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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.

The butterfly only visible at 1,500ft

Michael McCarthy travels to the Lake District in the latest stage of our Great British Butterfly Hunt

After eight years and 385 reviews for the IoS, Terry Durack signs off with a restaurant built to last

The Glasshouse, 14 Station Parade, Kew, London TW9, tel: 020 8940 6777

Call of the wild: 'Springwatch' presenter Martin Hughes-Games gets up close and personal with Britain's wildlife

I'm not ashamed to say that I've always done it, and anyone who does it knows just how enjoyable it can be. Mixing a UK holiday with wildlife watching has never been an easier or more accessible option.

The swallow that flew to South Africa - and into the record books

It is 100 years since bird-ringing began. Michael McCarthy recalls the historic journey that revolutionised our understanding of winged migration

A Single Swallow, By Horatio Clare<br/>Say Goodbye to the Cuckoo, By Michael McCarthy

If migrant birds could talk, what tales they could tell - though the late Miriam Rothschild insisted they would only complain about their parasites. Cuckoos and swallows are the true heralds of summer. The swallow arrives, scything through the air, belly-dipping over the grass, often during the first truly warm days of the year. The cuckoo is more of a "wandering voice", often heard, less often seen; its appearance used to be announced on The Times letters page. Both birds excite and uplift us with their promise of easy-living summer days.

Money spinner: Martin Amis and his hip coterie of young British novelists were at the heart of the 80s fiction boom

Twenty-five years ago, Martin Amis and his fellow young British novelists hit the commercial bull's-eye &ndash; and we've been reading the results ever since

Ospreys say sorry over gouging row

Club apologise to Julian White as hooker is cleared to join England training party

Ospreys withdraw White gouging claim

The Ospreys have apologised for accusing England and Leicester prop Julian White of gouging one of their players during Saturday's Heineken Cup match.

Independent Appeal: Trading places and changing the world

This year's <i>Independent</i> Christmas Appeal is supporting VSO. Once a gap-year student's staple, now it attracts an altogether different kind of volunteer. Paul Vallely reports

Barnsley survive fightback

Barnsley 3 Burnley 2

La traviata, Theatre Royal, Glasgow <br>Klang, Queen Elizabeth Hall/Purcell Room, London

Carmen Giannattasio is ravishing as Verdi's tragic heroine Violetta in a hedonistic production

Sarah Cracknell: Living the good life

Moving to the country means that singer Sarah Cracknell can raise her children &ndash; and her chickens &ndash; in style

A real catch: The man who is bringing local fish to the capital's tables

Few Londoners know that cod, plaice, bass and even oysters can all be caught in the River Thames

A bridge too far? Trouble on paradise island

The Ile de Ré is one of France's more exclusive summer retreats &ndash; thanks in part to the toll on the bridge. But regulars are worried that the end of the charge will open the floodgates
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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
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment