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

WHO DONE IT?

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?
Career Services

Day In a Page

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
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
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