Why has it been so warm this month?

In the past 12 months we have had the warmest November and August in records for central England stretching back to 1659. October looks set to join this record-breaking pair.

There's a sucker born every minute in Denmark

Margaret Dolley finds the young Danes' addiction to dummies far from soothing

dance Caroline Mathilde,

Covent Garden Bland or brilliant? Sophie Constanti and Stephen Johnson compare notes

Why the English aren't dreary

From Mr Tony Linsell

Obituary: Red Rodney

FURTHER to my obituary of the trumpeter Red Rodney (31 May), writes Steve Voce, I have discovered there was a sequel to his impersonating a US major-general.

Where school is child's play: Margaret Dolley learns to admire the Danes' way of teaching her children

It is Saturday afternoon, and Jack (seven) is writing a poem inspired by his school's project, with gentle prompting from Dad. A couple of streets away, five-year-old Sophie's pocket money has gone on a science starter kit.

Danish upset

Two extra-parliamentary groups opposed to the EU were heading for a big victory in yesterday's European elections in Denmark, according to an exit poll, Reuter reports from Copenhagen.

Bridge: Dealing with riddles

A RIDDLE - why was declarer irritated, despite making a vulnerable grand slam in no-trumps with a neat double squeeze?

THEATRE / Best of Danish: Robert Hanks on Jeppe of the Hill at the Gate

It's one of the mysteries of the theatre that when a group of outwardly sophisticated people is gathered together in the name of art, they will split their sides at humour so crude - in both senses of the word - that it would look limp and ungainly in the Wheeltappers and Shunters' Social Club. If Jeppe of the Hill was no more than the sum of its drunk routines and domineering-wife jokes - however engagingly put over by Jonathan Coyne - you'd be better advised to stay at home; judging from the gales of hilarity blowing around the Gate, though, this is a minority opinion.

Filofax swallows Danish rival: Pounds 910,000 purchase completes tally of European customers

FILOFAX, maker of the Eighties stationery status symbol, has expanded its Continental operation with the purchase of a Danish counterpart, Systemplan, for pounds 910,000, writes Robert Cole.

Sporting Digest: Petanque

ROCHESTER EUROPEAN CLASSIC (Chatham) Final: Alosta (Bel) bt Cardiff 13-6. Third place play-off: Schopioen (Bel) bt Denmark A.

CLASSICAL MUSIC / Coda

ADDICTS of the North can indulge their appetites this weekend in the unlikely surroundings of a 17th-century barn at the foot of Fetcham Down, Surrey. Following close on current London fashion, this is a Summer Festival of Music and Food: your pounds 14 tickets for the Scandinavian-themed concerts include a Nordic buffet supper and a glass of a local brew that used to be called elderflower champagne until the name was banned last week by obstructive Frenchmen. Performers are not so well known, but the programmes are eye-catchingly quirky. They celebrate Grieg and introduce some Danish novelties, including the premiere of a 50- year-old Divertimento by Niels Viggo Bentzon and a wind piece by a little-known member of the Bach family - Erik Bach. (Well, maybe not that family.) Details from 0372 454963 or 375969.

Badminton: England hope for the best

ENGLAND's hopes rest heavily upon the shoulders of three former Europeans champions if they are to salvage something from the biggest badminton event ever held, the 7-Up World Championships which start today at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, writes James Leigh.

Yes or no Britons rally the Danish

THE British invasion of Denmark continued yesterday. Bill Cash, self-appointed spokesman of the anti-Europe Tories, and Edward Heath, who took Britain into Europe, became the latest to add their voices to the yes or no campaigns in the lead-up to Tuesday's referendum on the Maastricht treaty.

Sailing: Peponnet cruises to victory

France's Thierry Peponnet squashed the unexpected challenge of Britain's Eddie Warden Owen yesterday to claim the prize that had looked likely to be his all week - the Lymington Cup, writes Stuart Alexander.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

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Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

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Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

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The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

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The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

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Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

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From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

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A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

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