Arts and Entertainment Once more unto the beach: E4's opening episode of 'Geeks' travelled to Marbella

An E4 show called Beauty and the Geek, used to be a guilty pleasure of mine. Guilty because while I enjoyed the spectacle of paired-up strangers bringing out the best in one another other, I didn't enjoy the reductive labelling or the sexist gender division whereby the "geek" was always a man and the "beauty" was always a woman.

It's Spain, but not as I know it

THE FIRST car I saw parked outside the front door of my hotel was a Lamborghini with a Saudi Arabian number plate, the only car in the world designed to be no thicker than a credit card. It was slung so low that it could comfortably have slipped a path underneath any normal vehicle. And yet it was wide enough to accommodate the driver and several girl-friends in the front seat.

Travel: Britain's train companies are running a free bus service for weary journalists

THE LAST couple of months of each year are happy days for the travel journalist. On Thursday, many of my colleagues will be flown over to southern Spain courtesy of the Association of British Travel Agents, to attend ABTA's annual convention in the resort of Marbella.

Property: Grab a slice of golfing action

If you like the thought of an end to rainy days on the fairway, head south to a villa with links to a course.

End of story

ONE OF MY old man's favourite bars in Marbella is the Rose and Crown pub, run by Brian and Rita Lampard. Sid gets in there all the time. For one thing they serve Mann's brown ale (Mann's brown is a human right as far as El Sid is concerned) and, if he's coping with solids, they do a nice cheddar ploughman's with Branston pickle too.

Patsy Palmer

Main claim

Property: The terrain in Spain

The country is back in favour. Felicity Cannell examines the property market

Newcastle in the doghouse

Simon Turnbull describes the mood on Tyneside as the Magpies reel from crisis to crisis; Toon Army becomes the Doom Army as their cherished club's fall from national affection gathers pace

Collect Call: Little treasures

An olive oil factory in Marbella discovered that the elegant blue- green 10-litre bottles that it had chucked out were 200-year-old antiques, made by the celebrated glassworks of Gresigne, France. About 40 of them have been snapped up by the London antique dealer Genevieve Weaver, founder of Guinevere Antiques. Their elegance and simplicity is back in fashion. Price pounds 500 each (0171-736 2917).

Travel: Sun, sand ... and seas of greens

For Costa del Sol read Costa del Golf, as Mick Webb discovers.

Photo-shoot: Valderrama: veni, vidi, vici

The intimate atmosphere of last weekend's Ryder Cup at Valderrama - where a respectful but excited gallery rubbed shoulders with golf's richest and best from Europe and the United States - contributed to a special event. Andy Farrell mingled with a crowd worthy of the occasion.

Henman hits back after flak

The eyes were on Felix Mantilla beating his Spanish compatriot Carlos Moya in the final of the Samsung Open at the West Hants Club yesterday here. The mind wandered 3,250 miles east to Tashkent, where Tim Henman was in the process of winning the President's Cup, his second title of the year.

Rusedski poised to make big jump

British tennis reporters used to experience little difficulty calculating the movement of home players in the world rankings. It was chiefly a case of subtraction. Nowadays, Greg Rusedski and Tim Henman have projected us into the realm of higher mathematics, if not the X-Files.

We are sad to report the death of the holiday

Deckchairs for the new millennium will contain slots for mobile phones, laptops and modems

Under the counter

Next month I will be twenty-nine. So you know what that means, this time next year... I've spent the last couple of years not really remembering whether I was 26 or 27 or 28 - no worries. But I can see now that this was a kind of sub-conscious avoidance of anno Domini, refusing to acknowledge the GMT of my biological time-clock.

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