Let Not the Waves of the Sea, By Simon Stephenson

I interviewed Simon Stephenson for the British Medical Journal in 2003. Recently qualified as a medical doctor, he had just made a short film, but what impressed me most were his unpublished short stories. It would have taken a catastrophe to crush his irrepressible joie de vivre.

Ready To Wear: There's nothing wrong with dressing in a jolly, exciting way

Why is it that most designers live in black, usually polo-neck sweaters, but insist that we must buy, buy, buy lots of jolly, bright and exciting clothes at great expense?" mused a reader of The Independent's online edition and following publication of a portrait of Céline's Phoebe Philo wearing just that garment on the cover of this paper's magazine last Saturday.

Charles Nevin: A tree surgeon turned plastic box tycoon

Start the week... Did you know that there's a Tupperware party somewhere in the world every 2.3 seconds?

Jerseys, knickers and anklets of 1934 inspire City's Wembley shirts

A long-forgotten telegram found in Umbro's vaults helps Manchester City to honour their FA Cup final heritage

Do we do duvets? The puffa coat debate

It's warm and practical, but does the puffa coat belong in style Siberia? The Independent style experts go head to head

There Once Lived a Woman, By Ludmilla Petrushevskaya

"There once lived a woman who was killed, then brought back to life." "There once lived a woman who was so fat, she couldn't fit in a taxi." Such weird, button-holing beginnings are typical of this collection of strange fables.

Proust's Overcoat, By Lorenza Foschini

In search of lost artefacts

John Walsh: BTW (12/11/10)

You always remember your first riot

Deborah Ross: Let me count the ways to wear a cape...

If you ask me

Trip of a lifetime: Menswear returns to the 1970s

Autumn menswear returns to an era of rule-breakers, nonconformists and revolutionaries: the 1970s.

Barry George wins battle over compensation

Barry George, who was acquitted of the murder of television presenter Jill Dando after spending eight years behind bars, won the first round of a legal battle today over a decision that he is not entitled to compensation.

Golden girls: The quiet charms of camel

It looks expensive and sophisticated, and has finally coaxed the fashion crowd out of head-to-toe black. Gemma Hayward celebrates the quiet charms of camel

M-J Lancaster: Outspoken writer and editor who became a prototype of the modern career woman

It was not surprising that Miss Hope-Nicholson shortened her first name to M-J, christened as she was, Marie-Jaqueline, Dorothea, Beatrice, Alexina, Romaine, Adriana. Her decision reflected the future editor's outspoken, forthright manner, possibly a reaction against her deeply eccentric family. Her father, Hedley Hope-Nicholson, was heir to a raincoat fortune and head of the Carolean Society; he was obsessed with Charles I and kept a relic from the King's coffin – and a piece of the shirt he wore on the scaffold – in a box in the consecrated chapel in their London family at More House in Tite Street.

Wild Grass (12A)

I have been baffled by the films of Alain Resnais ever since I watched Last Year at Marienbad at the NFT 20-odd years ago.

Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Young Vic, London

Arresting but quite hard work
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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
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Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
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Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
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J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
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Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
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Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
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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
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick