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Speeches in the House of Commons by the Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg are an erudite comedy turn. As MPs debated the European Union (Approvals) Bill (Lords), which writes into British law two draft regulations passed by the Council of the European Union, only he thought it necessary to read into the official record part of what one of the regulations actually said.

First Night: Das Rheingold, Royal Opera House, London

The overture to 'Das Rheingold' is one of classical music's boldest strokes, as a single bass note slowly expands upwards into a vast major chord, whose eddying ramifications remain static and unchanged for 136 bars. Under Valery Gergiev's febrile beat, the Mariinsky orchestra beautifully realises this effect, and for the next 150 minutes faithfully reflects every colour-shift in this opera's majestic musical journey.

Walking in My Mind, Hayward Gallery, London

The Freudian mind is a busy place. Better to keep it simple

Hänsel and Gretel, Opera Holland Park, London

Here's a first. As the sweetly atmospheric prelude fades away, the stillness is rudely shattered by the abrasive wail of an air-raid siren sounding the all-clear. Two gas-masked faces peep around a gigantic door. It sits at the centre of sinister, charcoal-drawn walls depicting the forbidding forest beyond. We are in wartime, for sure, a time of fear and austerity and rationing, but whether in Germany or dear old Blighty (there are resonances of both and the sung language is German, of course) is pretty much irrelevant to Stephen Barlow's wittily effective staging. What matters to Hänsel and Gretel is that it's a strange world to be growing up in.

Clement Freud, food critic and wit, dies at 84

Stephen Fry leads the tributes to the deadpan radio broadcaster

The Stepmother's Diary, By Fay Weldon

In her latest novel Fay Weldon, a writer who never sounds less than contemporary, turns her brainy gaze on the muddle of modern family life. The diary of the title belongs to Sappho, a young playwright married to a widower 19 years her senior, and stepmother to his two children.

Lowside of the Road: A life of Tom Waits

You could fit what this biography reveals of its subject's private life on the back of a cigarette packet

The New Black: Mourning, melancholia and depression, By Darian Leader

By returning to outmoded expressions such as "melancholia", and challenging the kind of five-step recovery programmes for dealing with loss favoured by popular psychologists such as Elizabeth Kubler Ross, Darian Leader hopes to re-route society's current vogue for chemically dominated responses to what is seen overall as "depression" into something more specific and more psychoanalytically based.

A-Z Of Courses: Early-years education

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/openhouse/2008/10/gordon-on-the-c.html">Ed Howker: Gordon on the couch</a>

According to psychologist Lucy Beresford, Gordon Brown is 'deeply insecure' and bringing Peter Mandelson back was "Freudian" bordering on "self-mutilating behaviour".

The facts of life: desire

Among British holidaymakers looking for love, the Italians are considered the most desirable nationality. However, a fling with a fellow Briton comes a close second. Bringing up the rear for both men and females were Americans and people from the Caribbean.

What the doctor saw: a brief history of sexology

Over the past 150 years, it seems the study of sex has interacted with society at large to influence, and be influenced by, current morals, ideologies and social behaviours.

Mariinsky / Gergiev, De Doelen, Rotterdam

Dostoevsky's obsession with physical and mental pain, coupled with his relentlessly emphatic style, means that The Brothers Karamazov is not the ideal book to curl up with. Nor is this 900-page emotional odyssey ideal fodder for opera: two operas have been drawn from it, but neither has stood the test of time.

Making Time, By Steve Taylor

Why does time seem to speed up as we get older, racing ahead of us towards an inevitable and final end point? Why do new experiences seem to stretch time, and why does it often fly when we're having fun and drag when we aren't? Roving through an eclectic range of ideas, some drawn from psychology and psychoanalysis, a few from his own imagination, Taylor doesn't really offer answers so much as ideas. Given that this book is a popular paperback rather than a peer-reviewed thesis, that's a very good thing indeed.

Stephen King: Will our central banks make a Freudian slip over their illusory control of price stability?

As oil and other commodity prices rise, there's a sense that our inflationary destiny no longer lies with our central banks
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project