Arts and Entertainment

A window on the real world with Danny and his diamond geezers

Outlook: Wassall should put up or shut up

ALAN JONES, the chief cable layer at BICC, is no stranger to hostile bid battles. When he was in charge at Westland he sucked GKN into a long and bloody skirmish. Eventually GKN came up with a price sufficient to allow the West Country helicopter maker to raise the white flag.

Pop: This Week's Album Releases - Public Image Ltd Plastic Box (Virgin)

DESPITE THE neat packaging, which unites the twin peaks of PiL's career - the seminal new-wave industrial-dub epic Metal Box and the solid, generic Album - there's something about the band that remains fundamentally ill- suited to the retrospective box format. It's the antithesis of the rebellious spirit they once personified. In the way it smoothes the group's spiky iconoclasm with historical pomposity, it's like a turkey voting for Christmas.

Leading Article: Slush, mush and an orgy of marketing

HE IS listed in Butler's Lives of Patron Saints in between Ubald, patron saint for protection from dog bites, rabies or hydrophobia, and Venantius, patron saint against danger from falling, or jumping and leaping. It would make just as much sense, theologically, historically and superstitiously, for card printers and helium-filled balloon-makers to sell "beware of the dog" paraphernalia on 16 May. Or "mind the gap" paraphernalia on 18 May.

Letter: Pigeon post?

Sir: Appropriate to get an explanation of "round robin" sent to Canary Wharf from Leighton Buzzard (letter, 28 December). My own round robin is outside the kitchen window; to my fat cat's disgust, he was the recipient of the remains of the Christmas turkey.

Christmas dinner in bid for freedom

NOT SINCE the Tamworth Two made their escape from an abattoir has there been such a daring dash for freedom.

Women are Christmas control freaks

WH SMITH and Family Circle magazine have done a Christmas survey which says that someone called "the average female" will buy all the Christmas food and drink, write and send all the cards, buy and wrap all the presents and do the washing-up. The only contribution that men are likely to make, the survey says, is ferrying around relatives and carving the turkey.

A half-century of jolly conundrums for Christmas

Are we going to accept that invitation from the Wilgoes to drinks on the 23rd?

Real Living: Christmas with the brats

Children can make your Christmas - into a disastrous day of tears and tension. But it doesn't have to be that way, reports Hester Lacey

The Style Police: Fashion begins at forty

At last, older women can keep up with the latest trends and still keep their dignity intact. Phew, says James Sherwood

Head to head: Give over

Do you buy Christmas cards and presents? Virginia Bottomley relieves stress by wrapping up gifts, while Cynthia Payne has more faith in other methods

Christmas Food & Drink: Taste of Christmas to come

l Can't tell the difference between your Prestige Cuvee and your Blanc de Blancs? Then join Francoise Peretti at Harvey Nichols Fifth Floor (Knightsbridge, SW1, 0171 235 5000), where the director of the Champagne Information Bureau will be hosting a tutored tasting of Champagnes on 8 December. Tickets are pounds 15.

US-style mayors for British cities

A WAVE of Labour council corruption scandals has prompted Tony Blair to draw up radical plans to bring directly elected mayors to every town and city in Britain.

Letter: Turkeys against PR

Sir: It is not surprising that many Labour and Tory politicians are opposed to proportional representation (Lord Parkinson, Right of Reply, 26 August). Any form of PR would see a substantial reduction in the number of seats occupied by Tories and New Labour (or whatever they might be calling themselves during election week). We have yet to see turkeys voting for Christmas.

Places; Heather's

If you want to repent for a Christmas overstuffed with turkey, chipolatas and pork pie off the bone, then stagger down to Heather's in south-east London. This vegetarian and vegan restaurant is Deptford's second-greatest secret (the greatest, of course, being the identity of Christopher Marlowe's killer). Twelve quid gets you unlimited access to their sumptuous buffet, which creaks with African peanut soup, caramelised onions and nutty chocolate pudding. Open for lunch (not Sat) and dinner (not Mon or Sun).

Television: Seasonal redemption via the satsuma bowl

The award for the least emollient moments of the last few days goes to the opening scenes of Mothertime (Sunday, BBC2) - a shrewdly acidic take on family life that began with an alcoholic mother belting her teenage daughter and emptying the satsuma bowl over the floor so that she could use it to catch her vomit.
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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
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'