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Police found the woman only had a provisional license and was accompanied only by a parrot

Who's a pretty book then?

THE MOST recent Oxford English Dictionary may be a classic, but it was eclipsed as Britain's top reference book yesterday by a guide to parrots. Parrots, by Tony Juniper and Mike Parr, won the Library Association's McColvin Medal for an outstanding work of reference at its Reference Book of the Year awards.

Books: Still grim up north

The Colony of Unrequited Dreams by Wayne Johnston Doubleday, pounds 15, 562pp: From a frozen country comes a bracing panorama of love and politics. Rachelle Thackeray chills out with an Arctic epic

City Life Mexico City: Saucy dancing offers a whirlwind cure for jetlag

MY SHORT-TERM solution for coping with an abrupt move halfway round the globe, from Delhi to Mexico City, is simply to stick with my old timetable and avoid jetlag. Staying up all night and sleeping in is easy if, like Mexico's energetic night crowd, you go to a salsa club.

We have ways of making sure you respect English law

The whole point of the law is to be so baffling and mysterious that no one knows much about it

Fab in the Far East for ever

In Japan, Beatlemania never went away, and now Tokyo has plans for the first ever John Lennon museum. Richard Lloyd Parry heads down to the city's Abbey Road club

Lectures on love from Mr Ali

Friday Books; THE BOOK OF SALADIN BY TARIQ ALI, VERSO, pounds 17 OUTREMER BY NABIL SALEH, QUARTET, pounds 9

On Location: Walking into a middle-class minefield

EVERYONE ELSE from the Staines Rambling Group had chunky walking boots with unbreakable inch-wide laces, military trousers tucked into thick green socks, and a back-pack carrying water and a first aid box. So I felt like a kid arriving at PE without his kit, expecting the head rambler to make me do the whole walk in my underpants.

Country & Garden: Squawk on the wild side

The vibrant green ring-necked parakeet can strip a plum tree in minutes with its large red beak. Now thousands have settled near fruit- growing areas of Britain.

Hague's parrot is not dead, he's just resting - with the odd squawk

IT CANNOT be very nice being William Hague. You wake up on the day of your up and at 'em conference speech to find on The Sun's front page a picture of yourself falling off a perch, bald head protruding from Norwegian Blue feathers and the headline message that the party you lead "has ceased to be ... it is an ex-party".

Anita Brookner: drowning in Venice

The Independent Archive; 13 August 1987 Brookner's new novel, `A Friend from England' (Jonathan Cape), reveals her as a novelist of astonishing technical skill

Words: popinjay n. (derog.)

WHEN Camille Paglia last week described Jonathan Dimbleby as "the worst-prepared popinjay of a reporter I have ever encountered" she was uncaging an insult with a long and colourful history.

Books: A parrot at the Tempest

THE MIGRATION OF GHOSTS by Pauline Melville Bloomsbury pounds 15.99

Radio: Flaubert's parrot

Juliet Stevenson - 'Woman's Hour' listeners' all-time favourite reader - is back with 'Madame Bovary'. Sue Gaisford met her

Books: A novel way to go

Valentine Cunningham disputes a po-faced view of current British fiction and raises a cheer for our native novelists
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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 15 May 2015
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue