Travel Hannah and Chico take the long way round Wales

How one travel-writer's innovative journey round the Welsh coast led to a starring role for her four-legged companion

Evolutionary Notes: We are apes, whether we like it or not

CHARLES DARWIN shocked Victorian society by, as they thought, suggesting that "man is descended from the apes". What he really suggested, of course, is that humans and the hairy apes (the chimpanzee and gorilla) share a common ancestor, a creature more "ape-like" than "man-like". But now the argument has been turned on its head.

The Independent Collector: Sean Henry

John Windsor's guide to collecting contemporary art

Children: THINGS TO DO IN LONDON...AND BEYOND

Finsbury Park Carnival, Fonthill Rd & Lennox Rd, Islington, N1 (0171-477 3339) today 1pm-6.30pm, free

The last resort

The sensual pleasures of the Mediterranean are still lost on some Britons - fortunately for many of our seaside towns. And though good weather is promised for this weekend the breezes of Skegness remain forever bracing

Outdoors: When Welkin went on holiday

There were strange happenings down in the farmyard, as Duff Hart- Davis observed, when a visiting donkey met a trio of camelids

Star-struck beasts put out to pasture

Kate Watson-Smyth on the Tamworth Two's bid to remain in the spotlight

Designer watch: ciao baby

You're standing in the Tube on the way to work. No-one looks like they've seen a blue sky or breathed fresh air for weeks. Joe Average beside you reaches for the strap, revealing a chunky watch the size of a dinner plate bristling with buttons. You look at him again and see the real man within - no mere desk jockey, but a rugged, outward-bound hero who spends weekends thrashing around rivers in canoes and being kind to donkeys on mountain tops.

Passed/Failed: Toyah Wilcox

Toyah Wilcox, 39, is the actress and singer who plays the hero in `Jack and the Beanstalk', opening today at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley. Her film work includes `Quadrophenia', `Jubilee' and `The Anchoress' and she has appeared in `Sugar and Spice' at the Royal Court, `Whale' at the National and `A Midsummer Night's Dream' at Regent's Park Theatre. Her albums include `Sheep Farming in Barnet' and `Toyah, Toyah, Toyah!' and for three years she toured with her husband, guitarist Robert Fripp, in the band Sunday All Over the World. Her album of `Cabaret' with Nigel Planer was released in May. She presents `The Holiday Programme' and `Fasten Your Seatbelts' on BBC1.

Interview: Martin Bell - Not so much a party animal, more a party poope r

Deborah Ross talks to Martin Bell

City & Business: Lions and donkeys

Leadership and managerial decision-making ability, while often confused, are not the same thing. Never was this more true than in war: the Earl of Cardigan must have had extremely good motivation and communications skills to lead his 600 troops in the Charge of the Light Brigade, but in retrospect it was a truly awful management decision.

Letter: Keep bad owners off the beach, not donkeys

The RSPCA is not trying to take donkeys off British beachers, merely irresponsible owners ("Drop the hot donkey...", 24 August). While there are good owners, we are concerned about operators who take too little care in ensuring that their animals have sufficient shade, water and rest in hot weather.

Drop the hot donkey, say RSPCA as beach temperatures soar

One Of The last remaining traditions of the Victorian seaside - the donkey ride - is under threat of extinction from the RSPCA.

Immigrants to the country must expect cows to bellow, donkeys to bray and chain-saws to scream. But peacocks are something else ...

I do not usually have much time for townspeople who come out to live in villages and then complain about the noise and smells. Immigrants to the country must expect cows to bellow, donkeys to bray, tractors to roar, chain-saws to scream and silage clamps to stink like the effluent from hell.

Feeling beastly? Try a little llama therapy

David Usborne on the latest treatment offered to troubled Americans

Eeyore's not-so-gloomy place

Donkeys are abused the world over. But in a corner of Devon lives a lady who kicks back on their behalf.
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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas