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


women and men: does sex matter?


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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Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own