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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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat