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
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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
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

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Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

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Homeless Veterans appeal

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Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

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Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

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Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

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