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Sadly no reports of a Routemaster singing Wonderwall

Book of a Lifetime: Love Medicine, By Louise Erdrich

In 1986, my husband and I went to Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands for Christmas. We ate ice cream under palm trees and swam with exotic fish. But then the weather turned stormy. I passed the rainy days on the lanai, lying in a hammock, reading books, and looking for inspiration. I was a beginning fiction writer and had written a total of three short stories, each with its own first-person voice. I had wrestled with the idea of revising the stories so that they belonged to one family and were told by one voice. But the storylines made that impossible.

Danny Alexander’s father Di takes aim at ‘bedroom tax’

The father of Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has launched a scathing attack on the “bedroom tax” in the annual report of a Scottish housing association.

Paperback review: Forest of a Thousand Daemons, By D O Fagunwa (Trs by Wole soyinka)

First published in Nigeria in 1939,  D O Fagunwa’s Forest of a Thousand Daemons is a treasure of world literature: it was one of the first African novels, and the first to be written in the Yoruba language. It tells of Akara-ogun, a legendary hunter; he battles shape-shifting “ghommids”, marries an enchantress and carries out “gory assignments” at the behest of a giant ostrich.

The help desk: My children are addicted to computers - should I restrict their time online?

Q. I have a son aged 12 and a daughter of 14. I'm devoted to both of them but I'm becoming extremely frustrated by their addiction to computers. My 14-year-old daughter in particular seems almost obsessed and this is a cause of quite a lot of conflict in our house. I restrict her time on the internet (including iPhones) to an hour a day (half-an-hour for my son), but they're resentful and always trying to get around it, and it's getting more and more difficult to police.

Green heaven: Most of Asia is a paradise for vegetarians, but that’s not the case everywhere

Chris Caldicott: A few magic words that could save a vegetarian traveller's bacon

"Ana natbateeyah", "Watashi wa nikku-o tabemasen", "Ich bin Vegetarier"...

Broken Homes, By Ben Aaronovitch. Gollancz, £14.99

London is, like all cities, made up of layer upon layer of story, and not all of those stories are about the real and mundane. The Matter of London has for a long time been a staple of the literature of the fantastic. Among the hipsters and banksters, the rich and the poor, it is a city where shamans and wizards seem plausibly our neighbours.

Labour has asked the Government’s independent tax and spending watchdog to audit its 2015 election manifesto

Labour Party conference: Ed Balls pledges 25 hours' free childcare for working parents

Shadow Chancellor said he would expand childcare by raising extra £800m from Government’s levy on banks

Clifford Chance trainee lawyer faces sack after describing his work as 'f***ing people over for money'

A trainee with City law firm Clifford Chance faces the sack after a video has emerged of him drunk and describing his work as “f***ing people over for money”.

Five-minute memoir: Annabel Markova recalls the day her mum cast a spell on her

A knotty legal dispute is resolved in the unlikeliest of ways for the author

Twitter users can now share looped video clips of six seconds' length using the comapny's standalone iPhone app, Vine

Will Vine and video kill the snapshot?

Are we done with the snapshot? Following an Independent report on Vine last week (the 'six-second video app that is reinventing film') Slate's Farhad Manjoo believes so. The thesis runs like this: if we've got the technology to take video - and transmit it at high speed - then the need for actually-not-moving-at-all photography is pretty much null and void.

Audio: Caught in the Net

Listen to the tracks mentioned in Caught in the Net below:

The future according to Microsoft: the Magic Window revolutionizes video chat

<b>David Phelan</b> has an exclusive peek behind the scenes at Microsoft’s research and development facilities – here’s his first report

Review: Broken Homes (Rivers of London 4), By Ben Aaronovitch

Magic is like gravity, even in Southwark

Goat: Secretive Swedes go global

Goat: Secretive Swedes go global

Daft Punk may be the most successful act since Kiss to make an impact while disguising their identities, but they are not alone. A psychedelic outfit claiming to hail from the backwoods of Sweden have been causing a stir while hiding behind ritualistic masks, and telling an unlikely backstory.

Album: The Civil Wars, The Civil Wars (Columbia)

The story so far: man meets woman and the pair soon discover that their singing voices have more chemistry than a science lab.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project