Travel

Lose yourself in the enchanting scenery and crystal waters of this historic chain of islands – perfect for relaxation and activity alike

Simon Calder: 'Bring our guys home before the postcards'

The man who pays his way

Album: Jack Johnson, To the Sea (Island)

Too old for the Hollister generation, Johnson now sells albums to the likes of Gavin and Stacey's Uncle Bryn, who, erm, dig the laid-back grooves and the idea they are down with the kids.

Business Diary: 29/04/2010

The winners the bookie wouldn't let you back

Paddy Power is the bookmaker best known for offering odds on almost anything you want to bet on.

Virginia Ironside's Dilemmas: 'My old university friend seems to have gone off me'

Dear Virginia, I'm sure you'll think I'm paranoid, but I have an old university friend who seems to have gone off me – and I don't know why. We've always been close and often lunched together. I'd always drop in on them when visiting friends in the country, where they live. But for the last year I've heard nothing. Every time I suggest popping in on them, they say they're busy. I know something's wrong but they assure me it's nothing. What can I do? Best wishes, Margie

Tory decapitation squad targets Jacqui Smith, but she will go down fighting

The former minister has a tiny majority to defend in Redditch, and a controversial expenses claim to explain

Probe into Labour's 'cancer' postcards

Allegations that Labour has 'cynically' targeted cancer sufferers with an election leaflet are being investigated by the Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham.

Kate Simon: Wish you were here – but don't expect a postcard anytime soon

Will you be sending any postcards from your holidays this year? I remember as a child having to spend at least one morning of our annual summer holiday writing "wish you were here" to the nearest and dearest – or risk no ice-creams for the rest of the day.

Ready to Wear: The best news of all is that there is a 'deluxe' Kau boot. You pay extra, obviously

Given the severity of the weather this winter it's perhaps only to be expected that snow boots – at all different price points and ranging in appearance from the very ungainly to the more ungainly still – are high on any retailer/fashion PR/person with cold feet's agenda.

Album: Various Artists, Message from the Tribe: 1972-76 (Universal Sound)

Tribe was a musician-run recording collective in Detroit during the mid-1970s. Big hair, big attitude, big things to say. Big debt to the great Sun Ra.

There's a pattern emerging: How Marie Perkins helped define the phenomenon of big, bold prints for the masses

From textiles to table mats, greetings cards to curtains, over the past few years pattern has exploded into our homes and lives, leaving few objects untouched by graphic retro prints or whimsical illustrations of flora and fauna.

Modern men 'struggling with chivalry'

Men are struggling when it comes to modern chivalry, according to a report published today.

Album: Seasick Steve, ...Songs for Elisabeth (Atlantic)

It's a rum do when a sultry soul diva like Sade arouses less passion than a venerable, bewhiskered hobo like Seasick Steve, but such is apparently the case.

Alone in Berlin, By Hans Fallada

First published in 1947, just prior to its author's death, this astonishing novel now has the British acclaim it deserves thanks a translation by Michael Hofmann that sweeps you headlong down the course of its intimate yet epic drama. Using a real case as his model, Fallada portrays a small, brave act of rebellion against the Third Reich during its glory days in 1940.

Rhiannon Harries: Whatever happened to a short and sweet 'Wish you were here'

When you're staring into the abyss that is this boring, second leg of winter, a week of out-of-season sunshine is a tempting thought. Not to mention one that a few smug friends will doubtless have acted upon with the express intention of making everybody else feel jealous and pasty in equal measure.

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Independent Travel
Panama
Languedoc Roussillon
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The Jura Mountains
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Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
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These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

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Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
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Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
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Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

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Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
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The Imitation Game, film review
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Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

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Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week