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

Cycling: 'Only with 2km to go did I know I would finish'

Mont Ventoux proves gruelling for the Tour's pros, so how would an amateur rider survive the climb? Simon O'Hagan tells of the pain and the gain

The Gathering Night, By Margaret Elphinstone

This beguiling historical novel imagines the inner and emotional lives of Mesolithic-era humans

Britain returns to thrifty domesticity

A revival of 1950s style domesticity has swept Britain due to the economic downturn. Consumers are applying a do-it-yourself attitude to all areas of daily life by making clothes, growing vegetables and dying their own hair.

Friday The 13th (18)

Ooh, look at the date: high-fives all round for the marketing department.

Simon Carr: It's going to be a long, hard road to defend our liberties

Never mind what it does to us, what does it do to our political class?

DVD: The Diary of Anne Frank (12)

The holocaust has long been a byword in film and television for the kind of over-emotional representation that is so easily spun out of a profoundly dark period of human history, and the staggering weight that constant historical and dramatical reinterpretation have brought to bear has been particularly pressing on the retelling of the story of Anne Frank.

Why granny would approve

Thrift is hip, says Annie Deakin. Gone are the days of throwaway fashion as the long-forgotten era of make do and mend is back

Independent Appeal: Weaving their way out of deprivation

A hammock-making co-operative in El Salvador is giving disabled people the confidence and skills they need to become self-reliant. Guy Adams reports

Stephenson shows up on day of disappearing defences

Bath 35 Glasgow 31

Fabric of life: Selvedge magazine celebrates its fifth birthday

Is it possible to produce a magazine about textiles that is hip and authoritative? Well, yes!

Knitting success

Up-and-coming designer Simone Shailes latest collection of chunky knitwear just picked up the L'Oreal Professionnel Fashion Design award at the Top Shop-sponsored New Gen exhibition at London Fashion Week. Indy Student managed to lure her away from canapés and the catwalk for a chat about how she went from knitting with her nan to kitting-out Kylie.

Lithuania Under-21 0 Scotland Under-21 3: Stark reminder as young Scots close down leaders

Scotland kept up their bid to qualify for next summer's Uefa Under-21 Championship with an impressive victory in Lithuania. Goals from Scott Arfield, Ross McCormack and Kevin McDonald ensured Billy Stark's side moved up to second in Group Six on goal difference, two points behind leaders Finland.

Observations: Weaving a new thread

Tapestry often seems banished to a no man's land between art, craft and design. But with the opening of a stunning new creative centre and a home for Dovecot – which houses Scotland's Dovecot Studios of tapestry weavers and rug tufters – this ancient art is coming out of the shadows. The premises, which opened last week, combine a centre for craft and design allied to a working studio making it the world's top place for tapestry. This gallery and workspace, created out of the shell of Edinburgh's Infirmary Street Baths, looks set to create quite a splash.

St Helens 28 Catalans 10: Gardner cleans up to put Saints second

Mick Potter's future looked marginally brighter than his present as the side he will coach next year beat the one now in his charge. Despite being well below their best for long periods, Saints' victory takes them above the Catalans and into second place in the Super League table.

All For a Few Perfect Waves, by David Rensin

Miki "Da Cat" Dora was a Malibu surfing legend. He was also a petty thief, jailbird, scrounger and unreliable lover, who never held down a regular job in his life. Leaving California in the Sixties, disgusted by what he regarded as the over-commercialisation of the surf scene there, he moved restlessly around the world in search of uncrowded waves, his travels often funded by credit-card scams which eventually caught up with him, before returning home to die in 2002 at the age of 67.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015