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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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions