Sport Ian Madigan scored nine points, including a try, to give Ireland Wolfhounds a 14-8 victory over England Saxons

Madigan and his Leinster half-back partner Isaac Boss scored a try apiece to give Ireland second XV victory

Bestsellers Top 10 at M.A.C.

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When is a plum a gage?

It's been a fabulous year for the most ambrosial of tree fruit. Anna Pavord suggests how to keep them happy

Battle joined for Tory safe seat

PATRICIA WYNN DAVIES

Househunter Greystone, Angus

Househunter Greystone, Angus

Death among the plum trees

Bosnia conflict: War rages in north-east after lull around Sarajevo 8 Serbs demand new concessions from UN over aid delivery; Robert Block, the first reporter to observe the latest fighting in Bosnia from the Serb side, gives a bird's eye view of a battle

Gotter stop them glottal stops, awight?

Campaign/ good English

Women reject $1m CIA pay-off

The CIA faces fresh embarrassment with the rejection by a group of senior women officers of what they consider an inadequate $1m (pounds 600,000) out-of-court settlement of charges of rampant sexual discrimination within the beleaguered US spy agency.

BOOK REVIEW: Ever heard the one about Alfred and the cakes?

Histrionics: a treasury of Historical Anecdotes Geoffrey Regan Robson Books, £15.95

Food and Drink: Long live our gracious plum - Victorias are helping to lead a revival of a traditional English fruit, says Joanna Blythman

In 1840, a nurseryman called Denyer, of Brixton, south London, introduced a 'new' variety of plum to the market. It is said to have been 'a chance seedling', found in a garden in Alderton, Sussex. How Mr Denyer came by the seedling is not known, neither are its origins. It is simply recorded as 'English. Parentage unknown'. But for Mr Denyer, we would never have known the delights of the magnificent Victoria plum.

BOOK REVIEW / Creamy body meets the big square jaw: 'Tiger Eyes' - Shirley Conran: Macmillan, pounds 15.99 (CORRECTED)

CORRECTION (PUBLISHED 13 JULY 1994) INCORPORATED INTO THIS ARTICLE

Opinions: Can you take a joke?

LIONEL BLAIR: Do you remember the Olympus commercial with George Cole saying, 'Hang on, it's Lionel Blair' and it was Lord Lichfield and vice versa? I have been sent up so much I think I live up there, and it's not done me any harm. When you allow yourself to be laughed at it gives you great street credibility and the public love you even more for it.

Lawson up for plum OECD job

WANTED: Top-notch French-speaker to front high-profile economic organisation. pounds 125,000 tax-free salary, luxury Paris apartment, company limo. Ability to bash a few heads together an advantage.

BALLET / Sweet Torture: Christmas Presence: Robert Maycock explores a seasonal love affair with The Nutcracker

Dread-inspiring, feverish nightmares, so abominable that I don't think I have the strength to put it into words. I was simply tortured by the knowledge that I was utterly incapable of making a good job of what I had taken on myself. And this from the man who wrote the music. Tchaikovsky's agonies over The Nutcracker are not all that surprising when you consider that his finished score includes such unrealisable visions as a Flower Waltz to be danced by the Sugar Plum Fairy's attendants in the Kingdom of Sweets. Anybody might fear the worst. We are in the kingdom because we have watched Clara, the daughter of a civic worthy, travelling there on Christmas morning in the company of a prince. She liberated this prince, since you ask, from a pair of nutcrackers.

Southern belle role goes to northern star: British actress beats 20,000 hopefuls to plum part of Scarlett O'Hara

BRUSHING aside more than 20,000 applications, the makers of the sequel to Gone With the Wind yesterday announced that the woman they wanted as Scarlett O'Hara was Joanne Whalley-Kilmer, a 29-year-old Mancunian.

Letter: Hardy's house

Sir: Anna Pavord's article about Thomas Hardy's house, Max Gate ('Plum brick that hides no poetry', 16 October), claims that the council of the Hardy Society turned down the generous proposal of Dorset County Council to guarantee pounds 9,000 (not pounds 11,000) of the annual rent of Max Gate if the society were to become the tenant. At its meeting on 9 October, the council decided by a substantial majority to negotiate on this basis with the National Trust if no satisfactory private tenant were found. If a private tenant is found, the society has agreed to give every possible help with the opening and stewarding.
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