Voices Flooded fields around the River Tone seen from Windmill Hill, Somerset. Some parts of England have suffered the wettest January since records began

Three Independent letter writers covered the issue superbly

Back from the future: What's it like to revisit your mates at university when you've got a real job?

Having graduated last year, Helen Burch finds that student life is a little different from the other side of the fence

Scilly season: The year's first daffodils can be tracked back to the pharaohs

I got a letter this week from Churchtown in the Scillies. I love this letter – it's one I get every year in November, as the Julian family gears up its daffodil farm for a winter of blooming and picking, boxing and despatching.

Gloucester centre Henry Trinder has agreed a new deal with his life-long club

Gloucester agree contract extension with centre Henry Trinder

Trinder caps his autumn off with a new deal with the Cherry and Whites after call-up to England squad

Bristol policeman critically injured after falling through mechanic roof in suspect hunt

Officer remains in a critical condition after pursuing a man who appeared to be acting suspiciously

Campaigners declare badger cull a failure after targets are missed

The Government’s badger cull is a “complete failure” and must be halted, animal rights campaigners and Labour demanded after shooting trials failed again to meet targets despite being extended.

Gloucester 27 Perpignan 22 match report: Billy Twelvetrees steps up to seal deal for Gloucester

James Hook, the forgotten man of Welsh rugby, did all that one man could do to set Perpignan on the road to European success last night. But Gloucester, desperately needing a winning injection to their season, returned to Heineken Cup rugby after a year's absence by snatching the verdict in the final five minutes.

The Somerset cull resulted in 850 badgers being killed over 40 days during

Pilot badger cull declared a ‘success’... but ministers halve targets for the number of animals to be killed

Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, will declare that the pilot badger cull has been a success, but admit that ministers have nearly halved targets for the number of animals to be killed.

EasyJet apologises after leaving 29 passengers at gate

Flight EZY6056 departed from Malaga on Saturday with group still in airport due to 'an issue at the boarding gate'

Liam Fox was last year ordered to repay £3,000 of expenses

MPs expenses: Liam Fox submits claim for 3p to cover a 100-metre car trip

Former defence secretary Liam Fox successfully claimed 3p of taxpayers’ cash for a car journey of fewer than 100 metres, expenses documents show.

Sailor Geoffrey Cole's body found in Devon cove two weeks after yacht found in France

Police say his body was found on Friday off Exmouth

Travel agenda

From Bristol to Reykjavik, skiing in Milton Keynes, and the 90th anniversary edition of the South American Handbook

Branston Pickle lorry crashes near Cheddar

It is a headline that may spread a little happiness: a lorry transporting jars of Branston Pickle has crashed - just a few miles away from Cheddar.

TV review: The Great British Year (BBC One), Unsafe Sex in the City (BBC Three)

"We are an island nation..." boomed the Churchillian voiceover, thus announcing, in case the title hadn't already given it away, that The Great British Year is yet another TV programme about how great Britain is. TV schedules are currently awash with patriotically themed shows such as the BBC panel show I Love My Country, but unlike some of its ilk, this wide-ranging nature documentary had something truly worth boasting about: our magnificent weather.

Jill Scott in action for Britiain against Brazil during last year’s Olympics

England women: Jill Scott warns against complacency

Jill Scott, the England midfielder, says her side must not underestimate the challenge of Turkey when they continue the 2015 World Cup qualifying campaign in Portsmouth tonight.

Jos Buttler in talks to join Lancashire

Jos Buttler is in discussions to join the County Championship Second Division winners Lancashire. England's limited-overs wicketkeeper-batsman is out of contract with Somerset at the end of the season.

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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 15 May 2015
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
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
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
Can Dubai's Design District 'hipster village' attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?

Hipsters of Arabia

Can Dubai’s ‘creative village’ attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?
The cult of Roger Federer: What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?

The cult of Roger Federer

What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?