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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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Vietnam & Cambodia
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Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
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Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album