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When was the last time you had a first time.....?

Despite what some might think, I took no pleasure from seeing QPR lose their first game under Mark Hughes against Newcastle

Translunar Paradise, The Pit, Barbican, London

Theatre Ad Infinitum’s Translunar Paradise is a show about death and memory. A hit at the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe, it comes to London as part of the London International Mime Festival. Director George Mann plays an elderly man coping with the death of his wife (played by Deborah Pugh). Told in mime and music, it’s a touching portrait of grief, sometimes muffled by a loss of clarity.

Christopher says: 'The children clustered around me yelling 'Toubab' - I felt special'

Go with the flow: Charting a course through The Gambia

The Gambia offers sunshine and sunloungers on its Atlantic coast, but it's easy to get off the beaten track and experience a different side of this West African state.

A certain smile: Vanessa Kirby

Vanessa Kirby: A Dickens leading lady with a dark side

Kirby had a small part in The Hour but made a big impact. Now, she's starring as the heartbreaker from Great Expectations.

Simon Carr: 'Storm in a teacup' lands whips and the Speaker in hot water

The Speaker did not appear to be surprised by Labour's ambush on the Coalition

Masts go back upon restored 'Cutty Sark'

One of Britain's most historic vessels, the Cutty Sark, had her masts raised yesterday for the first time since the ship was damaged by fire four years ago.

Education Secretary, Michael Gove

Diary: Gove's persuasive ways of bringing people into line

Whatever the outcome of today's public-sector strike, the leaders of one of the unions involved are delighted with the latest achievement by the man they are coming to regard as their main recruiter, namely the Education Secretary, Michael Gove. On Monday, Mr Gove denounced "hardliners itching for a fight" who are behind the action, inspiring Scottish newspapers to republish the photograph of a young Gove on a journalists' picket line outside the office of the Aberdeen Press and Journal in 1989. On that same day, 300 university staff who were not already members applied to join the University and College Union. Previously, the union had never recruited more than 143 new members on any one day.

John Key’s embarrassing remarks in a café were recorded

Storm in a teapot transforms New Zealand's sleepy election season

It was a lacklustre election campaign whose result seemed a foregone conclusion: victory for the New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, at the polls this Saturday. Then a freelance cameraman left a tape recorder running on a café table where Mr Key was meeting an ally, unleashing "Cuppagate" – a row about politics, privacy and media ethics.

Minor British Institutions: Biscuit dunking

Dunking biscuits is one of the chief pleasures many Britons afford themselves, which tells you much about the country. Even so, the practice is disapproved of by other Britons, mostly members of the middle classes who follow what they believe, usually erroneously, to be the views of the upper classes.

The Weekend's Viewing: Downton Abbey, Sun, ITV1
Prohibition, Fri, PBS
The Blues, Sat, PBS
Special When Lit, Sat, PBS

"Will someone please tell me what's going on... or have we all stepped through the looking glass?" said the Dowager Countess in Downton Abbey.

Luke Blackall: Tea with the world's greatest soprano

Man About Town: Like Maria Callas, Gheorghiu has become as well-known for herself as for her roles

Rexam sees demand fizz

Rexam, Europe's largest drinks can maker, yesterday beat forecasts with a 19 per cent rise in first-half profit, helped by demand for energy and ice tea drinks and a growing trend among cash-strapped shoppers to consume at home.

Sarah Churchwell: The wilful ignorance that has dragged the US to the brink

The Tea Party version of the American Revolution is not just fundamentalist. It is also Disneyfied, sentimentalised, and whitewashed
Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths surrounding the enigmatic singer
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn