Arts and Entertainment Hair time: Colin Wilson breaks another literary rule: don't pose for silly pictures

For ambitious would-be authors, the life of Colin Wilson presents itself as a cautionary tale. Here, Terence Blacker explains where the self-proclaimed genius went wrong

Television company apologises for comic's lewd jibe at Lamont

LONDON Weekend Television was last night forced to make a rare prime-time apology for a lewd joke about Norman Lamont, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, which was made during a live televised awards ceremony.

Letter: City body will benefit London

THE REPORT on the possible extension of the Bridge House Trust was mean and extremely ill-informed ('Corporation is attacked over charity secrecy', 12 December). Thanks to good management, the historic trust fund administered by the Corporation of London to maintain the City's four bridges now has more money than it needs for this purpose.

BEST-SELLERS / Top 10 most visited Youth Hostels

----------------------------------------------------------------- TOP 10 MOST VISITED YOUTH HOSTELS ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1 Holland House (London). . . . .43,329 2 Earls Court (London). . . . . .41,303 3 Rotherhithe (London). . . . . .41,222 4 Hampstead Heath (London). . . .39,705 5 York. . . . . . . . . . . . . .39,067 6 Ambleside (Lake District). . . 37,984 7 City of London. . . . . . . . .35,525 8 Bath. . . . . . . . . . . . . .31,244 9 Stratford. . . . . . . . . . . 28,932 10 Cambridge. . . . . . . . . . .25,886 ----------------------------------------------------------------- Figures show number of nights spent at each hostel 1992, YHA -----------------------------------------------------------------

Out of Japan: A lesson in the language of duplicity

TOKYO - 'We have, in Japanese, an expression nimai jita, or two-tongued, which means saying one thing to one person and something else to another,' said Yoshitsugu Okuyama. 'But I think it is also the perfect translation of bilingualism - that is what it is all about.' He paused abruptly, his gaze fixed on the middle distance. 'It was the way I had to be when I entered the Japanese Navy during the war.'

Dear Peter Lloyd

I spent Sunday morning cavorting with my children on Hampstead Heath, joining their snowball fights, slipping and sliding down paths, delighting in the dazzling beauty of sugar-iced trees. Back home, we flopped in front of an enormous fire, chatting, arguing, laughing, pausing only to eat roast lamb, two veg and an indigestible amount of chocolate Mississippi Pie. It was my idea of a perfect Sunday, in which the usually disparate, separately occupied members of my brood were drawn into a bit of good, old-fashioned family communication, redolent indeed of a Victorian card. There would be a Brownie point for this from you chaps in the Tory party, I thought.

Get retroactive: Want a fitness alternative to prancing about in leotards? Emma Cook walks back to happiness on Hampstead Heath

It has a kind of logic to it,' says Oscar, a prim-looking businessman in his late forties, explaining the virtues of striding across Hampstead Heath every Saturday morning - backwards. He is one of about 25 people to have been swept off his feet by a new north London fitness fad. The group is led by Terry Clarke, fitness guru and creator of retro-walking, who has been 'walking back to happiness' for the last three years.

Henry Moore's bronze sculpture Two Place Reclining Figure No 5

Henry Moore's bronze sculpture Two Place Reclining Figure No 5, which was completed in 1964, being hoisted back into its place at the Kenwood Estate, Hampstead Heath, London, yesterday after undergoing routine conservation work.

At a loss for words

Scribbled notes left to oneself on the worktable before turning in are a useful, if somewhat unreliable, index of what one has been up to the night before, if you follow me. What, for instance, does 'altercation' signify? I am aware that I was involved in some mild verbal fracas (none of my doing) in the Shelbourne Hotel last night, but why should I wish to remind myself of it? On reflection, the business is best forgotten, but Dublin being Dublin, it will not be.

The Best of Times: Whoosh] And my life completely changed: Tom Conti talks to Danny Danziger

WE HAD planned to be married for five or six years before we had a child, so we could get to know each other. And by that time we'd settled into a very happy, amicable relationship and, if I'm honest, I didn't want a child. It's not that I didn't like them, or didn't get on with them, but I didn't have any paternal feelings, really.

Outside, with time's whips and scorns: Peter Guttridge meets the unusual, prolific and provocative author

THE POLYMATH Colin Wilson, 61, has 100 books to his credit - but then the year is young. His short biographies of black magician Aleister Crowley and Gurdjieff's colleague, Ouspensky, appeared in the spring. A potboiling collection of Unsolved Mysteries, co-written with his son Damon, comes out this month (Headline Press). And, as he explains while striding along the clifftops near his home in Gorren Haven, Cornwall, he is at work on four other titles.

True horror of tall stories: Cal McCrystal has come across the warped world of Munchausen's syndrome before

ONLY when the case against Beverly Allitt had progressed to the point where Munchausen's syndrome was mentioned did I think of Edith and the disturbing story she related nearly 10 years ago. I am unqualified to determine whether or not Edith, then a London social worker, was a Munchausen victim. But, having followed the Allitt case, I felt instinctively that she was. A telephone call last week to Dr David Enoch, a consultant psychiatrist who has studied Munchausen's for 30 years, confirmed my suspicions.

Property: Time for another kind of neighbourhood watch

DO YOU know all your neighbours? Do they rent or own their homes? If you live in a block of flats, it may be crucial to find out. A loophole in the 'charter for leaseholders' going through Parliament could end up depriving people of rights, rather than freeing them from their bondage to landlords.

Actors and writers join forces to fight library closures (CORRECTED)


Property: The millionaires are on the move: As new money melts away, the mansions of Hampstead Heath fall victim to repossession. David Lawson reports

'I will give you pounds 2.3m,' says the man on the phone. 'Then we can stay friends.' The person at the other end is silent for a while, calculating whether 'friendship' is worth a pounds 200,000 price cut.

Obituary: Zika Ascher

Zikmund (Zika) George Ascher, fabric maker, born Prague 3 April 1910, married 1939 Lida Tydlitat (died 1983; one son), died London 5 December 1992.
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