered to the Dono di Maria homeless shelter in Rome

Mariah Carey's Christmas classic 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' is still guaranteed a spin at the office party

Mariah Carey’s 'All I Want for Christmas is You' breaks a million sales

The song has sold 68,000 copies in the UK this year alone

Bear and hare woodland scene from John Lewis Christmas advert

John Lewis hopes for late Christmas boost as sales decline

John Lewis has revealed that sales fell last week across all its London stores, compared with the same week a year ago, in the clearest sign yet that people are leaving their Christmas shopping later than ever.

Leighton Baines has been ruled out for up to six weeks after suffering a broken foot

Leighton Baines 'not far away' from making Everton return

Roberto Martinez reveals left-back is making quick recovery

Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay has been issued with an ultimatum from club owner Vincent Tan that he

Malky Mackay reaction: Managers back Cardiff City manager over Vincent Tan amid unrest

Mackay has been reportedly issued with an ultimatum from Tan calling for him to 'resign of face being sacked'

Transfer news: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in line for potential return to England as Molde confirm approaches

Norwegian manager linked with vacant Premier League jobs

Giant rampaging pig smashes through fence and breaks a pensioner’s leg and wrist in Devon woodlands

The angry 600lb boar attacked a 74-year-old woman who was out feeding her friend’s animals

The Great British Christmas getaway: 4m to head abroad for holidays – while the rest of us face a travel and weather nightmare

An estimated 13 million people set to take to UK's roads from 24-26 December

1 in every 105 households in England at risk of repossession or eviction

Newham in London named worst 'hotspot'

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?