Oyster and cucumber ceviche

Serves 2

George Cowling: Britain's first television weatherman

Before magnetic clouds, satellite technology, hi-tech graphics and colour television brought more pizzazz to forecasts on screen, a 32-year-old Yorkshireman who worked for the Meteorological Office became the BBC's first on-screen weather presenter. George Cowling stepped in front of the camera at 7.55pm on 11 January 1954. Even though he delivered the forecast in a traditional, BBC style, long before weather presenters adopted a more chatty, informal manner, Cowling was able to turn the scientific explanations into human reality by telling viewers that high winds would make the following day a good one for hanging out washing.

Cocktail: Slap, Cracker and Pop

Perfect to start the evening. It stimulates the appetite and has a wonderful combination of flavours. It's fresh, fruity, sweet and spicy and will set the mood for celebration.

Cocktail: Tommy's Margarita

Tequila is guaranteed to make any party go with a bang. I like to drink mine in margarita-style cocktails that are sweet and sour. This one was created by the owner of Tommy's in San Francisco, Julio Bermejo. Alternatively, try the Armalita Chico, which is slightly more complicated but still simple enough.

Kale, pork and bean one-pot

4 tablespoons groundnut oil
500g lean boneless pork, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 white onions 2, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
half a teaspoon dried oregano
1 litre chicken stock, preferably home-made
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1-3 green chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
350g cooked borlotti beans or butter beans
half a teaspoon of salt
half a teaspoon of black peppercorns, crushed
150g kale, trimmed and shredded
coriander leaves, trimmed and chopped to make five tablespoons
juice of 1 lime

Hollyoaks axes 'child killers' plot

Producers of Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks have cut scenes from a controversial storyline echoing the killing of James Bulger this week after objections from the murdered child's mother.

Book Of A Lifetime: Maxims, By La Rochefoucauld

There's a widespread view that when someone is sad, what they most need is cheerfulness. But in truth, what they need is a dose of pessimism so powerful that their own problems will come to seem minor in comparison.

The Westminster party's over, Cameron tells MPs

An incoming Conservative government would cut the cost of politics by £120m a year to give a lead to the rest of the public sector, David Cameron promised yesterday.

Mackerel ceviche salad with samphire

Serves 4

The Standing Pool, By Adam Thorpe

Adam Thorpe's latest novel enters cosy territory with the story of an English family's escape to rural France. Historians Nick and Sarah Mallinson are charmed by their new home, a remote Languedoc farmhouse.

Chicken cakes with seaweed and lime

Ingredients to make 18

Like a nice tall border for your garden? Pleached hornbeam is the way to go

Hornbeam "is extremely patient of the knife", as the great garden writer, John Claudius Loudon, put it, which is why it is so extensively used for hedges. At the Chelsea Flower Show this year, Tom Stuart-Smith stretched that patience to the limit by using 30-year-old hornbeams, cloud pruned so that only puffs of foliage were left, balancing at the ends of the branches in a way that I had never seen before.

Organic empire to open cafes

The leading 'vegetable box' supplier wants to bring a neighbourhood feel to a national chain of restaurants

Urban Gardener: Feel the force

So I was lying there, right, and Richard (you know, my osteopath) said to me, "I healed a tree the other day."

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003