first encounters: When Jean-Paul Sartre met Simone de Beauvoir

Illustration by Edward Sorel Text by Nancy Caldwell Sorel Next week: Fred Astaire and Count Basie

Is this ashtray the most stolen item in London?

It is nothing special, just a piece of moulded aluminium. But this ashtray is one of the most sought-after and theft-prone items in London. Quaglino's, the West End restaurant owned by Sir Terence Conran, loses 1,000 of these ashtrays a month.

Craftafarians: making a little go a long way

Arts and crafts are the thing. Katie Sampson on a home-made phenomenon

Hanson launches its dustbin


where shall we meet? The Mission, SW2

Recently opened on this windy avenue of stripped pine shops is the Mission, a wine bar and restaurant with some actually likeable abstract canvases on the walls. This former carpet warehouse has tables outside and a nice light opening shopfront, and one major drawback: bar tables are set on a platform so narrow that if you add a fifth chair to the end of a table the person sitting there will risk tipping off. House plonk is pounds 8.50, jugs of cocktails pounds 10, sandwiches and burgers pounds 1.90-pounds 4.50. Smokers beware: very pretty porphyry ashtrays only hold about four butts and the staff aren't over-assiduous about emptying them. Griping apart, a good addition to the area, as long as there are only four in your party.

True gripes : Basil, please brush off

Urban foxes are a pain. Who needs them?

Making it big


DIARY: Damn, damn, damn.

Damn, damn, damn. There I was, all set with Thermos and sandwich box to hang around the public gallery of the High Court on Monday, quivering with delight as the Princess of Wales was probed about the invasion of her privacy by Peeping Toms. Now the bloody woman has gone and settled out of court. It's not fair. We loyal fans, in whose drab lives the Princess's leotardal calisthenics at west London's LA Fitness Club were a definite high point, cannot be fobbed off with legal niceties. We need mor e.

Mother of murdered boy is arrested

The mother of six-year-old Rikki Neave was arrested yesterday by detectives investigating his murder.

The kids are all right. Oh no they're not

Children get a bad deal in the theatre at the best of times and Christm as is the worst of times, writes Tim Supple, artistic director of the Young Vic ; 'tis a season to be vacuously jolly with cannibalised plots, lazy direction a nd celebrity casts \

Cuttings: Tracing Mr Cave

JACK BRIGGS, of Whittlesford, Cambs, who has spent most of his working life as an entomologist at the East Malling Research Station, writes with more information about the George Cave who gave his name to an apple (the Independent, 27 August).

Food & Drink: Who needs greasy fingerprints?: Psychological profiling is not just a game for puzzled policemen. Anyone can play

1) Does the subject always blame others for his or her own mistakes?

'Penis' missing

Police have been called in to find an ashtray shaped like a penis, which was once used as a murder weapon. Medical students were blamed when the ashtray, a skeleton and two foetuses in a jar disappeared in August from the pathology museum at Charing Cross hospital.

Kidnap baby's mother tells of hoax agony: Karen Humphries, now reunited with her daughter Abbie, wonders how malicious callers could be so cruel. Simon Midgley reports

HOAXERS who phoned the police claiming that they had or knew who had abducted four- hour-old baby Abbie Humphries from a Nottingham hospital maternity ward, caused her mother Karen untold agony, she says today.

Letter: The universality of Christian socialism

Sir: As someone who has attempted to rewrite Christian socialism as a more politically correct 'ethical socialism', Professor AH Halsey ('Where is the spirit of our age?', 8 July) seems understandably embarrassed that people should increasingly doubt the efficacy of a self-evident 'ethics' as a political imperative, and come to feel that the values by which he sets so much store are not given for all time - as the Enlightenment had it - but the legacy of Christian faith.
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