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.

Family fortune: Geilo in Norway

Snow Report: Look north for next season's top ski destinations

The current ski season is in full swing, and still looking good for snow cover almost everywhere, but already news for 2013-14 is starting to appear.

It didn't sink! Full-size, sewn-together replica of a Bronze Age boat launched to trials success

For the first time in almost 3000 years – a full size Bronze Age style sea-going boat has been launched in Britain. Slipping gracefully down a slipway today into Falmouth Harbour, Cornwall, the 15m-long vessel was then paddled by its 18 person crew for two 500m trial trips.

The Weekend's Viewing: subtitles are the modish accessory of the moment

Spiral, Sat, BBC4 // The Spa, Sun, Sky Living

Childcare reforms must be seen, not just heard

So now nursery carers will be able to look after more children, which means more nursery places, and more overwhelmed teachers

Mass ‘twitcher’ survey to record rare breeds starving in big freeze

RSPB’s ‘Big Garden  Birdwatch’ this weekend is expected to be most exciting for years

You call this snow?: The Coldest Winters in British History

Snow, snow and more snow.  The latest weather forecasts predict the temperature in Britain won't rise much about 0 for the next week, making this the coldest winter the country has seen for some time. But as cold as the winter of 2013 is turning out, it's a beach holiday in the Bahamas compared to the British winters of yesteryear.

TV review: Borgen, 89,000 Children

Tom Leece is Film and TV editor at Fourth & Main 

Zenit have been the only top club in Russia to have never signed an African player while the northern city of St Petersburg is known to have a strong right-wing nationalist influence

Luciano Spalletti speaks out over Zenit St Petersburg 'manifesto'

Supporters call for “sexual minorities” and non-Europeans to be excluded from the playing staff

Zenit have been the only top club in Russia to have never signed an African player while the northern city of St Petersburg is known to have a strong right-wing nationalist influence

'We're not racists': Zenit St Petersburg fan group against black and gay players joining Russian champions

The largest fan group of Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg have demanded the club refrain from buying black and gay players following turmoil surrounding the acquisition of Brazil striker Hulk.

Editorial: Mr Obama's one chance to bring in gun control

The numbers made this school shooting the most horrific in America's long and painful history of such tragedies – but not just the numbers. The young age of so many of the victims, the self-sacrificial efforts of their teachers, the proximity of Christmas and the picture-postcard New England setting all combined to propel the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown to the top of the dismal US roll call of gun carnage. But the response was as divided as ever.

Waxwings are regular winter visitors to Britain and Ireland

Here from Lapland for Christmas, the birds that sound like sleigh bells

Birdwatchers in for a treat as waxwings arrive in numbers not seen for more than 40 years

Plain to see: Use plain brown paper and add a personal handcrafted touch with beads, ribbons and Christmas decorations. From £2.99/3m roll, tch.net

The final flourish

There's no point buying the perfect gift if you don't wrap it properly. Trish Lorenz has all you need to roll out the cheer this Christmas

What are the pros and cons of wind farms and fracking?

The big energy debate: Wind farms vs fracking

Wind farms

Have you ever wondered if our obesity rates and terrible sports facilities are perhaps related?

And if you have, and you happen to be George Osborne, what might you do about it? The educational, personal and social benefits of sports in school are well proven

Album review: Rachel Zeffira, The Deserters (RAF)

As half of Cat's Eyes, Rachel Zeffira made an intriguing debut last year with the duo's self-titled album of Spector-esque dream-pop.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions