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A hilltop escape with that healing feeling

Fletcher has won four Premier League titles with Manchester United

Jeremy Laurance: Fletcher's condition strikes one in 10,000 people each year

Darren Fletcher is unlucky – about one in 10,000 people develop ulcerative colitis each year. It is a chronic condition causing inflammation of the bowel with symptoms, typically, of abdominal pain, bloody diarrhoea and a frequent need to go to the toilet.

Album: David Lynch, Crazy Clown Time (Sunday Best)

David Lynch is the premier outsider renaissance man of his era, his undoubted artistic facility, whether working in film, television, printmaking or now music, always tempered by the realisation that he'll never achieve – nor would he probably want – mainstream success.

Life in a Day (12A)

Kevin Macdonald has sifted 4,500 hours of YouTube footage submitted from around the globe to make the record of a single day: 24 July, 2010.

It's time for your meditation

More than just an aid to wellbeing, the ancient discipline could soon be used to treat conditions from obesity to multiple sclerosis

February, By Lisa Moore

Inspired by a real event – the sinking of an oil rig off the coast of Newfoundland in 1982 – February tells the story of how one woman's life is irrevocably shaped by the tragedy.

Bruce Parry: 'The greatest journey of my life has been figuring out who I am'

A rite of passage is important for many young people It's why I joined the Marines: to prove myself. But societies all over the world use this youthful angst to fight wars. You go to an area such as the Omo Valley, Ethiopia [where Parry stayed with the Nyangatom tribe], and the different tribes are essentially cousins who've developed a separate identity to fight for the scarce resources there. The elders play on the young men's sense of pride, wind them up and send them off on a killing spree. We do that in our society, too, albeit in a more civilized way.

Meditation school to transfer to state sector

Britain is set to get its first state school dedicated to the values of transcendental meditation. A private school run by followers of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi will transfer to the state sector in September.

Trespass, By Rose Tremain

Culture clash, murder mystery, portrait of a place, meditation on the sands of time: Tremain's latest novel packs several genres into its disputed patch of French rural ground. In the lovely, doom-laden hills of the Cévennes, faded London antiques dealer Anthony, lover of handsome furniture and youths, seeks a quaint mas to act as his final rampart of beauty against age.

The Thorn in the Heart (PG)

In which the film-maker Michel Gondry – he of the quirky animation and self-reflexive scripts – presents an ambiguous cine-portrait of the family matriarch, Suzette, and her son Jean-Yves.

Album: Zen Hoyo, Japan: Liturgy etc (Ocora)

A little bell is struck slowly, then a lower one, then the surrounding silence takes over.

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (12A)

Starring: Thanapat Saisaymar, Jenjira Pongpas

Into Eternity (NC)

Try getting your head around this. The Onkalo facility on the west coast of Finland has been designed to keep safe spent nuclear fuel – for the next 100,000 years.

Deborah Ross: A neurotic searches for inner peace

First time for everything: we all know that variety is the spice of life. But what happened when we challenged four writers to explore their untapped potential?

Mummy, can we meditate now? How relaxation exercises can help your child to sleep

Like most parents of small children, I was having major problems at bedtime. Things had gone from bad to worse: each night, my four-year-old refused to go to bed, and once she got there, was repeatedly getting up. The whole process could last as long as two hours, leaving us both frustrated and exhausted.

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Day In a Page

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
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
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