One swallow makes a summer: Skye Gyngell's perfect three-course meal for a hot, sunny day

These three dishes are simply the things that I feel like eating at this very moment, a combination of strong and delicate flavours. The gazpacho is sharp with an intense taste of summer herbs, while slow-cooked shoulder of lamb is smoky and powerful. And to finish this summer feast, peaches and soft summer fruit – gentle and delicate in flavour.

Berry good show: Mark Hix's seasonal fruit desserts provide the perfect end to late-summer dinner parties

Last year I bought a few Tayberry plants for my garden in Charmouth. I have tried to grow them in the past, but with little success. This time, I planted them up against my back fence and the combination of sea air and warm weather seems to have done the trick. But don't get too excited – I'm not talking about harvesting kilos here; just half a dozen portions or so; highly satisfying, none the less.

Guy Adams: Has Jerry Bruckheimer lost his magic?

This weekend’s box-office charts will make ugly reading for Disney, whose ambitious $150m kids flick The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, starring Nicolas Cage, opened to a raspberry of public disinterest and global returns of just $32m.

Amid the helicopters and snipers, rural life continues on

A northern village has been living with the threat of a fugitive gunman for three days

Orang-utan language identified

Orang-utans communicate intelligently using gestures, researchers have found.

Jam: Summer in a jar

If you think life's too short to make jam, then you'll be surprised how simple it is to turn the season's berries into tasty preserves. Alice-Azania Jarvis stirs it up

Mark Hix's best ever summer recipes, part 2

Elderflower buttermilk pudding with raspberries

Summer fruit fool

Serves 4-6

Loganberry leaf and silver-tip tea jelly

Serves 4

Peach Melba

Serves 4

Ground work: May is the time for sweat and toil in the garden but you'll reap the benefits all summer long

In a garden, timing counts. That doesn't mean clock-watching. It doesn't matter whether lettuce seed goes in at 11.23am or 4.26pm. It will still probably grow. But May is a kind of watershed in the garden. If you can guide the place in the right direction this month, then there should not be too many wobbles during the rest of the summer. If you lose this slot, then somehow you never catch up.

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