Travel

My stomach has endured the full scope of awful foods this planet has to offer Trying adventurous food is a big part of travelling, but India, where I'm travelling through now, has more problems with [food] hygiene than anywhere else in the world. It's a cultural problem, as eating meat is a rarity in rural areas, so they treat it like a vegetable, keeping it in a cupboard. So when the occasional Westerner passes through, by the time it's pulled out, it's been in there for a few months. When travelling across poorer parts of India now, I try to survive off rice and dahl.

'Jaws' returns to stalk Martha's Vineyard

Martha's Vineyard has everything. Clear skies. Gentle surf. People flock to its Atlantic beaches every summer to splash in the waves. But there was apprehension in the air at the weekend after multiple warnings that one or possibly two great white sharks were cruising the waters close to its beaches.

Fishing Lines: Keys to success for Rawle are putting Florida skippers in place

Old skippers from Florida have not taken too kindly to an upstart Essex lad muscling in on their territory. People who fished on their boats called them "characters". They were renowned for their rudeness, unwillingness to listen and general bloody-mindedness. But if you wanted to fish the Keys hotspots, you often had to put up with your skipper being drunk, aggressive, abusive and often all three.

Wet and wild: Britain's coasts are home to many exotic creatures

Puffins, dolphins, sand lizards, seals - Ifunanya Ifeacho on the species to see and where

Something To Declare: Stansted Express; sharks in Mexico; Birmingham; 48 Hours

Where to go, how to save, what to avoid

Stranded divers 'fought off Komodo dragon'

A British couple rescued from a remote Indonesian island where they were marooned with three other divers after being swept away by strong currents described surviving 12 hours in shark-infested waters and having to fend off a giant, carnivorous lizard.

South Africa 43 Wales 17: Gatland has 'no excuses' for defeat

The much heralded meeting of the world champions and the Grand Slam winners proved no contest as Wales were swept aside here in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Boy tells how he tried to save friend killed by shark

An Australian schoolboy braved bloodied seas yesterday to try to save his friend who had been mauled by a shark off a popular beach while the pair were bodyboarding.

Shark kills boy off Australian coast

A shark attacked and killed a 16-year-old boy today while he and a friend were bodyboarding off Australia's eastern coast, officials said.

Paperback: Hellfire and Herring: A childhood remembered, By Christopher Rush

The little Scottish fishing village of St Monans once boasted fishermen who could "smell a shoal of herring in the breeze as accurately as a gannet" and a hellfire preacher who thundered from his pulpit like a "dog-collared Viking". The undertaker, also the boat-builder, was a man with a good line in black humour who generously sized up bodies at a glance: "Nobody went cramped into eternity in a James Miller coffin... the ships were tight but the boxes were comfortable." With characters such as these surrounding him, local boy Christopher Rush spent his adolescence experimenting with poetry and sex amid the leafy woods of Fife.

Black Water, (15)

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water... This killer-croc picture is one the Australian Tourist Board will want to bury.

Shark-fin soup trade threatens hammerheads

One of the most impressive members of the shark family is to be classified as endangered because of the increase in demand for shark-fin soup in the Far East.

Swimming with sharks (one man's unfashionable crusade)

Rob Stewart was filming in one of the world's most heavily protected marine reserves when he stumbled across the massacre that changed his life. Swimming off Ecuador's Galapagos Islands, which inspired Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, the young Canadian wildlife photographer came across a floating graveyard.

Take a trip to Australia's secret marine wonderland

Ningaloo Reef, off the coast of Western Australia, is a destination to rival its better-known Queensland counterpart. Cameron Wilson takes the plunge

Art of making money: How does a dead fish sell for £12m and who's writing all the cheques?

By what alchemy does a dead fish sell for $12m? How can a discarded leather jacket be worth $690,000? And who's writing the cheques? Don Thompson spent a year trawling the murky waters of the contemporary art market to find out

Christian Slater: Swimming with sharks in Fiji

Film star Christian Slater saw these fearsome marine predators close up when he went diving without a cage off a remote island in Fiji. Ian McCurrach hears the intrepid tale
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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
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J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
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Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
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Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick