John Walsh on Monday: Land of knickers on the never-never

IN A CORNER of the glass case, a mouse is washing its paws. Its pink tongue dips and flickers across miniature wrists and bonsai arms, while its pink nose burrows in its snow-white, three-day-old baby fur - a sight to charm the hardest heart - as it crouches in a little rush nest, oblivious to everything else.

The divine Mr Hannon

How did the son of an Irish bishop, who went to Oscar Wilde's old school and says EM Forster changed his life, come to be the most exciting figure in pop? And what part did the A Team play?

Comment: Lessons from the fall of Europe's foodies

UNTIL THIS week Belgium had only two national institutions: the monarchy, and food. Like the national affection for the Royal Family, eating used to be the one activity that could make French and Dutch speakers set aside their interminable language feuds.

Street Life: Horror that lurked in my dream kitchen

SAMOTECHNY LANE

Dance: Stuck in a pointless groove

ULTIMA VEZ

Racing: Case is clear for Fantastic Light

PUNTERS' GUIDE: HYPERION'S TV TIPS

Music: The perfect Handel for the new Britain

Semele Coliseum, London Idomeneo Barbican, London Felicity Lott Wigmore Hall, London

Country & Garden: In Flanders fields the poppies grew ...

Wild flowers may be a farmer's nightmare but they are a gardener's dream, because they'll grow almost anywhere.

Ghent's bad news for Charles V

AS THE leading light of Belgium's latest, and strangest, civic protest, "The Lion" prefers not to give his real name or telephone number, and can only be contacted through an intermediary. But despite the uncompromising nature of his threats, their target is unlikely to fear for his safety, or to complain to the police.

The week in radio: Creativity, thy name is Woman

Voluspa R4 Bleak House R4 Enoch Arden R4 Gaia R4 For One Horrible Moment R4 Susan Jeffreys Says ... R2

The arts in 1999: Classical

The one thing we all know not to expect this year is anything from the Royal Opera, which will be sitting on pounds 16 million of public subsidy, thank you very much, and delivering virtually nothing in return. It's what you might call a swindle; and it dumps the burden of servicing London's operatic needs on the shoulders of ENO who have stepped into the breech with a genuinely enticing season of new shows. The Big One is Parsifal (February) with a not-so-thrilling cast, but the promise of the ever-curious Nickolaus Lehnhoff as director and Mark Elder to conduct. The Ian Judge production of Boito's Mephistopheles (from March) should be a grand theatrical event. So - if she meets the challenge of it - should be Phyllida Lloyd's staging of the extraordinary mass-execution scene at the end of Poulenc's The Carmelites, which opens in May. And one thing I can guarantee is the new Semele (from April), because this ultra-stylish show by Robert Carsen has already played Aix and Flanders and attracted glowing reviews. Not least on this page.

Fleming cements ties with Keswicks

News Analysis: Two of Britain's most powerful dynasties hope to revive an ailing bank

Books: Reviews

A Tall Man in a Low Land - Some Time Among the Belgians, Harry Pearson

Classical: Tributes to hope and the human spirit

BRITTEN, HOWELLS
Life and Style
“What is it like being a girl?” was the question on the lips of one inquisitive Reddit user this week
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Life and Style
beauty
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
transfers
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Sport
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
film
News
peopleMario Balotelli poses with 'shotgun' in controversial Instagram pic
News
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel Shop See all offers »
India and Nepal
14 nights from £2,159pp Find out more
Dutch Masters
five nights from £679pp Find out more
La Robla and Rioja
nine nights from £1599pp Find out more
Classical Spain
six nights from £539pp Find out more
California and the Golden West
14 nights from £1,599pp Find out more
Bruges
three nights from £259pp Find out more
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice