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In my previous dispatch from the traumatic home-hunting frontline, where regiments of estate agents fire broadsides of scorn at our hilarious budget-to-square-footage aspirations, I detailed how one such know-it-all had been forced to tell us – just as we were about to enter – why the house was unsellable, due to the all-pervasive stench of chemicals from the dry cleaner down below. Needless to say, we weren't inordinately tempted.

Frank Worthington in his mid-Seventies heyday

Kevin Garside: Oh for some flair like Frank's to fire up dull England

The Last Word: Hodgson’s brief is to deliver us from the golden age that never was

Harriet Walker: How hard could it be to look after a baby?

I spent the first half of this summer only too pleased at the clouds, downpours and lingering chill in the air. I wanted the skies to reflect my mood, and if I wasn't feeling sunny or blithe, I was damned if anyone else should be.

<p>1. Dri Buddi</p>
<p>£59.99, Jmldirect.com</p>
<p>Hang up to 18 garments in this electric contraption. The warm vortex action takes out wrinkles, cutting down ironing time.</p>

The 10 Best clothes dryers

From tried and tested old-fashioned designs to high-tech super dryers

Sonar used to search for body of four-year-old Dylan Cecil

Specialist sonar equipment is being used today to find the body of a four-year-old boy lost at sea.

Diller: ‘My whole idea is to cheer people up’

Phyllis Diller, first female stand-up, dies, aged 95

She reportedly kept a plastic surgery diary, showing it to anyone who asked

These are not women who rely on being either pencil thin, preternaturally tall or studiously aloof to carry their clothes

Ready To Wear: The real beauty of carnival is being happy in your own skin

Unlike many of the residents of London's Notting Hill, I stay put at carnival time. No escaping to sunnier or rural climes for me on the occasion of this, the biggest street party of the year.

Born this way: Madonna during her 'Blonde Ambition' tour

How To Be Gay, By David M Halperin

This mammoth account of gay identity defers too much to the passing fads of pop culture

Stocking fillers

Mark Fast's designs have long been inspired by hosiery techniques, so a new collaboration with the tights titan Jonathan Aston is a perfect fit

Emeli Sande’s repeat appearances divided opinion

Olympic closing ceremony: Cynicism's comeback gig

For the last fortnight, the nation has been uncharacteristically enthusiastic and, well, nice. But the Olympic closing ceremony saw us getting back to our snarky selves...

August 1, 2012: Mauritius celebrate winning a point in their beach volleyball group game against Germany

London 2012: Sand from Olympic beach volleyball to be used to build 36 new courts within the M25

Sand from the beach volleyball stadium outside Horseguards Parade will be used to build 36 new courts within the M25 over the coming months as part of an attempts to build a lasting legacy that will propel Britain towards the next Olympics in Rio.

Man sets Weymouth flat on fire after trying to dry underpants and socks in microwave

A man had to be led from his flat after a fire started when he tried to dry his underpants and socks in the microwave.

Deconstructing Gaming: Sonic on the couch

The first in our semi-regular, and most certainly satirical, character assassinations of gaming's virtual icons.

China next for Next's online expansion

Next will launch an own-language website in China this autumn, as the fashion retailer seeks to capitalise on booming online revenues.

Hyde Park Olympic concert: Snow Patrol, Simon Le Bon and Ricky Gervais's beard strike a chord

"The night's most enduring band – with Le Bon in Union Jack jacket – enter after a brief, bracing deluge"

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada
Birthplace of Arab Spring in turmoil as angry Tunisians stage massive sit-in over lack of development

They shall not be moved: jobless protesters bring Tunisia to a halt

A former North African boom town is wasting away while its unemployed citizens stick steadfastly to their sit-in
David Hasselhoff's new show 'Hoff the Record': What's it like working with a superstar?

Hanging with the Hoff

Working with David Hasselhoff on his new TV series was an education for Ella Smith