Voices

It’s day nine of my 10-day Italian detox, and I have to admit to feeling seriously blissed out. I’m so relaxed that it actually makes me uncomfortable, it being such a rare thing in my existence. I spoke to my wife and kids on Skype, and watched them bickering away back in my normal existence. I told them to calm down and not talk to each other in that manner. Something in my new spiritual persona jarred with them and they all stopped arguing with each other and stared at the screen.

Shameful end of Serb dream

HISTORY MAY one day record that Serbian Kosovo ended yesterday. Not in glory but in humiliation and - with the finding of yet more slaughtered Albanians - in disgrace. Yet once more I watched its soldiers depart like a victorious army, waving their three-fingered Serbian victory signs, flaunting the Serbian flag before the Albanians they had persecuted and shouting from the back of their trucks, over and over again: "We shall return."

Style police: A shot in the dark

It's no use spending a fortune looking a la mode and then spoiling it all with a dodgy pair of shades, warns JAMES SHERWOOD

Arts: Prophet of the absurd

A pig who goes to the moon. A soldier who tells the future through his buttocks. Victor Pelevin's satirical novels of post-Soviet Russia are bestsellers - and have made him the reluctant heir apparent to Gogol.

Tried & Tested: Sight for sore eyes

Swimming goggles can be more trouble than they're worth: misting up, leaking, rimming your eyes with welts. Always try before you buy because every face is a different shape, and remember to adjust the straps. We tested a range of styles, from Speedo's best-selling basic silicon model through to an all-in-one mask, aimed at elite swimmers but apparently admired by the fetishist fraternity. Special features included foam padding (TYR Femme T-72) and sheer trendiness (Maru Hydro Anti-Fog). Our panel of regular swimmers included short-sighted Nick Allen and his mother Joy (70, swims 40 lengths a day), John and Viv Kendall and their nine-year-old son Harry, Alex Drummond, Lynda Simmons, Katharine Anderson and Penny Karsch. The clear winner was Zoggs Sonic Clear Vision goggles

Shopping: Six Of The Best - Glasses Cases

Flip-top "Authentics" case, pounds 7.95, Optimum, (01332 365 808)

Fashion: Shopping With... Jess Canty

Cult jewellery shop Jess James has supplied London's style cognoscenti for 10 years; its "Prayer Ring" is quickly becoming a modern classic. But Jess Canty, its owner, declares, "Shops scare me. I hate shopping. I get no pleasure from it." Canty does relent sometimes. "I do shop for practical things," he admits.

Eyecare accepts pounds 13.3m offer

Eyecare accepts pounds 13.3m offer

Focus: 'An hour after arriving, everyone knew I was here'

Western witnesses to the reality of life in Chechnya are few. A Dutch film-maker who has just returned from Grozny tells David Winner what it's like

Chocie gems from the treasury of the wisdom of Albania

The first Christmas card always comes from someone you weren't going to send a card to

Websites: Beetlemania is back

Icepick

Corpse rides off into sunset

A DEVOTED son took his father on a last motorcycle ride through Copenhagen, bought him a drink and a cigar, and at the end of the three- hour spin delivered him to a police station in Frederikssund. Untouched by this exuberant display of filial love, the law charged Flemming Petersen with illicit handling of a corpse.

Need to Know: The evidence - Ozwald Boateng's desk

Savile Row tailor Ozwald Boateng has dressed Spike Lee, Lawrence Fishburne, Mick Jagger and Eternal, among others

The Starr Report: 2: The Gifts they exchanged

MONICA LEWINSKY and the President exchanged numerous gifts. By her estimate, she gave him about 30 items, and he gave her about 18.

The new high priest of fashion

Confess - you're praying for a fashion bible to show you the way. Search no more. With the Vatican's new range of designer chic, you need never be a sacrificial victim on the altar of style.

Monica tells of farewell gifts from Clinton

JUST WEEKS before his relationship with Monica Lewinsky erupted into the headlines, President Bill Clinton gave the former White House intern a series of gifts at a farewell meeting in the Oval Office, her testimony reveals.
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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
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?