Life and Style

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

Racing: Swan's luck on wane as plan stalls

Yorkshire trainer Martyn Wane's bid to win three races in three days with Swan At Whalley came unstuck at Catterick yesterday when the horse refused to enter the stalls and was withdrawn from the Dragon Troop Handicap.

Swan is on song again

Mixed meetings, as the joint scouts and guides camp testifies, are invariably the best. Sandown's Whitbread and Derby trial meeting on Saturday was of typically transfixing standard and should have satisfied all spectra of the sport to burping level.

Osborne rides Lo Stregone in Grand National

Lo Stregone, the Martell Grand National favourite who Charlie Swan rejected the ride on earlier this week in favour of Life Of A Lord, will be ridden by Jamie Osborne.

For love of Prince Derek

THE SWAN PRINCESS Richard Rich (U)

THE CRITICS : This one will swim and swim

DANCE

Dance / Swan Lake Adventures in Motion Pictures - Sadler's Wells, London

Forget the cutesy cygnets quartet, forget Odette's 32 fouette turns. In Matthew Bourne's new production of Swan Lake, such cliches and stunts are either wickedly translated, as in Bourne's clod-hopping, funky- chicken lakeside foursome, or efficaciously replaced, as in the supercharged rutting dance for the men and women at the Prince's birthday party.

The things these actors get up to

...well, I mean, says Julian Clary, it's just not polite is it? The comedian describes some sticky moments in rehearsal for his straight role in Jean Genet's 'Splendid's'

An early bath but no Swan song yet

The period between Cheltenham and Aintree, before the Flat season really hits its stride, is inevitably fairly thin, but this afternoon's televised programme does at least offer a hint as to how the BBC might be persuaded to take its racing coverage more seriously. A simple decision to issue jockeys' licences only to students and graduates of Oxford and Cambridge might suddenly persuade the corporation to devote hours to the turf each weekend, no matter how tedious or predictable the resulting action.

Nakir can overturn Flagship

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL: The top two-mile chaser may be deposed by a younger rival but for the Irish it is just like the old days Greg Wood finds an option to the reigning champion

RACING Swan flies in but still sits on the fence

With the weather closing in fast on racing yesterday, the flying visit to Britain of Charlie Swan switched minds to the warming thought of impending championship races in which Ireland's outstanding rider looks sure to play a major part.

BOOK REVIEW / Paperbacks: The Wives of Bath by Susan Swan, Penguin pounds 5.99

The puzzle of gender roles is the theme of this novel, based on the strange-but-true story of a Canadian schoolgirl who cut off a cab-driver's penis after murdering him, and then 'wore' the severed organ. Swan transplants the event to an exclusive girls' boarding school, where 14-year-old Mouse Bradford and her friend Paulie play gender-bending games in the school boiler-room, which gradually degenerate into more serious sexual experimentation and a final bloody prize-taking.

Deadly game of musical chairs

THE STRANGE tale of Swan Hunter and its on-off rescue is only the latest chapter in the untidy run- down of Britain's naval shipyards. Since they were privatised in the mid-1980s, they have been playing an alarming version of musical chairs.

Tyne's last shipyard clings to hope of a future: The only company interested in buying the Swan Hunter shipbuilder, which made some of the world's best naval vessels, is expected to decide whether to proceed with a takeover today. Frank Goodwin reports

TYNESIDE has been synonymous with shipbuilding for generations. Daniel Defoe wrote in 1727: 'They build ships here to perfection. I mean as to strength and firmness to bear the sea.'

Mute cry in the wilderness: Nature is cruel to the Highland swan. Jim Crumley observes one pair's struggle for survival

THE LAST of the summer's tourism glides, chatters, giggles, screams and barks to a halt, a few cars and caravans at a time, in a small lay-by at the north end of Loch Lubnaig, the first loch in Scotland's Southern Highlands. A pair of mute swans sit on their own reflections a hundred yards offshore. The sun glitters on the dark shallows, and in that vivid early evening light the birds look preposterously pretty.

Ducks in danger

A RARE strain of botulism is killing ducks, swans and geese in Hyde Park, central London.
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links