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.
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Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
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New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

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Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
voices

By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
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Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
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New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

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Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Grandvalira Skiing, Andorra
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples
India & Nepal
All Inclusive Lanzarote
Five-star Sharm El Shiekh Holiday
Prices correct as of 31 October 2014
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes