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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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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