Judging by the national mood, I would urge David Cameron to go to the polls now; the mood is good out there

Probe into Labour's 'cancer' postcards

Allegations that Labour has 'cynically' targeted cancer sufferers with an election leaflet are being investigated by the Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham.

Kate Simon: Wish you were here – but don't expect a postcard anytime soon

Will you be sending any postcards from your holidays this year? I remember as a child having to spend at least one morning of our annual summer holiday writing "wish you were here" to the nearest and dearest – or risk no ice-creams for the rest of the day.

Album: Various Artists, Message from the Tribe: 1972-76 (Universal Sound)

Tribe was a musician-run recording collective in Detroit during the mid-1970s. Big hair, big attitude, big things to say. Big debt to the great Sun Ra.

There's a pattern emerging: How Marie Perkins helped define the phenomenon of big, bold prints for the masses

From textiles to table mats, greetings cards to curtains, over the past few years pattern has exploded into our homes and lives, leaving few objects untouched by graphic retro prints or whimsical illustrations of flora and fauna.

Album: Seasick Steve, ...Songs for Elisabeth (Atlantic)

It's a rum do when a sultry soul diva like Sade arouses less passion than a venerable, bewhiskered hobo like Seasick Steve, but such is apparently the case.

Alone in Berlin, By Hans Fallada

First published in 1947, just prior to its author's death, this astonishing novel now has the British acclaim it deserves thanks a translation by Michael Hofmann that sweeps you headlong down the course of its intimate yet epic drama. Using a real case as his model, Fallada portrays a small, brave act of rebellion against the Third Reich during its glory days in 1940.

Carola Long: Even Xmas cards are now obscene

The perpetuation of stereotypes is especially depressing

Hans Teeuwen, Udderbelly Pasture, Edinburgh

The Dutch comedy icon Hans Teeuwen cuts a ridiculous figure. Ludicrous even. Which is no bad thing for a 42-year old absurdist who, perhaps against the cultural odds, is becoming a regular on the UK comedy scene.

Unaccustomed Earth, By Jhumpa Lahiri

"Be happy, love Baba," are the words with which Ruma's father signed the postcards that landed in her Seattle home, sent during the globe-trotting that was sparked by his wife's death. But what is happiness and how does one achieve it?

Tim Smit: Breaking bread together will break down community barriers

Imagine a summer's day on which millions of us, throughout the UK, sit down to have lunch together with our neighbours: in the middle of our streets, around our tower blocks and on every patch of common ground. The food, entertainment, music and decorations we will have grown, cooked, or created ourselves. That's why The Big Lunch project is asking the people of Britain to stop what they're doing and sit down to lunch together, with friends and neighbours in July.

Clinton Cards to fight back with refinancing and robust sales

The greetingS card retailer Clinton Cards is expected to reveal today it has renegotiated its loan facilities, alongside better-than-expected interim trading results, in moves that will rebuff speculation about its financial stability.

Battle of the heart: Was war poet Rupert Brooke a closet heterosexual?

While researching her new novel about Rupert Brooke, Jill Dawson was seduced by one thought: that the war poet was a homosexual only reluctantly. She presents her evidence to Danuta Kean

Investment Column: Splash out on defensive Severn Trent

Clinton Cards; Hamworthy
Life and Style
“What is it like being a girl?” was the question on the lips of one inquisitive Reddit user this week
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
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur

Midsummer swimwear season is well and truly upon us – but diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

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
peopleMario Balotelli poses with 'shotgun' in controversial Instagram pic
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
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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