London commuters face the threat of disruption in the coming weeks

Tube strikes: TfL warns passengers of disruptions ahead of 48-hour strikes

London Underground bosses announce contingency plans ahead of walk out over ticket office closures

Travel special 2014: Escape the bustle of London on a rail journey to Pen-y-Bont

The journey home – 'home' still being the word I instinctively use for the house I grew up in, atop of wild Welsh hillside, even if today it's where I go to escape everyday life – begins with bustle. The battle on the Tube with a case, the dash around Euston juggling handbag-paper-coffee-lunch. It's wise to stock up: the journey to Pen-y-Bont takes over four hours, via Crewe and Shrewsbury. It's very much not the route a crow would fly...

The damage caused by a cement leak to a signal control room at Victoria Station

Victoria line cement ‘flooding’ fixed: Workers used sugar to stop spilled concrete from setting

Supermarket sweep may just have saved TFL from further embarrassment

The damage caused by a cement leak to a signal control room at Victoria Station

Victoria line: Leaves on the track? London Underground goes one better with quick-drying cement in the signals

Forget leaves on the line, London Underground has a far better excuse for disruptions – quick-drying cement in the signals.

London commuters face the threat of disruption in the coming weeks

Tube strike threat: Talks aim to halt February walk-outs

Talks aimed at averting strikes by London Underground workers over Tube ticket office closures are to be held.

Postcard from... Berlin

Boris Johnson TFL information sign mocks Mayor ahead of planned tube strikes

Criticism comes as tube workers prepare for protests and two 48-hour industrial action

Tube strikes loom: workers vote strongly in favour of action against ticket office closure plans

Industrial action involving two unions is threatened in the coming weeks

Benedict Cumberbatch in the new season opener

Sherlock 'The Empty Hearse' review: So, how did the great detective fake his own death?

A thoroughly satisfying season opener

Sweatshirt £75; Roundel by London Underground, Dover Street Market, 17-18 Dover Street, London W1, doverstreetmarket.com

Style File: Going down the Tube - London Underground inspired clothing called Roundel

London Underground has inspired a new clothing line that uses motifs familiar to more than just commuters, says Rebecca Gonsalves

Eurostar stake to be sold and nuclear power station to be built in new UK infrastructure spending plan

Plan includes sale of Eurostar stake and funding for a new nuclear plan

Tube trains standing idle at Upminster in Essex during the 2010 Tube strike

Tube staff to vote on strikes over job cuts

RMT members act after Boris Johnson unveiled plans for ticket office closures and 24-hour weekend running

For disabled travellers, the loss of tube staff gives reason to worry

It doesn't matter where they are, but having someone to help is vital

24 hour London Tube: the cocktail of characters on the great leveller underground

We spend so much time on the Tube that for most of us it’s a second, rather crowded living room, filled with guests you would not usually invite over

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
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Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
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Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
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Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
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X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'