Student

Eleanor Doughty is dismayed at the news that some universities and colleges are offering rewards like fee reductions or laptops to students with good grades

Theatre: Strictly classroom

David Benedict applauds the latest adaptation of `The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie', but sees a production living in the shadow of its free- spirited protagonist

Non-PC? Only when we laugh

When even William Hague is right-on, it's time for comedy to cock a snook. Tobias Jones reports

Stranded in beauty

Emma Haughton and her family sailed to a rugged island in the Bristol Channel which they found far from cosy - and far from anywhere else. But they still want to go back

Where's the good life?

1,500 people a week flee cities for the country, and the Government is worried by the exodus. But as `Independent' writers explain, home is a state of mind - not just a place The country: `It isn't as lovely as you t

Investment Column: Noddy could save Trocadero

CYNICAL observers suggest that Trocadero, the AIM-quoted stock which is looking for a new title, should be called "Troubled Troc", the name that seems to preface any article about the group.

All jolly nice, and no spice

Bunty's boarding schools and jolly good sports could teach today's girls a thing or two, says Hester Lacey

Letter: Fathers of geology

Sir: This year represents, for scientists, an important double bicentenary - of the death of James Hutton and of the birth of Charles Lyell. These two men, both of them Scots, were the principal founders of the science of geology. At the time of their work, the formation of rocks was considered by some to be a product of great floods or other major terrestrial catastrophes, a consequence of the direct will of God. It was these two who turned wild speculation into good science.

New beginning for Trocadero

Losses for the six months to June of pounds 465,000 were disappointing but yesterday marked a new beginning for Trocadero. It finished offloading its physical assets to former parent Burford to leave the newly arrived management team of John Conlan and Nick Tamblyn (both ex-First Leisure) with a mix of intellectual property and leisure interests.

Cheltenham `97: Something for the children

Book It! the children's section of the Cheltenham Literary Festival, promises a huge range of often surprising delights this year. For the first time the Town Hall will hear the patter of four feet as well as two, as the stars - animal as well as human - of Animal Ark put in an appearance. Later in the week, a canine refugee from TV's Animal Hospital, Dolly the Dog, will be arriving with her owner, the writer and illustrator Lisa Kopper, to judge a competition of pet photos. For children wanting a deeper understanding of animal behaviour, Richard Brassey will be teaching his audience How to Speak Chimpanzee.

Reading about Jeep Disease makes me feel better

"When are you supposed to start flossing your children's teeth?" asked the fresh-faced young American mother of an 18-month-old, sitting opposite me in the doctor's surgery. Hell's teeth, I have enough problems getting my hands into my own mouth, which is why my flossing resolutions never last beyond three days after my visit to the dental hygienist. I suppose she thought that a mother of four would have all this kind of thing sussed by now and that we looked like a shining model of family health and hygiene. If only she knew. My four-year-old and eight-year- old both have fillings (you tend to give up the puffed-rice-cakes-only regime after the first baby) and all this week we have been bonding over the nit comb. Instead of feeling pleased that the male side of the family has escaped the scourge of head lice, I have been worrying that I don't have enough head-to-head contact with them. And we were sitting there in the doctor's surgery because I wanted to have one of the boys' moles checked out, just in case the three bottles of Factor 30 we got through on holiday hadn't been enough to stop a few rays of carcinogenic sunshine getting through. As usual, I had to content myself with the doctor's reassurance that my son's only affliction was a paranoid mother. This probably wasn't the time to mention that my medical dictionary also says that head lice can transmit the organisms of typhus fever ...

LASHINGS OF GINGER BEER

"Where can you find the Snoogle, the Nice-Looking Witch and Sir Stamp- a-Lot?" "Which Enid Blyton character was named after the writer's second husband?" "Why was Big Ears worried about Noddy?"

Politics: it's no laughing matter

Arts Notebook

How the Famous Five became a burden for Enid Blyton

Enid Blyton grew tired of writing her Famous Five books, and only continued because her publishers insisted, the author's daughter Gillian Baverstock told the Edinburgh Book Festival yesterday.

Noddy and Big Ears take on Mickey Mouse as Enid Blyton goes global

Once her name was synonymous with childhood and adventure. But now, increasingly, it will go with money-making.
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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
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Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us