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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
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific