There But For The, By Ali Smith

There is usually a moment in an Ali Smith story when I ask myself "where can this strangest of beginnings lead?" and another moment when I think "why is half of this chapter written in parenthesis?"

Boxing: DeGale the 'golden boy' predicts easy win over Groves

James DeGale endured a difficult start to life as a professional but has won the critics over en route to collecting the British super-middleweight title and he predicts tonight's meeting with his old rival George Groves will be "an easy night's work" at London's O2.

Nationwide attacked for branch closures

Nationwide has come under fire for its decision to close all seven of its branches in south-east London. Britain's biggest building society will close branches in Blackheath, Greenwich, Woolwich, Lewisham, Catford, Peckham and Elephant & Castle by the end of May.

Simon Read: Leaving customers in the lurch should not be the mutual way

Closing branches and leaving customers in the lurch is what we expect from our profit-hungry banks. So hearing that some 670,000 people in south-east London will lose all seven branches of a financial institution in the next two months, it sounds like business as usual. Until you discover that the firm pulling out of the area is the UK's biggest building society.

The World That Never Was, By Alex Butterworth

Famously exemplified by Martial Bourdin, whose fatally botched attempt to blow up Greenwich Observatory in 1894 inspired Conrad's The Secret Agent, the final years of the 19th century gave birth to the cartoon anarchist carrying a fizzing bomb.

Berlin Philharmonic / Rattle, Barbican / Southbank, London<br/>Troy Boy, Upstairs at the Gatehouse, London

A much-hyped musical visit lives up to expectations, and an operatic star is born

Leading article: Let there be summertime all year

Almost unheralded, the question of daylight saving is back on to the agenda – and a very good thing that is, too. A Private Member's Bill, which yesterday passed its second reading, would require the Government to open an inquiry into the benefits of keeping British Summer Time throughout the year.

Eugene Mirman, Greenwich Comedy Festival, London

There's no denying that he makes an affable host, but it's a pity that the comedic value of this full-framed American performer is so slight.

Shappi Khorsandi, Greenwich Comedy Festival, London

"The great thing about playing this festival is that there's music to fill any awkward silences," says Shappi Khorsandi of the jazz pleasantly leaking from an adjacent tented venue. Khorsandi, however, is not one for leaving silences; she's ever effervescent and with all the more reason to be these days, thanks to a growing audience, in part swelled by TV appearances that range from Friday Night with Jonathan Ross to Question Time.

John Cooper Clarke, Greenwich Comedy Festival, London

Before his gig I see John Cooper Clarke led across the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College, where the Greenwich Comedy Festival is situated, towards his venue, and I am reminded of the comical stick figure he cuts with his pipe-cleaner legs and his wire-brush hair. Had L S Lowry lived beyond 1976, the year Cooper Clarke's poetry was starting to be used to support numerous seminal punk bands, and had he continued to paint scenes of life in Salford, from whence Cooper Clarke hails, you couldn't think of a better subject for him.

Picturing the night sky

This eerie image of an ancient bristlecone pine set against the backdrop of the Milky Way while a meteor streaked across the night sky has won the National Maritime Museum's annual astronomy photographic competition.

Mental patient 'killed flatmate in axe attack'

A mental patient killed his flatmate in a "frenzied" axe attack days after leaving hospital, a court heard today.

Archaeologists dig up 200-year-old skeleton of London's Moby Dick

Remarkable discoveries on the River Thames foreshore at Greenwich indicate that London was the final resting place, some two centuries ago, of a giant whale the size of the legendary Moby Dick.

Five injured in knife fight

Five young men suffered multiple stab wounds today in an apparent knife fight.

Nelson decoration to be auctioned

Lord Nelson's Breast Star of the Order of the Bath is to go on sale at Sothebys next month with an estimate of £300,000.

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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
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star