Arts and Entertainment On unfamiliar turf: ‘Network’ by Tom Price

He talks to Hannah Duguid about how his life has informed his art

Racing: Backgammon in Ebor reckoning

Rain has improved Backgammon's chances of running in the Ebor Handicap at York on Wednesday week. His trainer, Jim Old, had resigned himself to the horse missing the race, but yesterday Old said: "It is not out of the question.''

Racing: Punters pour money on Dues

Confidence in the talents of Harbour Dues, the Ebor Handicap hot favourite, has turned ante-post betting on the big York race on 21 August into a one-horse book.

bites

Quality and quantity

Give London a world-class Tube: Letter

Sir: As ward councillor for Clerkenwell, I share Hamish McRae's satisfaction that the inner city population decline is being halted by warehouse or office conversions to "loft apartments". But this doesn't necessarily mean "no need for a Tube: you can walk to work." One of the interesting phenomena of the future may be reverse commuting, with people preferring to live centrally because they enjoy the shopping and entertainment facilities and city buzz, but not tied to working there.

This May, see red

Be radical, plan a visit to a bastion of Communism on May Day. You can always do the sunbathing afterwards. By Sue Wheat

Ant couple's pounds 15,000

Ant couple's pounds 15,000

My beloved is mine, and i am his

On Wednesday it is St Valentine's Day. This year is also a leap year and, according to tradition, a woman can ask a man to marry her (under Scottish law if a man refuses to take a woman as his "lawful wife" on 29 February, he can be fined pounds 1). Women buying rings for men is not that common. Says Jess Canty, owner of Jess James: "We get men buying rings for men, men buying for women, and women buying for men - in that order, although over the last few years there has been a definite increase in the number of women buying 'betrothal' rings for their menfolk." When they do, the most popular rings are simple, silver and with an engraved maxim. Giving a man a ring is cool. Men have been doing the asking, the buying, and the genuflecting for years; now it's our turn. Who will you ask?

Househunter Hoylake, Wirral

The Hoylake Lighthouse would make the perfect setting for a Famous Five adventure, with its 80ft tower and old lamp room looking out over Liverpool Bay. Built in the mid-19th century to serve Hoyle Lake, it was decommissioned soon afterwards when the deep-water Port of Liverpool was established. It comes with a five-bedroom, four-reception family house formed by combining the original two lighthouse keepers' cottages. Black Horse Agencies in West Kirby (0151 625 6106) is asking pounds 225,000.

'Intruder' dies of wounds

Prosecutors are to decide whether two householders will face charges after a suspected burglar was killed, the second to die in the space of a few days, writes Ian MacKinnon.

A few years ago new housing was a byword for naff. Not any more

Ten years ago the London buyer had a choice between three types of property: an old house, a flat in a converted old house or a mansion block. Apart from Docklands, which few people considered to be part of London proper, new homes simply did not exist.

New music: Cambridge New Music Players Clerkenwell London Sinfonietta RFH2, London

"Old 'new music' is dead!'' It may not quite have the ring of "Schoenberg is dead'', but Priti Paintal, former scourge of the Arts Council's Music Panel, was trying to make the point that there is new new music that people like to listen to (to her ears, improvised, probably ethnic) and old new music (sterile, clinical, modernist) that people hate, but still listen to. Curiously, massive public subsidies are thrown towards the hated kind, while the gentle improvisers are left out in the cold.

TICKET OFFER: DRY RUN TOUR

On 17 November, the very best up-and-coming bands in the country will be playing at the University of London Union. Powder, Strangelove, Pusherman and Elcka are all on the road with Melody Maker and Stella Dry on the Dry Run Tour, an exclusive 10-date tour of Britain. If you're lucky, you could go along to the gig for free, plus win a pair of Dry Run T-shirts, an eight-pack of Stella Artois Dry and a tape of the bands. Just answer the following question: From which country does Stella Dry originate? a) Guadeloupe b) Belgium c) Spain.

WHERE TO EAT WILD MUSHROOMS

Gwent: every weekend, dozens of kilos of the king of mushrooms - known variously as Boletus edulis, ceps, porcini - arrive at the kitchen door of the Walnut Tree Inn, Llandewi Skirrid, near Abergavenny (01873- 852797). Picked by local Poles, these are shipped on to London; the Walnut Tree is already full to brimming with mushrooms picked by the proprietors, Ann and Franco Taruschio. It will take many generations before English cooks match Mr Taruschio's handling of porcini. They are fired and served with bracing gremolata on grilled polenta, they go into melting lasagne with ham, oodles of rich bechamel, parmesan and wildly generous portions of truffles. They are made into the richest of soups. Open lunch and dinner, Tuesday-Saturday. Approximately pounds 30 per person. Cash and cheques only.

A land fit for ghosts and pimps

SIX AM on train strike day, heralded the day before by a chumbling union man with a voice like sludge, and a meat-fed rotter yapping away for the ludicrous "management". So I took the dog for a walk (not my dog; I just somehow have it) and there was the little man plodding along Theobald's Road, already weary in the torpid London swelter. His shoulders were hunched. He was grey-faced, balding, much too thin, too old too young. In the middle of summer - the city all about him, quiet, deserted and turning privately behind closed doors - he looked desperately sad: not the sadness of a bad night and a hot day to come, but a sadness driven deep into his face by the sheer weight of disenchantment: a mid-Nineties Everyman in a chain- store suit.

SQAURE BITES NEAR THE SQUARE MILE

Since the 1989 opening of the Quality Chop House the scruffy Clerkenwell- City borders now house a selection of affordable, easy-going restaurants that shame London's posher districts.
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