Arts and Entertainment

The province of Lopburi, 150km north-east of Bangkok, is famous for the hundreds of crab-eating macaques that overrun its Old Town – including the 13th-century temple of Phra Prang Sam Yot.

Scrambled eggs with crab

Serves 4

The Seafood Restaurant, Riverside, Padstow, Cornwall

There's something about Rick Stein that doesn't irritate people as much as other TV cooks and celebrity chefs do. Perhaps it's his looks: that exiguous grey hair, the honest brow and the guileless smile conspire to make him resemble a trustworthy fishmonger. To dwellers of Padstow, he may have become too ubiquitous a presence – four restaurants, a delicatessen, a patisserie, a gift shop, a seafood cookery school and 40 hotel bedrooms make up his phenomenal gastronomic/catering empire – but he's managed to retain the image of a basically decent cove with a charming obsession about all things fishy and crustacean.

How to tackle Chinese crab invasion: send them home

Creatures regarded as pests in Britain are prized by diners across the Far East

Best nature and environment books for Christmas

Nature writing tries not only to describe what is going on but to convey its impact on the viewer. The trend has been towards emotional engagement. When it works, the result can be compelling. This release of the would-be poet embedded in the Barbour-jacketed form of the wanderer is not of course confined to birders and botanists. At best, this amounts to a genuine rediscovery of rural writing, informed by the media and travel, as well as the growth of inner perceptions. As literature, it is progress. As science, there's a danger of facts turning into fudge.

Mary Wakefield: Sex education classes are the last thing young children need

Such a charming little story I heard this week, told me by a friend who is governor of her local school. We were standing outside Sainsbury's, wondering where the car was parked, when The Twelve Days of Christmas started up in the forecourt. My friend sighed; gave her head a sad little shake. "What?" I asked. Well, she said, as a treat for the younger pupils, two officials from the local NHS trust had arrived to sing a song for them during the class that used to be sex education and is now PSHE (personal, social and health education). It was a jolly song, chosen with the festive season in mind, and because I've since found the lyrics online I can tell you that it went like this:

Spider-crab croquettes

Serves 6-8

Nibble nirvana: Mark Hix's bite-sized brilliance and tapas treats

In the bar below my new restaurant in Soho, we are developing lots of delicious small plates of nibbles and snacks. We tend to just call them "snax", but the influence has pretty much come from the Spanish tapas which most people know and love. Tapas began life as free nibbles at bars in Spain – they would usually consist of the fishermen's by-catch of small fish, which would be put on the bar-top to encourage more drinking. In small villages, men would go out on a tapeo to different bars, drinking and nibbling on tasty free morsels.

Parsnip and crab-apple soup

Serves 4-6

Michael Turner: Translator and publisher who brought Tintin to a British audience

The creation of the Belgian artist Hergé, the intrepid newspaper reporter Tintin is now a household name, with Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson hard at work on a film adaptation of The Secret Of The Unicorn, while Tintin In The Congo has been scrutinised for racist stereotypes and found wanting by politically correct librarians on both sides of the Atlantic, over seven decades after its original publication in Le Petit Vingtième. Yet the British were latecomers to Tintin, and the comic book hero owes much of its popularity in English-speaking countries to the hard work and dedication of the translator and publisher, Michael Turner, and the imaginative approach he favoured when adapting the 24 volumes for domestic consumption in partnership with Leslie Lonsdale-Cooper.

Get a taste for life in Khao Lak

Swim in the waters of Phang Nga Bay, try yoga on the beach, then learn to cook up a Thai feast in Khao Lak's luxurious Sarojin resort

Andrew Lawrence: Soul-Crushing Vicissitudes of Fortune! Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh

With the fractious energy born of frustration that puts one in mind of an evil Lee Evans merging with the verbal assaults of the "equal opportunities offender" Jerry Sadowitz, this taut, scrawny ginger comic, with his strangulated London twang, fires his ire any which way.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

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Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

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Frank Warren's Ringside

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The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

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Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

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MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

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The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

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A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

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Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

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Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee