Life and Style Buttering up: The popularity of artisan butters has forced the big makers of other spreads to change their products

Margarine makers have an unusual response to  our renewed taste for butter

The Austerity Issue: don't panic

Amid the bewildering complexities of the global financial crisis, one simple fact stands out: the little we have left needs to go a lot further. Fear not! We'll show you how to endure the forthcoming recession with a bit of grit, some nous and the wise advice of our post-war forebears. And you never know, you might have a laugh or two along the way... To begin our special issue, a celebration of the true heroine of austerity Britain: the housewife

Paperback: Hubbub, by Emily Cockayne

Provided the reader is in robust good health and not about to eat a meal, this account of "filth, noise and stench" in 17th and 18th-century England makes an entertaining, even amusing read. Cockayne draws us into a world where snickleways (narrow, often noisome passages) might be contaminated by fallen axunge (pig fat used to grease axles) or the overflow from a "house of easement". Butchers, dogs, fleas and gin play leading roles in this account of history's backside. We learn that umbrellas were black "so that the sooty rain did not stain them", while London's Mount Pleasant was "a tongue-in-cheek name" for an 8-acre soil dump. Like Dung Wharf adjoining Puddle Dock, it was literally a shit-heap. The pollution could be aural as well as physical. Described as "unpleasing and tuneless", street musicians provoked the proverb: "Give the piper a penny to play and twopence to leave off", but laws were passed to limit nocturnal racket, like the 1598 statute that "no man shall after the hour of nine at night beat his wife". Cockayne concludes by observing that, though urban dwellers were subject to stink, itch, racket, filth, overcrowding and murk, at least they were not stranded in the countryside among rustics castigated by one Londoner as "clownish, ignorant, rude, slovenly, absurd, boisterous and blustering".

Market Report: InterContinental Hotels surges on £5.7bn bid talk

The private-equity industry may have spent a staggering $700bn(£357bn) on deals across the globe in 2006, but investors do not expect the spending spree to end just yet. InterContinental Hotels rose 56p to 1,217p yesterday, easily the best blue-chip performer, as talk of a 1,500p-per-share bid persisted.

Cod Liver Oil: Should I continue taking it?

A recent study showed that taking cod-liver oil supplements may have no benefits and indeed may be harmful. My husband and I, both in our seventies, have been taking cod-liver oil tablets for the past five years. We take regular exercise and have a good diet. Should we continue taking cod-liver oil?

Time to step on the bio-gas

In Brazil, cars run on sugar cane. In the US, a lorry is fuelled with wood. Terry Kirby wonders why we're being so slow to follow the lead

Words: butter, n.

"DO YOU want butter on it?" asked the man in a Brighton sandwich- shop. "Yes, please." With which, he dug his knife into a tub of grease which I could not believe was butter. "Is that margarine?" "Yes." "But you just asked if I wanted butter." "I know," he said, knife aloft, "it's a figure of speech, isn't it?"

Formula milk `can set back babies'

BABIES MAY suffer early impairment of their intelligence if, for their first four months, they are fed infant formula that lacks an ingredient found in breast milk, say British scientists.

Non-stick ketchup runs out of the lab

A SCANNING technique for head injury patients is helping to develop the perfect ketchup.

Cod-liver oil health fears

Cod-liver oil health fears

Girl, 13, was `bullied to death'

A teenager took an overdose of pills out of desperation at the bullies who were hounding her, her family claimed yesterday.

Oldest person, 122, dies

Jeanne Calment, who credited olive oil and port for making her the world's oldest person, died aged 122 in Arles. Though blind, nearly deaf and in a wheelchair, she remained spirited and mentally sharp to the end. On her 121st birthday she released a CD, Time's Mistress, on which she reminisced to rap. AP -Arles
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor