i Robert Burns, 1759 to 1796. Scottish Poet

Ah, Scotland’s favourite son.

Minor British Institutions: The corner shop

The corner shop struggles against larger organisations and outlets. But who could not admire its spirited independence and eclectic approach?

Schofield to step down at Premier

Shares in Premier Foods, the maker of Branston pickle, jumped by more than 4 per cent yesterday after it said Robert Schofield, its chief executive, would retire inside the next 12 months.

Chorizo and clams

Serves 6

Kremlin hatches gem of a show

Six fabergé eggs crown a display of gem and stone treasures covering 150 years of Russian history. They form part of an exhibition opening today at the Kremlin which aims to revive interest in Russian art.

The Dirty Life, By Kristin Kimball

In a former existence, freelance writer Kristin Kimball lived the life of a Manhattan singleton: dating, drinking, using her oven to store her cashmere. Then she was sent on an assignment to interview a young organic farmer called Mark.

Harriet Walker: 'What a difference a day makes'

People mark the passing of time in different ways – some by crying, others by ignoring it completely. I like to take something of a methodical, historicist approach and work my way backwards, like Tony Robinson on an archaeological dig.

Cumberland sausage wins protection

Cumberland sausage-makers are enjoying the champagne moment of their product being protected from geographically inaccurate imitations.

A Widow's Story: A Memoir, By Joyce Carol Oates

It is difficult to open novelist Joyce Carol Oates's powerful and revealing chronicle of her widowhood without crying

Village People: Keep it clean

Claire Perry, Tory MP for Devizes, in Wiltshire, a former banker and adviser to George Osborne, has been billed as a high flier, but seems to suffer from occasional judgement wobbles in matters relating to sex.

Cooper Brown: Going shooting

Mulligan takes me out shooting today, which is a welcome relief. My Mom goes mental that I’m going to “kill things” although she’s always first in the hamburger queue.

Eat less red meat, says Government

Government advisers will publish a report recommending people limit their consumption of red meat.

John Lichfield: Note to M&S – Paris is pining for your sausages

I have terrible news for Parisian Anglophiles and British expatriates in Paris. The British sausage and the pork pie are not, after all, returning to the French capital. Ten years after its hurried, Dunkirk-like departure from the continent, Marks & Spencer plans to open a new store in Paris. The location is perfect. M&S will take over a 1,000sq m store on the Champs-Elysées, just a few yards from the office that I share with the BBC (or, as I try to tell visitors, the BBC shares with me).

Consumers overestimate fat on meat says survey

Around six out of 10 people believe lean cuts of red meat contain more than 20% fat, even though the true level is less than half that amount, research suggests.

Last Night's TV: Can't Bully Me/BBC3<br />Beeny's Restoration Nightmare/Channel 4<br />Nigella's Kitchen/BBC2

Goodness know who came up with the notion that secondary school offers the best days of your life. Whoever it was clearly hadn't spent much time in the classroom (bunking off down the park might, conceivably, count as the best days of your life, though that rather hinges on the prospect of adulthood being very dull indeed). At any rate, as anyone who has ever donned a uniform and picked up a pencil case will know, school – particularly when you are an angst-ridden, parentally constrained adolescent – is far more rubbish than we like to admit. How much infinitely worse it must be when the gloomy spectre of bullying – or "big black cloud" as schoolboy Billy called it last night – is added to the equation.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

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The stories that defined 2014

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Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
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