News The photo that the mother of a suicide victim sends along with his ashes to strangers so her thrill-seeking son can fulfill his dream of travelling the world

Hundreds of strangers on Facebook have helped Hallie Twomey with her mission

Like Hell ... a leer at Provence ... post-modern strike

HELL. Just what is it? You will have seen that the Church of England, always ready for a bit of innovation, is leaning towards the idea that Hell is more a question of nothingness than fire, brimstone, grill, griddle and being prodded in your delicate parts with a sharp fork thingie. Clearly, the latter concept is sadly out of touch with modern thinking, but to settle for nothingness seems to be a little unimaginative. In the spirit of help, truth and reconciliation, I should like to offer the following definitions for consideration by the General Synod: 1) Being condemned to spend eternity in a small room with Bob Monkhouse, Barbara Cartland, a "TV weatherman", a "TV cook", a team of "impro" alternative comedians, Professor Anthony Clare, a gypsy violinist and the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln Cathedral; 2) Being part of the "ideal" team of astronauts for a journey to Mars, which, according to Nasa, should include "a jolly, outgoing type to lift the others through low periods"; 3) Being condemned to spend eternity celebrating Sir Edward Heath's eightieth birthday; 4) That dreadful bottleneck on the A4010 at Princes Risborough where they're building a roundabout; 5) And don't forget that when everyone gets this microchip in their brains, your friends will be able to download their entire holiday experience smack bang between your synapses. Next!

You, too, could climb Mount Everest - for a price

Our consuming passion for 'safe-risk' holidays has little to do with real adventure, writes Charles Arthur

Blessed launches bitter attack on 'human lemmings' of Everest

The highest point on earth is becoming the site for the lowest common denominator of human behaviour, said the actor Brian Blessed yesterday, after returning from his third unsuccessful attempt on Mount Everest.

Hundreds die as storm hits Bangladesh

Calamity-prone Bangladesh was struck by a tornado yesterday, which killed more than 400 people and left more than 33,000 others injured and dying.

Freedom to risk your life

Mountaineering is dangerous, but legislation will not deter climbers, writes Stephen Goodwin

Everest survivor tells of rescue

A climber feared dead on Mount Everest after blizzards battered expeditions on Friday spoke yesterday of his helicopter rescue. Seaborne Weathers, 49, of Dallas, descended to a 20,000-foot pass, where a Nepalese army helicopter picked him up. It was the highest helicopter rescue on record.

Bad weather claims four lives on Everest

At least four climbers have died and others are missing feared dead on Mount Everest after fierce winds and blizzards battered two expeditions returning from the world's highest summit.


The Iliad of Homer, translated by Alexander Pope, Penguin pounds 16. Whether Homer's termillennium has yet passed, nobody knows. If you believe Herodotus's dating, it's not for another 150 years. If the bard was alive about a quarter of a century after the events chronicled in the Iliad, it must be about now. But this is a matter of sublime irrelevance. With dates so obscure, there are no in-seasons and out-seasons for Homer. He is omnipresent, the seminal figure of European literature, and having a crack at retelling or translating him has therefore been the sport of intellectuals in every era since English emerged as a literary language in the 14th century.

How a young life ended on killer mountain

SATURDAY STORY : The deaths on K2 of Alison Hargreaves and her colleagues were tragic. But she died where she wanted. Angela Lambert tells the story

Mountain heroine feared dead

Alison Hargreaves, fresh from Everest feat, is hit by avalanche on K2; It is better to have lived one day as a tiger than a thousand years as a sheep - Jim Ballard (above), husband of Alison Hargreaves

Louise Jury and Charles Arthur chart the achievements of the woman who claimed to 'have an ego as big as Everest'.

Alison Hargreaves has already claimed her place in climbing legend. If anyone can "do a Houdini" and survive K2, she is the one, her husband, Jim Ballard, said yesterday. Her fierce ambition and commitment has notched up a roll call of mountaineering successes.

`Would your little sister like a sticker?' asks the woman. `Good God, no!' explodes the man, as if the child had been offered a margarita

I'm waiting at the dentist's when a man comes in with a little girl, a toddler. He's fortyish, dressed aggressively all in white - white shorts, white Aertex; even his greying hair has snow-white tips. With his neat, white terry-towelling socks (the type you buy in a value-for- money three-pack from M&S) and furred, muscly calves, he's the sort of man who slaps his thighs a lot, jingles his keys, and takes part in organised activities on Sunday mornings.

The friendliest brick box in Britain

When the Tate Gallery decided to expand into the former Bankside power station, it prompted the creation of a new cultural quarter. Jonathan Glancey reports

No one can keep her down

Alison Hargreaves is one of the toughest mountaineers in the world. Now she is tackling the notorious K2. Ed Douglas reports

The domestic economy of the Duchess

Is Fergie's much-hyped poverty merely a tabloid creation, asks Vicky Ward, and, below, we pit the lifestyles of two down-to-earth single mums against the Duchess's
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
Life and Style
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own