i Robert Burns, 1759 to 1796. Scottish Poet

Ah, Scotland’s favourite son.

Cricket: Glamorgan shortfall

Hampshire 309-4 dec & forfeit Glamorgan forfeit & 287-8 Match drawn

Spaghetti functions

Pasta should be a dish in its own right, not just an accompaniment

Comment: Smarten up? You must be joking

Most of the teacher training package unveiled yesterday was eminently sensible - which the Labour Party's ready assent showed. Strip away the party political posturing, and here is the basis for a much needed re- professionalisation of teaching. But Gillian Shephard could not resist over-egging the pudding.

God bless them every one

THEATRE A Christmas Carol, Lyric, Hammersmith

O'Dwyer double

Conor O'Dwyer took the riding honours at Navan yesterday when completing a double on Ask The Butler in the Christmas Pudding Handicap Hurdle, writes Ian Davies.

Kissing love goodbye

Lucasta Miller enjoys a sentimental education; Zoe Trope by Amanda Prantera, Bloomsbury, pounds 14.99

Words: Interest

Some MPs seem to have been biting their pencils a good deal before making their contributions to the Register of Members' Interests, presumably not being certain just what is meant by the word. But the OED would have offered them 10 main definitions to choose from, including "regard to one's own profit or advantage; selfish pursuit of one's own welfare", which may or may not have been what Lord Nolan had in mind. He certainly wasn't thinking of fretwork or birdwatching, which are also interests.

Oh crumbs!

Food

Plum pudding in the melting pot

Christmas in America by Penne L. Restad Oxford, pounds 17.99; From Santa Claus to `Away in the Manger', many of our best loved Christmas traditions are American imports, according to a new cultural history. By Christina Hardyment

Pessoa proves his prowess in the Pudding

Equestrianism GENEVIEVE MURPHY reports from Olympia Rodrigo

Letter: Unpalatable pud

From Mr Patrick Hodgkinson

A party of old people heads for defeat, eating pudding

RARELY have I seen ministers in such a jolly mood as they were in at Blackpool last week. They laughed loudly, made jokes, accepted a third glass of wine and said that, yes, on this occasion they would break the rule of their middle years, and have some pudding after all. You may deduce from this that they expect to win the election. Not so. They are sure they are going to lose.

A night out with the girls

EATING OUT LAMB INN Sheep Street, Burford, Oxfordshire OX18 4LR. Tel: 01993 823155. Open Sunday lunch 12.30-1.45 and every evening for dinner 7.30-8.45. Sunday lunch, pounds 17.50. Three-course set dinner, pounds 2 3. All cards except American Express

IT'S THAT GINGER PUDDING AGAIN

Whoops - my ultimate steamed ginger pudding seems to have caused a few problems, writes Simon Hopkinson. The quantities of baking powder and bicarbonate of soda should have been teaspoons not tablespoons. But it's worth mentioning that whenever spoonfuls are specified, I use rounded not heaped.

HOME THOUGHTS

A BOOK recently arrived in the post, entitled The Oracle of Madame Marie: Your Book of Fate. It looks tremendously exciting: you simply choose any one of 96 questions about life and love, roll a pair of dice, and then look up the answer, accordin g to the numbers on the dice, in the Oracle's Mystical Tables.
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