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

Poet's house rots as councils dither

'Ever let the fancy roam, Pleasure never is at home' - John Keats

BOOKS FICTION: Darling, your son's in the fridge

THE DREAMER OF DREAMS by Sean French, Granta pounds 13.99

Ex-MP launches attack on 'moronic' Tories

JOHN RENTOUL

women and men: does sex matter?

MORE THAN ALMOST ANYTHING ELSE, SAY THE YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN ANNA BLUNDY SPOKE TO

The material world: The Qwerty conspiracy

The curious arrangement of letters on the keyboard is, in fact, the least convenient arrangement for the user

Music: SIR EDWARD HEATH CONDUCTS Kenwood House, London

Hampstead Heath meets Sir Edward Heath. What could be more appropriate than for a 79-year-old ex-prime minister in search of a birthday party to inveigle 9,000 people into watching him having fun. You have to hand it to him: Sir Edward's certainly got a few more strings to his bow than the current PM. No need for soapboxes here because our fun-loving sailor has got his podium. And this owner of 3,000 CDs has clearly been conducting along in the privacy of his own quadrophonically enabled drawing-room so as to prepare for his Big Night.

Latest Tory transport policy is ... walking

WALKING will be officially rehabilitated this week when a new transport strategy for cities proclaims that it should no longer be regarded as "an inferior form of movement".

where shall we meet? Jack Straw's Castle, NW3

Jack Straw was Wat Tyler's right-hand man. Like all the best democrats, he was put to death, and here was where it happened. As revenge, Hitler bombed it, so the current building dates back to the 1960s: but a very nice piece of building it is too, looking a bit like a Mississippi steam boat perched on Hampstead Heath. The ground-floor bar is lined with a much lighter, rosier wood than is common in pubs and seated bay windows let in plenty of light. Staff are polite and don't make you feel you should be drinking pints (cappuccino is pounds 1.25 and hot chocolate pounds 1) and there's an attractive courtyard outdoors. The pick of the pubs on the Heath.

Klingon to your dreams

Star Trek: Generations Dir: David Carson (PG) Solitaire for 2 Dir: Gary Sinyor (15) Dallas Doll Dir: Ann Turner (18)

Woodman, spare that tree: A draft plan to change the face of Hampstead Heath has eminent residents shooting from the lip. Helen Nowicka reports

It seemed reasonable enough - the Corporation of London, owners of Hampstead Heath, asked the public to comment on its proposals for the 800-acre estate's future.

Newsbrief: Hampstead spider

A colony of rare spiders related to the bird-eating tarantula has been rediscovered on an isolated part of Hampstead Heath where it was last seen in 1892. The 1in-long tube web spider - atypus affinis - catches its prey by weaving a sealed, sock-shaped web, waiting for insects to crawl across, then biting them with its fangs and dragging them through it.

Peggy Jay Centre

Peggy Jay, president of the Heath and Old Hampstead Society, is to be honoured by the Corporation of London. The One O'Clock Club for children on Hampstead

Trams 'better alternative to Tube or bus'

TRAMS should be brought back to London as a cheap alternative to new Underground lines or buses, a conference will be told today.

Gays claim harassment by parks police

HOMOSEXUAL groups believe they are being targeted and harassed by private security forces that patrol parks in London.
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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Mark Wright and Bianca Miller in the final of The Apprentice
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick