Life and Style

For all the cuddly Thomas the Tank Engine nostalgia that surrounds Britain's railway history, it should never be forgotten that this was the story of capitalism in the raw. In the 19th century, fortunes were made but more typically lost and the winners were only too keen to signal their grand ambitions to the world.

Derek Pain: An excellent time to be share buying for a long investment

I have recruited two shares to the no pain, no pain portfolio. They are Northern Petroleum, an oil and gas group, and the Spirit Pub Company, the chain that arrived on the stock market following a demerger from the struggling Punch Taverns. With the departure of Clarity Commerce Solutions and Lighthouse, my little share exercise was reduced to a dozen constituents.

The Hedonist: Ibiza

What to see and where to be seen

Kate Moss inspired to wed by Gypsy Weddings

Kate Moss' wedding was inspired by gypsies.

Fred asks not to be played after drinking episode

Brazil striker Fred asked Fluminense not to pick him for the club's match against Internacional on Thursday, claiming psychological problems after being pursued by fans who found him drinking in a Rio bar.

Mark Steel: Alcohol can be a problem, as can doctors

Britain is getting drunker than ever, apparently, with a government "consultation" expected to reveal the shocking statistic that, compared with 20 years ago, there are 80 per cent more documentaries or news items showing a clip of a girl in a short skirt being sick on a bench while a lad with no shirt makes a noise like a werewolf as he's thrown into a police van.

Andrew Martin: You always remember the first time

The thing is...

From the Stones to Sky Arts (via rehab), the reinvention of Ronnie

His cheeks are scarred by decades of debauchery, but Ronnie Wood continues to display a healthy ability to reinvent himself.

Leading article: Rock on, Wood

Although he increasingly resembles one of the prehistoric sacrificial victims found in a distant bog, Ronnie Wood commands respect.

Fizz on the rocks: Pimping a classic drink

As difficult economic times continue to take their toll on life's little luxuries, champagne houses have discovered the benefits of pimping the classic drink, reports Luke Blackall

Soft drinks grow up: A former restaurateur thinks he's found a tasty alternative to alcohol

Peter Spanton, former restaurateur (and alcoholic) has found an answer.

The sun lounger also rises...but not just yet

Don't even try to kid yourself that this holiday will see you wading through literary tomes or worthy political memoirs. We know what you want

RFU blush over black shirts

Twickenham's plan for new England change jersey provokes anger from World Cup hosts New Zealand

Dom Joly: The horrors of Speech Day mark the start of summer

I was trying to sleep in after a late-night homecoming from some far-flung gig. I was dreaming of stalking a particularly annoying heckler with a high-powered hunting rifle and a night-scope. Suddenly I was under attack. It was a sneak ambush by my kids who were bouncing up and down on me and insisting that I get up – it was Speech Day at their school and I was not going to be allowed to miss it.

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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 1 May 2015
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before