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Conservative halve Labour’s poll lead

Work smarter and harder and longer to find your dream

Downshifting doesn't mean packing in a stressful job for a life of tranquil idyll. Meg Carter and Rachelle Thackray talk to people who made the jump and never looked back

There's big bread in sandwiches

We spend pounds 3bn a year on them, reports Melanie Clulow

Wednesday's book: Before I Say Goodbye by Ruth Picardie (Penguin, pounds 5.99)

Ruth Picardie's liberal parents left South Africa in the "ugly aftermath of Sharpeville", writes her husband, Matt Seaton, in the preface to this book by and about his deceased wife. The family had to contend with another sort of injustice when Ruth died of cancer aged 33, less than a year after being diagnosed.

Food for thought: Breakfast of champions

If you fancy some early-morning sustenance, you've usually got three options if you want to eat out - a croissant in a cafe, an artery- clogging fry-up in a greasy spoon or some posh nosh in a London hotel. But now an increasing number of restaurants are opening for breakfast during the week (several have done weekend brunches and the like for some time), serving up everything from pizza to kidneys to grilled salmon and seaweed.

Profit from passion

Two studies show that people work better if they believe in what they are doing and are emotionally engaged with the company they work for. Roger Trapp reports

With a canteen like this, who needs Conran?

If the words "staff canteen" summon up images of chips with everything, lumpy custard and Formica tables, think again, says Helen Jones. Eating at work is changing and, for some employees, focaccia has replaced Mother's Pride

Outakes: Damien Whitmore on a new direction for advertising at the Tate Gallery

`We are opening a new Tate Gallery of Modern Art at Bankside, and relaunching the Tate Gallery of British Art at Millbank, so we need to double our audience by the year 2000. Advertising plays a key role in attracting new audiences. But we felt that our usual advertising - just an image and a name, which is what most art galleries use - wasn't enough to attract them.

From famine to feast

Roger Trapp meets a man whose fine foods business has moved a long way from where it started, in the back of his car

How the DJ turned the tables

Capital Radio is kicking itself for letting Chris Evans get to Virgin first. But, Hilary Clarke wonders, is theirs the next station on his list?

Cafe Society: South Ken's Chinese puzzle

Hungry for culture but hungrier for food? Now the People's museums are waging war on the taxpayer, a full meal at Paper Tiger costs less than seeing the Great Bed of Ware at the V&A, as Serena Mackesy found out

Christmas Food & Drink: The new mail order

A live lobster, an alligator steak and a suckling pig are just some of the first-class foods you can buy mail order. Rachelle Thackray on how to get your Christmas dinner by post

City: I work for Julian Metcalfe

Beaky Evette works for the chairman of the Pret A Manger sandwich company

Radio: Tolstoy in 10 easy episodes

'War and Peace' on the wireless? Even stranger, it was recorded in a Soho almshouse. Sue Gaisford listened in report David Malouf would hate to bepigeon holed as another Sue Gaisford identity' novelist.He'd

Who called the taste police?

All is minimal, all is tasteful, all is bleached beech and pan- fried kangaroo. Whatever happened to individual style? asks Eleanor Bailey

How the personal touch replaces `automated hell'

There could no better sign of the transformation quietly gripping Shell's bureaucracy than the sight of Phil Turberville, head of the European refining and marketing division, donning a set of overalls and filling a customer's petrol tank.
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A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
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Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
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Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
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Anna Nicole Smith died of an accidental overdose in 2007
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'The Great British Bake Off' showcases food at its most sumptuous
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A cupboard on sale for £7,500 in London
lifeAnother baffling example of the capital’s housing crisis
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home