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.

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.

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.

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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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
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory