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This millennium, Britain’s dragonfly contingent has been in the throes of revolution. Several sparkling species have crossed the sea to start colonising the UK. In this ambitious itinerary, you might see up to seven magnificent dragonflies unknown in Britain two decades previously.

A partridge and a pear treat: Mark Hix's no-fuss alternative Christmas feast

I'm all for an alternative to turkey on Christmas Day and this year once again I will be cooking a selection of small game birds. A couple of my guests from last year – the artist Anya Gallaccio and her partner Kelly, who now live in San Diego – booked their places months ago for this year's feast!

Shannon's mother 'lied and lied and lied again'

The mother of Shannon Matthews "lied and lied and lied again" as she told five different versions regarding her daughter's disappearance, a jury was told today.

Mother went shopping on night Shannon disappeared

The mother of Shannon Matthews told a jury today she went shopping at a supermarket on the night her daughter went missing.

Shannon's mother denies telling 'blatant lies'

The mother of Shannon Matthews today denied telling "blatant lies" to a jury as she resumed giving evidence at her trial.

Trade secrets: Top chefs reveal their guilty pleasures

What is Valentine Warner's guiltiest pleasure? What was Angela Hartnett's real-life kitchen nightmare? And what does Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall want for Christmas?

Mother 'showed no interest in Shannon welfare'

Karen Matthews did not ask about the welfare of her daughter when police told her she had been found but made a "glib comment" about an officer's mobile ringtone, a court heard today.

The 5-minute Interview: Christine Bleakley, TV presenter

'A flock of geese on my granny's farm decided to sample me for lunch'

Paperback: Salt, by Jeremy Page

Like Graham Swift and PD James before him, debut novelist Jeremy Page has fallen under the spell of Norfolk's flat fens and big skies. Salt opens on Morston Marsh near Blakeney, during the Second World War, where when a local woman, "Goose", discovers a German pilot buried up to the neck in mud. She takes him in, washes him and feeds him up on pickled samphire and hollandaise sauce. Nine months later she gives birth to a baby girl. While this mystic family saga is at times hard to fathom – especially in early chapters – Page's descriptions of this bleak East Anglian coast get under the skin.

Prue Leith defends cooking Canadian goose egg omelette

British chef Prue Leith has defended herself after revealing she raided a Canada goose nest in her garden for eggs to make an omelette.

Masters preview: Dougherty flies west with the goose, primed to fulfil his American dream

Briton ascends to 'heaven' with a little help from Fuzzy and a compatriot who won three Masters. By James Corrigan

LPO/Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall, London<field name="starRating">fivestar</field>

Like so many of Vladimir Jurowski's intriguing programme ideas, the pairing of Ravel's Piano Concert for the Left Hand and Shostakovich's 7th Symphony "Leningrad" amounted to much more than the musical equivalent of speed-dating. Both works were, in different ways, the products of war and heroism: the concerto inspired by the pianist Paul Wittgenstein, who rebuilt a concert career despite losing an arm in the First World War; and the symphony an ode to the people of Leningrad, whose endurance in the face of Nazi oppression had been well-practised under Stalin.

Reach for the skies on the Norfolk coast

Some of Britain's best birdlife can be found along this wild stretch, says Mark Rowe

Pledge and pink champagne, By Jeanette Winterson

For weeks we've been exhorting you to spend, spend, spend, but now that the presents have (with any luck) been bought and the preparations are complete, it's time to ponder the deeper meaning of Christmas. We asked our favourite writers to rant, reflect or reminisce on a festive theme. As Ronald Hutton explains, the last thing you should feel at this time of year is guilty, so sit down with a mince pie and enjoy
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?