Arts and Entertainment

Fires Of Love, "Remember Me My Deir" (Delphian)

hey kids, birmingham's really cool

Camden street style and Swinging Liverpool are enticing trendy young tourists to Britain. Even Birmingham is being flogged as hip, reports Genevieve Fox

Big Ron suffers big problems

DAVE HADFIELD

Sixteen nuns and an umbrella

"I was in Rome last week," I said, as I took my foaming pint from the landlord and paused in order to get people's attention before launching into my travel tale.

Six of the worst tacky souvenirs for Grand Tourists figures.

1. Amsterdam: Now, a miniature Delftware clog. Then, Grand Tourists in the 18th century would have tried the real thing, uncomfortable though wooden clogs can be.

Uncomfortable questions must be faced

I felt pain on hearing the figures at 5.20 yesterday. I saw the hopes of defeating Mr Blair diminish. The past fortnight has been fun but it has changed little. I suppose we ventilated some of our worries but the parliamentary Tory party is not much good at thinking. Its strengths are emotional. The forces of complacency were nourished. The Tory party can go back to its sleepwalking, untroubled by the swamp ahead of it.

Tunnel vision

Tunnel vision

Plastic protection for shoddy souvenirs

If you are in the habit of nipping over to Hong Kong for a camera or a music centre then the proposed changes to credit card law announced this week will have you dancing in the street.

The comfort of cake

THE NORMAL MAN Susie Boyt Weidenfeld £9.99 HEMINGWAY'S CHAIR Michael Palin Methuen £14.99

where shall we meet? Blanco's, W8

The Earls' Court Road is one of the few places in London which really fulfils its claim to be an international city. It could be just about anywhere - well, anywhere that's alive and busy and depends more on testosterone than oestrogen for its culture. Blanco's, at the Brompton Road end, is a little corker of a tapas bar with that genuine Spanish feel: red-and-black squared vinyl floor, black varnished tables, Iberian TV on satellite, Deportivo souvenirs, live music at weekends and a number of men with moustaches propping up the bar. Really delicious tapas, in industrial quantities, costs from £2-£4.50 a portion. A lovely place to while away some time while ignoring the rain outside.

Allders in £15m bid for McLeod

Allders, the department store and duty free retailer, has launched a £15m bid for MS McLeod Holdings, an Australian duty free group.

DIARY: Damn, damn, damn.

Damn, damn, damn. There I was, all set with Thermos and sandwich box to hang around the public gallery of the High Court on Monday, quivering with delight as the Princess of Wales was probed about the invasion of her privacy by Peeping Toms. Now the bloody woman has gone and settled out of court. It's not fair. We loyal fans, in whose drab lives the Princess's leotardal calisthenics at west London's LA Fitness Club were a definite high point, cannot be fobbed off with legal niceties. We need mor e.

A souvenir stall to remember : Comedy: THE CRITICS

BILLY BUNTER'S obscene proletarian uncle, Roy "Chubby" Brown was born, and christened Royston Vasey, in war- time Grangetown - a satellite port of Middlesbrough. Once, in the dark and distant 1970s, Chubby appeared on Opportunity Knocks. How different things might have been had he not lost to a spoons player. He could now be presenting a daytime quiz on ITV instead of shift- ing scabrous videos by the hundred thousand.

McStay leads Celtic buyers

Paul McStay, the captain, and his Celtic team-mates have stated their readiness to do their share in the club's rebuilding programme by buying a stake in the club.

Souvenir of £90m jackpots

A poster to be auctioned by Phillips next month has revealed that today's lottery jackpots are small change compared with the prizes that were on offer in 1787.

The ever-changing face of football in the Nineties

Stuart Clarke's photographs chronicle a decade of upheaval in the natio nal game. Christian Dymond reports
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
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Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
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What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

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A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
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Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
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Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
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A Bible for billionaires

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Paranoid parenting is on the rise

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Magna Carta Island goes on sale

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The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

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We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
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The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn