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.

Album: Lily Allen, It's Not Me, It's You, (Parlophone)

Nudge-nudge, wink-wink: Lily gets serious

First Night: Lily Allen, Koko, Camden, London

Weapon of mass consumption proves she still has the edge

She's young enough to be your... girlfriend

Messrs Jopling, Weller and Robinson prove that when it comes to women, older men are not always wiser

Master Shortie - A Little Briton

After seven years building up his internet following Master Shortie has ambitions to be the UK's biggest rap star, says Matilda Egere-Cooper

My Style: Little Boots

Occupation: Singer
Age: 24
Personal style: Cosmic disco doll

Observations: Your time is up, Lily

So this week Lily Allen blamed the turmoil at her record company, EMI, for the delay in the release of her second album. "It has been finished for a while now," she wrote on her blog. "I don't really know what's going on with it." While an EMI spokesman assures me, "we're all now discussing the best date for the release of the album", perhaps they're not taken with Allen's new material, which includes a Madness-esque knees-up, "Guess who Batman?", with the chorus, "Fuck you/ Fuck you very, very much/ 'Cause we hate what you do/ And we hate your whole crew/ So please don't stay in touch." And they're probably not overly keen on all the negative coverage of Allen's brattish behaviour: only this week she was spotted throwing punches outside Ronnie Scott's.

Pandora: Come and work for Labour – for nothing

The employment minister Pat McFadden recently fired off a missive to Labour members to celebrate 10 years of the minimum wage.

Editor-At-Large: Here's one way to reduce knife crime – look the other way

Thoughtful work done quietly at grassroots level will do more to help put wayward youths on track than screeching headlines

Chuck on the chintz

Bling and boho are so last year. The more innocent pleasures of country chic have taken hold among celebs from Lily Allen to Jennifer Connelly. By Rachel Shields

Maybe it's time to let men judge Orange Prize, chair of jury says

The chair of the jury of Britain's leading women's literary prize has called for a debate on whether men should be included on the judging panel to ensure a broader mix of tastes.

Headcases, ITV1<br/>The Wall, BBC3<br/>Frankie Howerd: Rather You Than Me, BBC4<br/>The Strange Luck of VS Naipaul, BBC4

Sometimes, TV is simply not worth the cable space: It's been a week of small-screen turmoil, and, to top it all, the BBC iPlayer is such a hit that the net's groaning under the strain

Album: Estelle, Shine (Atlantic/Home School)

A luminescent comeback for a stellar singer

Christina Patterson: Reality intrudes in the search for paradise

Five years ago, I ended a love affair with a nasty itch. The itch, it turned out, when I went to the doctor complaining that entire armies of creepy-crawlies were apparently trying to burrow through my skin (which now resembled a bloody battlefield) was scabies. Armies of creepy-crawlies were indeed, said the doctor, trying to burrow through my skin. But where had they come from? Had I, asked the doctor, been in close proximity to anyone, er, new? No, I had been living like a nun. But I had just been on holiday in Goa.

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Lake Garda
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