Abstainers Anonymous

He's not weird, he just doesn't drink, but try convincing Chris Taylor's friends of that

Items and Icons: gifts

`Florentine' lamp by Jenny Worrall from her Neo Classical collection.The designer has revived the Victorian technique of Potichomania, decorating hand-blown Dartington crystal bases internally with cut out images and decorative paint finishes. Prices from pounds 140 (01295 690 402). Centre, Ingrid Bergman, 1946, by Robert Cappa, guide price pounds 700 to pounds 900, from a sale of cinema prints by Magnum photographers celebrating the 50th anniversary of the photo agency. The sale is on 18 December at Bonhams, Montpelier Street, London SW7 (0171-393 3965). Far right, original graphics make buying work by a favourite artist an affordable gift for Christmas. Alan Cristea Gallery, at 31 Cork Street, London W1, is featuring work by Peter Blake including his Alphabet series. Screenprints from around pounds 750 (0171-439 1866)

India: Where beer grows on trees

Rice harvests, toddy, lime groves - Alex Ninian gets a front-seat view of Indian life on the road from Madras.

Property: Get really plastered with lime-and-hair

DOCTOR ON THE HOUSE; A bosh bosh, loadsamoney job means gypsum plaster, but lime has stood the test of time, says Jeff Howell

Property: Doctor on the House - The curse of rising damp is just a load of old rot

There are building 'experts' who make money from persuading us that water is a bad thing. Ignore them, writes Jeff Howell

Power station to burn dirty fuel

A ``filthy'' fuel made from oil refinery waste, is to be burnt at Europe's biggest coal-fired power station for a 10-week trial period, the Government's Environment Agency announced yesterday.

So much for railing against privatisation

When I was a young boy, growing up in the borders of North Wales and Cheshire, the village railway station was called Gresford, and there I used to spend many hours taking engine numbers and watching trains shuffle back and forth, taking coal from Gresford Colliery and passengers to Wrexham. Occasionally, bigger fry would pass through. Trains going as far as Wolverhampton. Trains marked "Pines Express" and going to somewhere called Bournemouth, though how they got re-routed on to our line I could never quite see. Bluebells came every spring in the woods and lady's smock grew round the River Alyn.

Every possible shade of green

Simon Calder meanders through Dominica's vibrant rainforests in the company of parrots and hummingbirds

Farewell to misery of poison gas

`Dulce et Decorum Est' by Wildred Owen*

Lloyd's lodges first writs against names

Rupert Galliers-Pratt, the colourful Old Etonian financier, Tony Gooda, of the Gooda Walker syndicates, and Robin Kingsley, of the Lime Street Agency, are among 150 names that are the subject of writs lodged yesterday by the Lloyd's of London insurance market.

Earl invests in Punters

Robert Earl (above), the man behind the Planet Hollywood restaurant chain, has emerged as an investor in Courtyard Leisure, owner of four bars and restaurants in the City of London, writes Nigel Cope.

Devil in a lime blouse

DIABOLIQUE Jeremiah Chechik (18); Sharon Stone is dressed to kill. Isabelle Adjani is looking peaky. Ryan Gilbey is entertained. But a brighter remake isn't necessarily a better one

Theatre: This Lime Tree; Bower Bush Theatre, London

The title of Conor McPherson's play comes from a poem by Coleridge which describes, basically, the poet's feelings on being stuck at home while his friends go out for a walk. But even imprisoned in his lime tree bower, the poet finds consolation in contemplating the joys he's missing, and in the signs of life that surround him.

English like she is spoke: an abuser's guide

The new Oxford English Grammar should be the last word on split infinitives and correct usage. But it ducks all the issues. Super-pedant William Hartston confronts its libertarian editor, Sidney Greenbaum

Time for Lloyd's to get tough over settlement

Lloyd's of London needs all the friends it can get. So it was with an audible murmur of surprise that the beleaguered establishment at Lime Street reacted to unexpected words of support for the insurance market's rescue plan from Chatset, the independent analysts. In the past, as Lloyd's condition turned from dire to disastrous, Chatset made its name for regularly laying bare, with figures and sharp analysis, the obfuscation, half-truths and downright lies behind which the insurance market sought increasingly to hide.
Sport
World Cup 2014
Sport
Rihanna celebrates Germany's win
Arts and Entertainment
Sheeran arrives at the 56th annual Grammy Awards earlier this year
musicYes, that would be Ed Sheeran, according to the BBC
Sport
Rio Ferdinand, Alan Shearer, Alan Hansen and Gary Lineker during Hansen's final broadcast
Sport
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel Shop See all offers »
India and Nepal
14 nights from £2,159pp Find out more
Dutch Masters
five nights from £679pp Find out more
La Robla and Rioja
nine nights from £1599pp Find out more
Classical Spain
six nights from £539pp Find out more
California and the Golden West
14 nights from £1,599pp Find out more
Bruges
three nights from £259pp Find out more
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?