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

Trail of the Unexpected: Alesund, the Nouveau city that rose from the ashes

Fire devastated Alesund; now it is a Norwegian architectural icon, says Siobhan Mulholland

DVD: Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (PG) Albert Lewin

Albert Lewin's 1951 film reworks the Flying Dutchman legend, transporting us to a 1930s Spanish seaside town where Pandora, played by a radiant Ava Gardner, falls for a mysterious man who sails into the harbour.

Boy stable after seaside town attack

A 15-year-old boy who suffered head injuries after being attacked in a seaside town is now in a stable condition, police said.

Cold to the Touch, By Frances Fyfield

This is crime fiction with a difference. You could read the first half without even identifying it as a crime novel, until the body unexpectedly, nerve-janglingly turns up. There's no police procedure, no hunting for clues, no interviewing of suspects, no being led up the garden path. It's much more about the impact of death on normal people.

Seaside tourism 'alive, well and growing'

British seaside tourism is still alive and well, according to a report from academics today.

Katy Holland: Pack the bucket and spade. It's time for a traditional seaside break

Are we there yet? The traditional bucket-and-spade holiday is fast becoming a relic

Tim Sturtridge: Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

Fairly painless drive down to Durban yesterday sandwiched between a Hooters waitress and a Delta Airlines stewardess on the backseat of a rented Hyundai.

After the Fire, A Still Small Voice, By Evie Wyld

London-based Evie Wyld draws on an Australian childhood in a gutsy debut novel about three generations of vulnerable men. In a seaside shack, fenced off by sugar cane and blue gums, Frank has come to get over the end of a relationship.

Great works: Sand dune (1983), Francis Bacon

Fondation Beyeler, Riehen, Basel

Ged Bailes: Some fears cannot be overcome


The Winter House, By Nicci Gerrard

A warm fug of domesticity envelopes Nicci Gerrard's highly readable novels of family life and romantic entanglement. If it's hard to distinguish one book from another, that's because her characters could so comfortably inhabit one another's middle-class kitchens. In this her fourth solo work – she also co-writes thrillers as Nicci French – Gerrard examines how the intimacies and friendships of youth continue to exert their stranglehold well into middle age.

Shadow Cabinet to brace seaside chill

Today may not be an obvious day to spend beside the seaside. But 10 members of David Cameron's Shadow Cabinet will brave the elements to campaign in Britain's coastal towns.

Kite surfers jump seaside pier

Two kite surfers used strong winds for an amazing and hazardous stunt today - jumping over Worthing pier.

Michael Glover: Parr is no good as an artist

Is Martin Parr's work a documentation of how we live now – or of how we lived then? It is both one and the other.

Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
Life and Style
food + drinkAuthor DBC Pierre presents his guide to the morning after
Two christmas trees ,Moonbeam (2L), Moonchester (2R) and Santa Claus outside the Etihad Stadium
footballAll the action from today's games
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
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Day In a Page

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
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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