Matthew Bell: The <i>IoS</i> Diary (24/01/10)

Where every year is the Year of the Tiger

The art of diary writing

January signals not only the arrival of a new year &ndash; for many, it will also open another chapter of obsessive diary-writing. What drives these solitary scribblers? Tim Walker delves into their secret world

Voices Against War: A Century of Protest, by Lyn Smith

My father had a bad war, but then most pacifists did. He didn't have a very good peace either, as soldiers returned from a victory in which he was only too aware he had played no part.

Boyd Tonkin: Islands of love in a sea of suspicion

The Week In Books

Outbreak 1939, Imperial War Museum, London

Seventy years on from the outbreak of the Second World War, the Imperial War Museum remembers a country with little sense of the suffering to come

Ventriloquist to the troops hangs up his dummy after 70 years

Seven decades after they first took to the stage, the soldier-turned-ventriloquist Walter Huntley and his dummy "Gunner Turner" were the stars of the show for one last time yesterday.

Churchill felt he was 'sold a pup' of a bomb shelter, letter reveals

While Hitler had a proper shelter, Britain's Cabinet made do with a vulnerable cellar

Close-up: Rae Smith

How the most famous horses in theatre gave the set designer a winner

Christmas boredom beaters: top days out with the kids

Sail with Santa across Bristol Harbour or see him swim with sharks at Cheshire Oaks. Simone Kane suggests ways to keep all the family happy over the festive season

Ten ways to enjoy London on a budget

Hannah Bills offers a wealth of ideas for free attractions in and around the capital

Manchester and Liverpool: A different dimension

Manchester and Liverpool comprise a pair of contrasting cities. But they are linked by striking architecture, cultural clout &ndash; and a certain Ship Canal. Simon Calder goes west, slowly

Preview: For Your Eyes Only - Ian Fleming And James Bond, Imperial War Museum, London

The world is not enough for this show

Joan Bakewell: Let's see these soldiers' faces on our stamps

Sometimes an accidental convergence of events delivers an unexpected opportunity and it seems like just the right moment to make a move. Such a moment is now. It concerns art, the military and the Royal Mail. Who would have picked such an incongruous bunch out of the hat? But so it has happened.

Overlord, (15)

This deeply affecting movie, first released in 1975 but almost forgotten, distils the run-up to the Normandy landings of June 1944 into a lyrical, black-and-white dream of stoicism and sacrifice. Stuart Cooper made this docudrama in collaboration with the Imperial War Museum and ace cinematographer John Alcott, who uses period lenses and stock to blend with archive footage of aerial bombardment, blitzed streets and military manoeuvres.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing