My Edinburgh: Simon Stephens, playwright

I lived in Edinburgh for two years after I graduated from university. It was a very happy time: I was disgustingly, almost unbearably young. It was where I met my wife and where I decided I wanted to be a writer. They were two of the most formative and important years of my life.

DVD: Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (PG)

"She's dead, she's dead, he's dead... I'm just alive," jokes Jack Cardiff at the start of this affectionate homage, featuring Martin Scorsese, Lauren Bacall and Kirk Douglas, to this fiercely talented and inventive cinematographer.

David Prosser: Pension planning over a barrel

Outlook Congratulations to Diageo for coming up with a bright idea for plugging its pension deficit more rapidly than its scheme trustees could have expected. The notion of handing over company assets that are otherwise financially unproductive – maturing whisky in the drinks company's case – is a natural extension of the trend that has seen a string of other businesses transfer property to their pension plans.

Diageo serves up millions of barrels of Scotch whisky to plug pension deficit

The drinks giant Diageo is to use millions of barrels of its maturing whisky as collateral to help plug its £862m pension deficit. Under an agreement with its UK pension trustee, Diageo said yesterday it will transfer its maturing whisky stock – which has a book value of £500m – into a new pension funding partnership (PFP).

Bottle of whisky sells for £25,000

A rare single malt has sold for just over £25,000, making it one of the world's most expensive bottles of whisky, auctioneers said today.

Diageo's 12 per cent sales rise shows 'signs of recovery'

The drinks giant Diageo said it had seen "some signs of recovery" and growth of 12 per cent in its third-quarter sales to 31 March. But the performance was flattered by comparisons with sales in the depths of recession. The company, whose brands include Guinness stout and Johnnie Walker whisky, warned that "consumer trends remain difficult to predict".

My encounter with the world's hottest chilli

In north-east India grows a pepper so fiery that the nation's military could soon be using it as a weapon. So what does it taste like? Andrew Buncombe gives it a try...

Rankin captures a taste of single malt whisky

Sepia tone snapshots by famous Scottish photographer Rankin, inspired by a famous Scottish whisky, have been published in a book which forms a “photographic essay” of the beautiful three-hundred-year-old estate responsible for Macallan Single Malt Whisky.

Business Diary: Rich trip down memory lane for Caudwell

Wine producer Penfolds has come up with a novel promotional idea, sponsoring a series of talks at which well-known businessmen will offer up entrepreneurial tips as they describe their "vintage years" (see what they did there?). First up is John Caudwell, the founder of mobile phone business Phones4U. Not surprisingly, he counts his vintage year as the one in which he sold the company for £1.5bn.

David Prosser: Let's call the bluff of the tax whingers

Outlook One by one, they are coming out of the woodwork. On Tuesday, it was the boss of independent financial adviser Hargreaves Lansdown whingeing about the forthcoming 50p top rate of income tax (he paid himself an abnormally large dividend to get in first). Yesterday, it was the turn of Diageo, the drinks giant, to warn that it might have to move its headquarters to another domicile if UK tax becomes "egregious" for corporates or individuals.

We're drinking our way out of recession, says Diageo

Britons are drinking their way through recession, Smirnoff-to-Guinness giant Diageo said today as strong domestic markets bucked falling first-half sales across the group.

Shackleton's whisky found – with ice of course

Explorer abandoned Scotch in 1909 after failed South Pole expedition

The Whisky Taster, The Bush, London

Raise your glass to a pacey comedy

Three Sisters, Lyric Hammersmith, London<br/>The Whisky Taster, Bush, London<br/>I Am Yusuf And This Is My Brother, Young Vic, London

With its trainers and electric kettle (what, no samovar?), a new take on Chekhov blows the dust from his anniversary. Elsewhere, an ad-man tastes colours, and a Palestinian drama proves enchanting
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Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
Japan
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker