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


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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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam