Arts and Entertainment

Stand up if you're in a mid-life crisis

Music: Nigel, we hardly knew you

Stabat Mater Spoleto Festival, Italy War and Peace Spoleto Festival, Italy The Kennedy Experience Royal Festival Hall, London

Obituary: Mario Soldati

IN HIS later years Mario Soldati, the Italian novelist and film director, suffered from a language disorder called nominal aphasia. For a writer, this is the cruellest affliction. Periods of lucidity were sabotaged when Soldati was unable to remember the right word. This linguistic incompetence could bring him to tears. Soldati swiped at objects with his walking stick (tea cups, plates: anything that broke easily) until his secretary, the long-suffering Gina, intervened. "Calm down, Mario!"

Is It Worth It: Scented smalls

A week's wages on underwear? Well, if you want them to be permanently perfumed, it's going to cost you

Real Living: In love with my curves

Poor self-image and countless diets punctuated Annalisa Barbieri's teens. Only now, as a woman, has she learnt to appreciate her natural shape. Better late than never, she says

People in fashion: Pigs and mules

She lives on a farm and takes a dim view of fashion. Annie, Real Life's sartorial agony aunt, talks to Annalisa Barbieri, the woman who knows her best


Ray 'The Cat' Jones, who has spent more than 30 years in prison, now wants recognition for the Sixties theft of Sophia Loren's jewels. Will Cohu hears his story

Fashion: Alexandre the Great: what a hair-stylist

The century's most glamorous names have had their hair cut by him, among them the Duchess of Windsor. Alexandre is now celebrating 60 years in the industry.

Travel: A short stay in... Cardiff

European leaders meeting in Cardiff this week may be surprised to find themselves in a green and pleasant capital of culture and song. Whether looking at Impressionist paintings or visiting the Welsh National Opera, they will have no excuse for being bored. By Nerys Lloyd-Pierce

Sinatra's final curtain draws a full house

THE BLACK stretch limos, along with the odd Rolls, were double- parked nose to tail along North Bedford Drive.

Picasso case man jailed for 3 years

FORMER cat burglar Peter Scott was yesterday jailed for three and a half years for his part in a plot to sell a stolen pounds 750,000 Picasso painting.

Cat burglar admits role in stolen Picasso plot

A CELEBRATED cat burglar who claimed to have renounced his life of crime yesterday admitted his role in a plot to sell a stolen pounds 650,000 Picasso.

Police sting ends the tale of the cat burglar and a stolen Picasso

A FORMER professional cat burglar, whose victims were said to have included Sophia Loren and Elizabeth Taylor, came out of retirement to steal a valuable Picasso only to be arrested after a police sting, a court heard yesterday.

The hidden meaning behind your mascara

Do you see yourself as a natural, classic or dramatic beauty? Glenda Cooper explains what the results of a special survey say about how women choose their make-up

Chaplin family refuse to be made Charlies over the euro

What does Charlie Chaplin make you think of? Comic calamities, an unsteady gait, a bumbling persona - perhaps the qualities of an ideal candidate to promote the European currency. But, as Clare Garner heard, his family have reservations.

Say hello, and wave goodbye

They have been huge for five years; by now there can't be a single man alive in this country who hasn't been clobbered by a pair of breasts swathed in a Wonderbra, or sister-of-Wonderbra. Fifties sirens (Gina Lollobrigida, Sophia Loren, etc) made missile tits under twinsets an exciting look, but today's updated version has been flogged ever so slightly to death. Time to ditch this pesky lifestyle item. Why?
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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
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected