The cold wind danced up my shorts and I found myself crying as I moved between puddles

January’s such a stupid time to make resolutions

Alastair Cook and Tim Bresnan of England celebrate after defeating Australia during game four of the One Day International series between Australia and England

ODI series: Alastair Cook finds the 'confidence' to lead team into the World Cup after England finally beat Australia

The tourists won by 57 runs in the fourth one-day international

Sunderland keeper Vito Mannone celebrates making a save during Wednesday's shoot out

Vito Mannone delivers for Sunderland - showing all the youthful promise spotted by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

The Italian played a crucial role in the Black Cats beating Manchester United to reach the Capital One cup final

Pope Francis: 'I ask you to ensure that humanity is served by wealth and not ruled by it'

Pope Francis has his feet on the ground but he may be too late to save the Church from the damage of sex abuse scandals

Is he doomed to play the role of Mikhail Gorbachev to an organisation long as secretive as the Kremlin?

Step into the Pulpit at York Minster

When was the last time you had a first time.....?

Shannon Tarbet, Polly Adams and Emilia Fox in 'Rapture, Blister, Burn'

The Internet's top 25 worst passwords, and what yours say about you

In the spirit of educational shaming, here are the year's most popular — and therefore least effective — passwords

Worst police sketch ever? Police hunt oddly spherical man

A vaguely miffed-looking man with an almost perfectly spherical head is wanted in connection with the robbery of two women in Texas, at least according to this police sketch.

Rising star Gemma Steel looks to take marathon step

‘Podium potential’ cash opens new doors for brilliant distance runner

Valérie Trierweiler left hospital in Paris yesterday, a week after reports emerged that her partner, President François Hollande, was having an affair with the actress Julie Gayet

François Hollande says First Lady Valérie Trierweiler is 'getting better' - but stays quiet about their future

She is now resting at La Lanterne, the French equivalent of Chequers

Thomas Hitzlsperger has thrust the issue of homosexuality in football back into the spotlight

Kevin Garside: It may pass unremarked in theatreland, but homosexuality faces intolerance and hostility throughout society, not just in football

What did ‘The Pass’ reveal about the game and its taboos? Surprisingly little

Valérie Trierweiler left hospital in Paris yesterday, a week after reports emerged that her partner, President François Hollande, was having an affair with the actress Julie Gayet

Francois Hollande told Valerie Trierweiler during hospital visit: 'I need more time'

French press reports President likely to choose actress Julie Gayet and ask First Lady to leave Elysee Palace

What to do? Paul Downton must decide how to change Alastair Cook’s England to prevent future defeats like Friday’s

England’s next test: Who gets the chop?

Another game, another fiasco. New head Paul Downton must ensure the right calls are made to rebuild squad

Ruan Pienaar demonstrated all-court brilliance against the Leicester team

Leicester Tigers 19 Ulster 22 match report: Ruan Pienaar piles on pain for wounded Tigers

Scrum-half claims all Ulster’s points as Leicester are left facing tough trip

Harriet Walker: 'I will be in her life forever - because I fell over at her wedding'

No matter how hard you try to make your friends love you, there's never any guarantee, is there? You can be your funniest self, your most supportive self, your kindest, most understanding, coolest or most relaxed self, and there's still nothing to say your friends won't just desert you, like a smuggler's ship slipping its ropes in the bay at midnight.

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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
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
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

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

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

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there