Life & Style

If you are reaching for your handkerchief it might be too late to stop the spread of flu, research suggests.

PIT STOP

If you're in search of a retreat from all that overhead noise, head for the Swan Inn at Radwell (01234 781351).

DANCE : Enough swans for an ocean

Think of the most famous image of the most famous classical ballet, then double it, then triple it. Don't even try to count the tutus. When Derek Deane dreamt up English National Ballet's new Swan Lake, he could have been hallucinating in a hall of mirrors. Either that or made giddy by box-office predictions. His blown-up version of the Petipa/ Ivanov classic, which opened at the Albert Hall on Thursday, attempts to do for classical dance what Earl's Court did for opera. This is mass-market spectacle, ballet to boggle at, and, on its own terms, it works.

Football: Molby turns ugly ducklings into Swans

Phil Shaw meets the Dane whose first full season as Swansea player- manager may end in promotion at Wembley today

Murder, mayhem and a Swan called Freddie

It is a tale of murder, intrigue and dark threats. The Cornish fishing village of Polperro, population 1,585, has been split down the middle by its resident swan called Freddie.

Leading article: The swan, the ducklings and the Three Pilchards

We are beginning to crack. We cannot face writing another leading article today about the unanswered questions of this election. So let us turn to a subject of real, undisputed importance. Are you pro-swan or pro-duck?

How to lose a job and find real work

Yes, I know April Fool's Day is gone but I promise I am not having you on. One of the longest-serving ministers will leave office on 2 May and head off, not to join the fat cat chorus, but to do good works in Africa.

Raid on Fairyhouse

Local bookmakers think the British raiders are odds-on to land a fourth Irish Grand National triumph in 12 years today.

Threat to swans remains

Swans face a growing threat from discarded fishing tackle, 10 years after the introduction of a law to protect them, a conservation group has warned. Some 720 swans had to be treated for injury and poisoning through tackle left by careless anglers in just nine months of last year, according to a report by the National Convention for the Welfare of Swans and Wildlife.

Ice hockey : Early effort profits Cardiff

After a month of nailbiting fixtures, the Superleague games at the weekend saw the closest margins of defeat as Cardiff Devils beat Manchester Storm 5-2 and Nottingham Panthers overcame Newcastle Cobras 3-1, writes Steve Pinder.

DANCE : Get out your binoculars, it's bird-watching season

IF TCHAIKOVSKY were a commodity on the world markets, now would be the time to buy. Here we are, barely out of the nutcracking season, and it's Swan Lake here, Swan Lake there: at the Royal Opera House with girl swans, at the Piccadilly with boys, and next, I hear, in the round with a cast of zillions at the Albert Hall. The question is not wherefore Tchaikovsky (the music speaks for itself), but whether a slender scenario about a prince's obsession with a large white bird can sustain so many interpretations.

Letter: Swans poisoned by lead shot

Sir: As a non-angler who takes an active interest in swan conservation, I have to defend D A Beaumont (letter, 28 December). My experience is that anglers fall into two categories: those who belong to affiliated angling clubs, and those who simply fish a stretch of water from time to time.

Swan lake gives new dimension to Capability's vision

Walkers who work off the turkey and pudding at Wimpole, near Cambridge, this year will find the North Park returned to a design close to that left by "Capability" Brown more than 200 years ago.

Many Bewick swans are still in Holland, detained by a superabundance of their favourite pond weed

Will Abelhard and Pedro come home? To find out, children of all ages are anxiously awaiting Heading South, BBC2's three live programmes about the migration of Bewick swans, to be broadcast next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Guy Fawkes strikes again

Tim Stein meets a firestarter extraordinaire

Two into one will go

The writers of `Drop the Dead Donkey' are separate people. Honestly. But they can't seem to disentangle themselves. Jasper Rees met them at their Hat Trick HQ
Arts & Entertainment
Ricky Gervais at a screening of 'Muppets Most Wanted' in London last month
tvAs the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian on why he'll never bow to critics who habitually circle his work
Arts & Entertainment
Don (John Hamm) and Megan (Jessica Paré) Draper are going their separate ways in the final series of ‘Mad Men’
tvReview: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
News
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Life & Style
Going down: Google's ambition to build an elevator into space isn't likely to be fulfilled any time soon
techTechnology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
News
David Cameron sings a hymn during the enthronement service of The Most Rev Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury, at Canterbury Cathedral last year
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Life & Style
From long to Jong: Guy Pewsey outside Mo Nabbach’s M&M Hair Academy in west London before the haircut
fashionThe Independent heads to an Ealing hairdressers to try out the North Korean dictator's trademark do
Sport
Vito Mannone fails to keep out Samir Nasri's late strike
sportMan City 2 Sunderland 2: Keeper flaps at Nasri's late leveller, but Black Cat striker's two goals in 10 minutes had already done damage
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indybest10 best smartphones
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peopleRyan Gosling says yes, science says no. Take the A-list facial hair challenge
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tvCreator Vince Gilligan sheds light on alternate endings
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Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

Education: Secret of Taunton's success

Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

The former Australia coach on why England must keep to Plan A, about his shock at their collapse Down Under, why he sent players home from India and the agonies of losing his job
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal