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three days with Swan At Whalley came unstuck at Catterick yesterday when the horse refused to enter the stalls and was withdrawn from the Dragon Troop Handicap.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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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
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

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Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
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Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

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Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

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Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

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The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

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She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

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