Judging by the national mood, I would urge David Cameron to go to the polls now; the mood is good out there

The Atmospheric Railway, By Shena Mackay

This collection of 13 short stories, named after an experimental railway which ran for some months in the 1860s at Crystal Palace Gardens in London, takes the reader on richly imagined, metaphorical journeys through the minutiae and small mysteries of individual lives.

Leading article: We can't resist market forces

In a world that is changing so fast, there is consolation to be found in identifying the things that stay the same. One of these, a survey has found, is the attraction of the English market town. Lloyds TSB has established that house-buyers are prepared to pay a £30,000 premium to live in one, compared with other locations in the same county.

Armed police clear drug gangs from Rio favela

Police searched homes and secured the perimeter yesterday of a Rio de Janeiro shantytown that has long been a stronghold for drug gangs and a symbol of their ability to rule vast areas of the seaside city with impunity.

Adrift (12A)

Starring: Laura Neiva, Vincent Cassel, Débora Bloch

Holloway still hopes to keep Gilks beside the seaside

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway is determined to retain the services of his goalkeeper Matt Gilks. Holloway knows, however, he could be fighting a losing battle with the player out of contract come next summer.

Italian town set to ban 'skimpy' skirts

Just how mini can a miniskirt be? If the mayor of a small Italian town has his way, law enforcement officials, and not fashion gurus, will be the ones to decide.

A Fair Maiden, By Joyce Carol Oates

On a walk one afternoon, 16-year-old Katya Spivak, a nanny in the town of Bayhead Harbor, New Jersey, is approached by Henry Kidder, an elderly illustrator; he offers her money to pose for a series of portraits and she agrees, only vaguely aware of his more sinister intentions.

Tips and deals of the week: 24/10/2010

Take a festive break in Dublin for £163

Throughout December, Irish Ferries is offering three nights at the three-star Mount Herbert Hotel for £163 per person, a saving of £42. The deal, based on two sharing, includes return car ferry crossings, free parking in Dublin and B&B.

Go to irishferries.com/holidays

Book Of A Lifetime: The Pursuit Of The Millennium, By Norman Cohn

One year, my mother inherited £500. This was a princely sum. My parents put the money towards a tiny, flint-faced cottage on the Kent coast. Their hope, a regular injection of sea air into the lungs of our urban childhood. And indeed religiously, every holiday and half-term, we would wind our way down (fewer motorways then) to the seaside town of Hythe.

Howard Jacobson: The end of the pier is too big a loss to bear

A pier never feels entirely English. Isn’t that what we love – its foreignness, its riskiness?

Book Of A Lifetime: Berg, By Ann Quin

I first came to read Ann Quin's mesmerising 'Berg' by accident in 2001. I was browsing a favourite bookshop in Brighton, looking for rare editions of Blaise Cendrars. When I asked the bookseller if he stocked anything by Cendrars he simply shook his head and held up a Calder edition of Quin's 'Berg'. "Have you ever read Ann Quin?" he asked me. "No, who's Ann Quin?" I answered.

I'm in charge, says Clegg, as PM goes to the seaside

A year ago it would have been considered a pipe-dream for all but the most incurable of Liberal Democrat romantics. Their leader will return from his Spanish holiday tomorrow to take charge of Britain for the next fortnight.

Design beside the seaside: Get the fresh coastal look without the sailing clichés

Combine white-painted furniture, striped linen and the right vintage accessories

Bodies of married couple found

The bodies of a married couple were discovered at their seaside flat after neighbours were alerted by their two young sons. It is believed the mother had been strangled by her husband before he killed himself.

'Doughnut' ride man in propeller horror

A man was seriously injured after being thrown from a rubber ring pulled by a speedboat and struck by the vessel's propeller.

Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television The BBC have commissioned a series of programmes doing away with high-production values, commentary, script or drama
Arts and Entertainment
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable