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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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk