Arts and Entertainment

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

Simon marks return with shining success

Hugo Simon made a triumphant return to England, where he last competed a decade ago, to win two contests on the opening day of the Olympia Show Jumping Championships. His second - and more valuable - win came in last night's Christmas Turkey Stakes, when the 53-year-old rider jumped a typically thrusting round on Apricot D to win by 1.68sec.

THE CHRISTMAS TURKEY AWARD

In the run-up to Christmas we will be presenting the Christmas Turkey Award for the most ridiculous seasonal merchandise.

Peers defend their House

PATRICIA WYNN DAVIES

Matthews wins turkey wars

BY MAGNUS GRIMOND

OPINIONS : Do you need to lose some weight?

SIR CYRIL SMITH, retired MP (27 stone): I don't particularly want to lose weight. I did go on a diet some years ago and lost five stone, but put it back on again. It's a question of whether you want to die late in life or whether you want to die h appy. I am 66 and in fairly good health. I didn't overeat this Christmas: I just had 12 mince pies, plenty of turkey, half a dozen fresh-cream cakes, meat pies and sausages, but I didn't have any Christmas cake. It was a light diet for me really.

No indulgences for Denmark

A WORKING CHRISTMAS II: Self-denial and even a portion of hard work are the watchwords for the professional

VITAL SIGNS: Warning: Christmas is a health hazard

The pre-Christmas frenzy can seriously damage your health, according to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists. Hours spent trudging around departments stores, with shoppers leaving supermarkets loaded down like pack animals, takes its toll on the back and feet, it points out. On the day itself, wrestling with a 20lb turkey can be dangerous while the traditional post-prandial snooze in front of the television can cause stiff necks and indigestion.

EQUESTRIANISM:Big-time first for Bradley

Alison Bradley achieved her first international victory when she rode the stallion, Endeavour, to win last night's Christmas Turkey Stakes at the Olympia Show Jumping Championships.

Sexual politics in the land of the Pilgrim Fathers: Zoe Heller in America

I'VE JUST come back from visiting my brother and sister-in-law and their seven-week-old son on Cape Cod. The Cape is a long quirky curl of peninsula that sticks out like a handwriting flourish from the bottom of Massachusetts. My sister-in-law's family has a house - or rather a collection of converted turkey sheds - at the very tip of the peninsula, in the middle of a forest, on the shore of what is known as Horseleech Pond. (This is misleading: there are no horseleeches and the 'pond' is a bit less than a mile wide.)

Music: In the bleak midwinter: Stephen Johnson spent Christmas chilling out in front of the television

In terms of broadcast classical music, Christmas is not a time of innovation and challenge. Channel 4 may have managed to offend the deserving with its Camp Christmas, but its musical offering remained solidly traditional.

Christmas Charades: Why was Daddy so pleased to see Sue?: At this time of year, people play funny games. We put on an act and go through the motions, but behind the scenes, things may not always be as they seem .

I LIKED Sue, this new 'old friend' of my mother's, although I had met her only once. She was quite a lot younger than my mother and very funny. She would come out with expressions, sort of catch phrases, which we had never heard. She had an infectious, throaty laugh and drank and smoked a lot.

Christmas Charades: And Richard came, too: At this time of year, people play funny games. We put on an act and go through the motions, but behind the scenes, things may not always be as they seem ..

'And you must be Richard,' my father says to my significant other. Planted in the doorway, Dad proffers a sweaty palm and flashes the fixed smile of a chat show host. How strange to witness my father attempting to act normal. That used to be my job.

Survival course offers festive escape

FESTIVE drop-outs anxious to avoid the turkey can spend Christmas chewing stinging nettles and worms underneath a deflated parachute in Hereford.

Pembroke: Bernsteins are losing their grip at Granada

The Bernstein family's grip on Granada continues to loosen. The leisure group's newly published report and accounts devotes a page to a glowing tribute to Sidney Bernstein, the company founder who died earlier this year.

Turkey auction

A satisfied buyer and some of the 350 birds on offer at the Saffron Walden turkey auction, held in the Suffolk town on the Tuesday before Christmas. Thanks to a special dispensation, the tradition continues despite EU directives banning such sales. But it is in decline as more families buy supermarket turkeys. An auctions spokesman said: 'It's dying out now, but a lot of people still like to buy their turkeys this way. It has a nice atmosphere'.
Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

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 17 April 2015
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence