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As drug fiends usually know, peyote is a Mexican cactus with hallucinogenic properties; the visions it conjures are so strong that a religious cult once sprang up to worship it. And a pretty hefty restaurant cult has appeared in the UK that worships simple Mexican cuisine.

Scottish Ballet Double Bill, Playhouse, Edinburgh<br/>Sriyah, King's Theatre, Edinburgh

Jorma Elo's new dance for Scottish Ballet is a polyglot piece of childlike experiment and joy

Scottish Ballet, Edinburgh Playhouse

Scottish Ballet's appearances at the Edinburgh International Festival are big occasions: they are both at home and on an international stage. This year, they unveiled a world premiere and their first performances of one of Kenneth MacMillan's best-loved works. The dancers rose triumphantly to these challenges.

Hot-air balloon crashes into houses

A father and his stepson were lucky to escape after their hot-air balloon smashed into houses in Bristol.

Senior on market after Leeds exit

Keith Senior's long career at Leeds is over, but he is likely to carry on elsewhere in Super League.

Andy Martin: Tweeting that started with the cavemen

Language is not just about tracking, it is about leaving tracks and traces

Dry spell 'sees birds short of mud'

Wildlife charity the RSPB is urging the public to provide fresh dollops of mud in their gardens to help birds struggling to build nests in the dry spell.

'To throw it away now would break our hearts'

DJ Campbell and Blackpool made a flying start but are now struggling to remain in the top flight. The striker tells Tim Rich why staying there means so much

Ile de Ré: The perfect punctuation mark!

Ile de Ré may be a small island but it&rsquo;s big on beauty, history and surprises, says Simon Calder

Bird Cloud, By Annie Proulx

The retreat to the wilderness is an established literary genre which many writers have either tried themselves or paid homage to, from Thoreau taking himself off to the woods of Walden Pond to WB Yeats with his imagined move to the lake isle of Innisfree. We have come to expect some sort of narrative or character-arc from such an experience; some sort of move towards a realisation of personality or circumstance. Such indeed we find in Annie Proulx's Bird Cloud, although it is perhaps not one we were expecting. She comes to the eventual conclusion that she has built her home in the wilderness in the wrong place.

Letter: Universities left to fly blind

We write as 681 deeply concerned academics working in both Oxford and Cambridge. Both universities have in the last weeks held meetings of their respective senates (Congregation in Oxford and the Regents of the Senate in Cambridge) to discuss aspects of the changes currently under way in the funding of higher education in England.

Stay the night: Chalet Shemshak, Courchevel

It's not cheap, but gourmet food, a pool, and your own driver all soften the blow, says Minty Clinch

Bill's Produce Store, 28 St Martin's Courtyard, London

Ah, what could be more comforting on a January day than eating in a cosy farm shop? The higgledy-piggledy piles of produce, the chalked-up daily specials, the benches nailed together out of old planks, the locally-sourced ingredients. All of these attractions are abundantly on offer in the latest branch of Bill's Produce Store. Apart from the last. Because – weirdly, for a business which is all about localness and authenticity – this rustic idyll is situated in a new-build development in London's Covent Garden, around the corner from The Ivy.

Swallows and Amazons, Bristol Old Vic, Bristol <br/> My Dad's a Birdman, Young Vic, London

A 1920s children's classic gets a makeover in a production of glorious inventiveness

Martin defends title after nightmare 17th

Pablo Martin of Spain became the first golfer in two years to retain a European Tour title when he won the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Country Club by two strokes yesterday.

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Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
Dubrovnik
Vietnam
Bruges
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas