Voices

We landed at Heathrow from Hong Kong at the very anti-social time of 4.30am. I'd been scouring the online news for anywhere in the UK that was still above water. Our best bet was probably to swim to Windsor, and then try to get a boat down through the old land areas of Reading and Swindon then hope to beach somewhere in the mid-Cotswolds. Once there, we would have a chance of finding a friendly local tribe to give us safe passage back to our valley. But who might be running the valley now? While we'd been away in Asia the great waters had come, and old social orders had been reversed.

Love it or hate it, 2013 will be remembered as the year of the selfie.

Year of the Selfie: The birth – and death – of 2013’s biggest star trend

From Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian to President Obama and Pope Francis, everyone has been getting in on the narcissistic portrait action

Dolly Parton has been strongly tipped for Glastonbury 2014

Glastonbury 2014: Dolly Parton rumoured as the second headliner

Arcade Fire and Lily Allen have already been confirmed as performers

Quiz: How much do you know about Christmas number ones?

Sam Bailey has been crowned the winner of X Factor 2013, but ever since Rage Against the Machine raged against the Cowell machine (in terms of Christmas sales), it’s not the guaranteed number one spot it was only a few years ago.

Making a statement: Lily Allen's song 'Hard Out Here' takes on the stereotypical sexism of music videos, despite the scantily dressed dancers

Lily Allen defends music video after use of black twerking dancers deemed racist

The singer said she did not choose backing dancers because of their race

Lily Allen, singer

Reaction: Is Lily Allen's video a feminist anthem?

Just as pop music seemed like it couldn't get any more exhaustively booty-licious, with Miley Cyrus gyrating in front of a dwarf dancer at the MTV awards, and the twerk pretty much hoovering up all the attention around on female bodies and their role in the music industry, along comes a new song and video from Lily Allen to shunt things in another direction.

The Hare brings a gift to introduce his friend the Bear to Christmas

First View: John Lewis Christmas commercial - 'The Bear and The Hare'

'Biggest advertising event of the year' makes debut in X Factor break on Saturday

After a weird week – that’s a wrap

It’s been the final week of filming for Fool Britannia (part deux) and I can’t remember having had a stranger one for a long time.

A blagger's guide to... Game of Thrones

A handy reminder of who's who ahead of the third series

Mitch Winehouse wears a tribute to late daughter, Amy Winehouse, at the Brit Awards 2013

Amy Winehouse's father attends Brit Awards 2013 with picture of her on his back

The father of late singer Amy Winehouse kept her memory alive tonight by arriving at the Brit Awards wearing a waistcoat with her face on the back.

A gadget to suck food out of your stomach, and 5 other lazy weight loss strategies

Wouldn't January be easier if, instead of cutting out unhealthy food and jogging, dieters could employ a gadget to suck away that Christmas fat? Well that's what Dean Kamen is thinking. Mr Kamen, inventor of the Segway, has applied to patent a pump that can suck food and drink straight out of the stomach, allowing users to eat to their heart's content - then drain everything away through a valve surgically installed into their abdominal wall. Innovative or what? Still, if that seems a little OTT (and the tool is designed for the morbidly obese), here are other ways to lose the flab without breaking too much sweat.

IoS pop preview of 2013: Time to round up the usual suspects

The next generation struggles to be heard as a tide of old-timers fill the giant venues. But there are a few laudable exceptions

Chief Keef

Poll: what was your favourite Twitter spat of 2012?

As Twitter releases a tranche of data looking at the trends and top tweets of the year, we've got an alternative list. What was your favourite spat?

Rumours that Cheryl Cole was being offered a lucrative deal with Sky to host her own show were denied by the channel

Chat show? Don't do it, Cheryl!

In 2010, Michael Parkinson sounded off about the state of the modern chat show. "The trouble with the talk show is everyone fancies their chances," he told The Daily Telegraph. "Even those on the extreme fringes of the ever-expanding world of modern celebrity reckon it's a doddle."

Calvin Harris and Florence Welch score second Number 1 with 'Sweet Nothing'

Calvin Harris and Florence Welch have secured their second collaborative number one single in three months as "Sweet Nothing" topped the official UK singles chart.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee