Voices Public pain: Valérie Trierweiler has to still to endure the humiliation of facing the world

Being beautiful, successful and rich doesn’t protect you from pain, but when endured in the spotlight, the results can be devastating

Album: Alexis Descharmes, Klaus Huber: Complete Cello Works (Aeon)

Few composers have investigated the cello's range and capabilities quite as exhaustively as Klaus Huber, but the standout track here, "Ein Hauch von Unzeit" was not originally written for the instrument: Descharmes' mournful solo cello gradually acquires life as three further cellos join in, their lines weaving together with a timbral variety which in places recalls the piece's origins as a work for flute.

England outclassed as Spain highlight the generation gap

Under-19s fall 3-1 in European Championships semi-final

Wool works: Knitting up a feast

Food gets an exciting makeover in a new exhibition by textile artist Kate Jenkins.

Dad's diary: Krishan is now intent on walking – or scooting – on his own everywhere

As a proud parent of a toddler, I still marvel at the speed at which his young brain develops. It's already been an amazing journey from the tiny gurgling form we delicately cradled almost three years ago to the confident little chap who spent much of last weekend scooting off into the distance at our local park.

Purls of wisdom: Scarlett Thomas on knitting, Zen koans and ships in bottles

It's not even a question of whether the universe is meaningful or meaningless," Scarlett Thomas is telling me. "It's in what way could it be meaningful, or in what way, if it was meaningful, could that be even more meaningless than normal meaninglessness?" She pauses for me to catch up, but I must have betrayed my incomprehension. "That probably didn't make any sense," she laughs. "But maybe when you listen back to your tape..."

Eurydice, Young Vic, London

"We Said We'd Never Look Back" from Salad Days might be the signature tune of Orpheus, if he hadn't had better ones already composed for him by Gluck and Monteverdi, so American playwright Sarah Ruhl is at least wise enough not to mess with the music in her mythical re-write.

Alfa announces UK pricing for the Giulietta

Alfa has announced the UK pricing for its forthcoming Golf-sized Giulietta model. The cheapest 1.4 litre 120 horsepower model in Turismo trim will cost £16,995. That looks pretty steep compared with the entry-level prices for tough competitors such as the Audi A3 (£15,775) Volkswagen Golf (£14,850) and Volvo C30 (£15,355), which may leave Alfa depending heavily for success on hard-core fans of the brand and the appeal of the attractive Alfaesque detail touches that the company has been weaving into the design of its cars with increasing success since the 156 was launched in the Nineties.

Cooldine can ride Mullins' wave of success

The more horses tell us about themselves, the harder they become to predict. Denman, who tops the bill on the second day of the Punchestown Festival, was once viewed as the epitome of hardiness in body and soul. Since his success in the 2008 Cheltenham Gold Cup, however, a variety of physical and mental frailties has been proposed to account for a record of only one win in six starts. Admittedly, these defeats include excellent seconds in both subsequent Gold Cups, but his connections nowadays increasingly acknowledge that he has a mind of his own.

Rooney: The Botham of football – in the best possible way

Somewhere in his attic, there is a portrait of Ryan Giggs in which he looks just like Wayne Rooney.

Try, try again works for Robert the Bruce – 130 years late

A statue of the proud Scottish King is finally put up after over a century's delay

Ready to Wear: This is knitting as instant gratification, and that is worth a small fortune

Browsing through an issue of Tatler magazine recently (as you do) I stumbled across the requisite Christmas lists, courtesy of some of this country's so-called style leaders. Whatever, I thought, pausing, nonetheless, at Natalie Massenet, founder of Net-a-Porter's contribution. She's a woman whose fashion and business credentials to date have proved faultless, after all.

Album: Alasdair Roberts, The Wyrd Meme (Drag City)

Following hard on the heels of Spoils comes the second offering this year from Alasdair Roberts, an EP of four long tracks that brilliantly bears out the conjunction of ancient and modern, mythical and analytical, in the title The Wyrd Meme.

Maths can lead to a career in anything... including fashion

My passion for the fusion of science and design developed at University. Although I learned to knit and crochet as a child, it was while at university studying maths that my interest in knitting really developed, and I started to design and make unusual and interesting clothes. Being self-taught, I was not restricted by any boundaries and felt I could translate any idea into knitting by working out a logical way of doing it.

My Edinburgh: Lucy Porter, Comedian

I guarantee that if you follow my Edinburgh festival diet and exercise plan you will lose at least half a stone.*

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Prices correct as of 21 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

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Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

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How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

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'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

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How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

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Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
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'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital