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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
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?