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
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 17 April 2015
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...