Arts and Entertainment

Something strange happened while I was watching the new series of US legal drama The Good Wife (More4) this week. I found myself humming the theme tune from Australian soap opera Home and Away. It was my unconscious mind's way of serenading new addition to the cast, Melissa George.

Cold snap on its way

A cold snap warning for the next few days was issued today, with Arctic winds and even snowfall in places.

Norway: A triumph of creativity

What Trysil lack in altitude, it makes up for in latitude, as Simon Calder finds on a week-long family holiday

Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: Welcome signs that winter's on its way

If we greet the bringers of spring with elation, should we greet the bringers of autumn with gloom? Logically, I suppose we should. But we don't seem to and I wonder why this is. Anyone close to the countryside knows the delight of hearing the first chiffchaff singing in March, having returned from the Mediterranean, and then the first willow warbler a little later; and even more, the pleasure of seeing the first swallow in April, just back from South Africa. The intensity of our welcome of these migrant birds is in large measure a seasonal one: they are signalling the great change in the calendar, the shift from warm to cold, from dark to light, and even more, the move in the natural world from death to rebirth. No wonder the first sound and sight of them make many hearts skip a beat.

Brian Paddick: I'm British, but had to travel to Norway to get married

I fell in love with a Norwegian man and was able to marry him in an intensely emotional ceremony in Oslo in January 2009.

David Prosser: Use law to put women in the boardroom

Outlook How do we improve women's woeful under-representation on the boards of Britain's big companies? That was the debate over lunch between Theresa May, the minister in charge of women's affairs, and business leaders yesterday.

Wildbirds & Peacedrums, Lexington, London

The Gothenburg duo Wildbirds & Peacedrums is an experimental collaboration formed in 2006 by husband and wife Mariam Wallentin and Andreas Werliin.

The Secret History Of: The duvet

It was the 1950s, before the halcyon days of the swinging Sixties. Sir Terence Conran was in Sweden. With a girl. And he found himself lying under a strange cover that was a bit like an eiderdown but with no sheets or blankets between him and it.

Scotland the place to see Northern Lights, says expert

People in Scotland will have the best chance of witnessing the Northern Lights tonight, an expert said today.

Greece: Samos fire contained

Fire Service officials say they have contained a fire on the island of Samos that had forced an evacuation of tourists from a beach resort.

Johnson stays cool to seal home win

Richard Johnson sank a 30-foot birdie putt on the final green to become only the second home winner of the Scandinavian Masters in the last 12 years today.

Oosthuizen faces Choi challenge

South Korea's KJ Choi will try to bridge a seven-year gap in Stockholm this weekend – and with it stop the new Open champion Louis Oosthuizen from making a piece of European Tour history.

Handball: Prieto is ready to pick it up and run with it

It is played by 20 million people. Now a Frenchman – not Thierry Henry – is giving Team GB a helping hand for 2012

Acid rain: An environmental crisis that disappeared off the radar

You can tell an environmental problem has gone off the radar screen when Friends of the Earth don't have anybody tracking it, and that's the case with acid rain. There is currently no acid rain campaigner at FoE in London (although they will cheerfully point you in the direction of an expert).

City slicker in Oslo

It's a great time to visit Norway's capital and enjoy long warm days and striking natural beauty. Nick Boulos offers a guide for new and returning visitors
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas