Tom Sutcliffe: This holy child needs a crib sheet

The Week In Culture

Album: Loudon Wainwright III, Recovery (Yep Roc)

We'd all like to go back to our twenties and do them again, wouldn't we? If you're a venerable musician you can do just that.

Last Night's TV: Bonekickers, BBC1; Imagine... BBC1

They need to dig a little deeper

The Complete Guide To: Puglia

Breathtaking coastlines, diverse architecture and Italy's most famous road all await you in the heel of Italy. James Hill reports

What should you look for in a school?

Ethos is a vital part of any education – and it's something you need to check out in person

Sikh protests stop Sotheby's auction of 'religious relic'

Sotheby's has withdrawn a rare 18th-century steel armour plate from public sale after protesters claimed it was a religious relic which may have been owned by one of Sikhism's holiest figures, Guru Gobind Singh.

Miles Kington Remembered: Archaeologists unearth relics from the age of ignorance

Two huge corporations, Pepsi and Coke, did nothing but sell fizzy brown flavoured water. Not only had the two products little obvious attraction they were almost identical

Curiosity And Enlightenment, by Arthur MacGregor

The world in a glass cabinet: how history was collected and put on display

At the Martian Museum art's outasight in outer space

What would an exhibition of earthly artworks curated by little green men look like? Visitors to the Barbican's Martian Museum are about to find out

Adios, Castro: Fidel is a relic of a vanished age and fossilised revolution

Just a few more months and it would have been 10. Fidel Castro had already seen off nine US presidents, and had he hung on until 20 January 2009, George Bush would have joined them.

The English Year: The nation's customs and festivals, from May Day to Mischief Night, By Steve Roud

The origins of our national festivals are both more and less arcane than we had imagined: Mother's Day is as much of an import as Hallowe'en. "Rough Music", the custom of raising hell beneath the windows of malefactors, may have represented mob rule, but at least it was aimed mainly at wife-beaters. Padstow's 'Obby 'Oss is well known, but, if the locals don't watch out, it faces a serious rival in "Darkie Day". This curious relic of the minstrel tradition, so the local MP claimed in 2006, is quite innocent, and the blacked-faces part of "mumming" have nothing to do with racism. A shame the "mummers" sing minstrel songs, then.

My First Job: Lisa Appignanesi, president of PEN, was a waitress in Paris

'I made coffee in an urn and added chicory'

La Traviata, Royal Opera House, London <br /> LSO/Gergiev, Barbican Hall, London

Overstuffed sets and buttressed costumes do their best to squeeze the life out of Verdi's doomed heroine, but it's worth fighting for a ticket for this Covent Garden revival just to see Anna Netrebko

Johann Hari: The devilish church practice of exorcism

Last year, I met a drawn, defeated 14-year old girl who had been possessed by Satan, until he and his Armies of Evil were tortured out of her.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project