Travel: The island that time forgot

At the southernmost tip of Europe, Ariadne Birnberg uncovers a mayor, three goats and the nymph-witch Calypso


The Large Blue butterfly larva mimics the behaviour of the red ant to survive, but human intervention has also played a part. Sanjida O'Connell reports

Theatre The Invisible Woman The Phoenician Women The Gate / RSC The Pit, London

On the London stage now are two deeply divergent approaches to classic texts. At the Gate: a Roman comedy in a free, updated adaptation which arranges a calculatedly queasy clash between values then and now. At the Pit: a Greek tragedy in a production of such purist rigour and cultural empathy that you are handed a sprig of thyme rather than a programme on the way in. Programmes, as potential distractions, are banned until the end.

Theatre; THE PARK RSC, The Pit, London

In a crowded German all-night cafe, a man and a woman are engaged in what appears to be a very hesitant private rehearsal of A Midsummer Night's Dream. "I know a bank..." the woman begins encouragingly, staring deep into her partner's eyes. Given the contemporary urban setting, you feel she could be referring to a bottlebank as the one "where the wild thyme blows" and the exchange proceeds as though she were giving therapy to an actor, hired to play Oberon, who has suffered traumatic memory-loss.

Livestock of Goring beware


FOOD & DRINK / The Good Fish Guide: A Shore Success: 4: At the Restaurant: In his quayside kitchen in Cornwall, Rick Stein makes some of Britain's finest fish dishes. In the final part of our series Michael Bateman watches him at work; and overleaf we present his favourite fruits de mer recipes

UPSTAIRS in the cool, light restaurant there's a low mumble of gentle conversation. But downstairs, in the roasting-hot kitchen, the noise is deafening: iron pans against iron stoves, clinking cutlery, tinkling glasses, clattering plates, metal boot studs clashing on floor tiles.

Food & Drink: The premier catch of the day: Steve Hatt, a fourth-generation fishmonger, is one a vanishing breed. In pursuit of freshness, says Michael Bateman, he can give lessons to any early bird. This week, Rick Stein's recipes celebrate the simplicity and style of fresh shellfish

THE FISHMONGER is an endangered species. Indeed, people who shop at a fishmonger's are also a diminishing tribe. What sort of person, after all, thinks nothing of driving 30 miles to buy fish for a dinner party?

Ten Top Herbs for the Kitchen

INCOOKING, dry herbs are a poor substitute for fresh. Many herbs lend themselves to window-box culture, and most thrive in patios close to the kitchen door. Here are 10 of the most useful in the kitchen, with Dr Stuart's observations.

Science: Lessons in good louse-keeping - It is not only tigers and whales that need saving from extinction; tiny insects are also important, says Stella Wiseman

The New Zealand lesser short-tailed bat died out in the Sixties, and the Caerulean Paradise flycatcher met the same fate in 1978. Rhinos, giant pandas, tigers and gorillas are well-known names on the endangered species list. Among the many other threatened species is a small, chubby creature with claw-like legs and striped antennae. It's an unprepossessing animal and tends to be ignored, but it could die out. It's a gorilla louse.

GARDENING / The beds that we most desire: Gardeners try to create their own visions of nature perfected, but find that plants have other ideas. These schemes show you how to turn dismal grass into a flowery meadow, transform a stony patch without back-breaking work, or luxuriate among heady scents

WHY do we garden? Fortunately, this is a question that psychologists have never tackled. Their findings might put us off for life. Central to the activity is the fact that when you garden you abandon a timetable constructed around dental appointments and car servicing, to be subsumed into an immense scheme entirely outside your control. This calendar governs the growth of plants, their living, seeding and dying. In order to garden successfully, we have to respect and become part of that cycle.

FOOD & DRINK / A-Z of treats

X could be for Xmas cake, but that's too easy, so X is for Xkunvat (pronounced 'shkunvat'). It is a truly festive treat from Malta, pastry ribbons that are served on birthdays. A special flavour is provided by using Maltese honey, which has a distinct tang from the wild thyme on which the bees feed. I'm indebted to Michael Raffael, who tracked down this X- rated entry in a collection of Maltese recipes by Anne and Helen Caruana Galizia.

FOOD & DRINK / In a bull market: The mighty Aberdeen Angus is making a comeback, challenging the Continental meat machines. Michael Bateman reports from Perth

THE PRIDE of Scotland is restored. There will be dancing in the streets of Aberdeen as the Scots put a shaming decline behind them.

TRAVEL / In the trenches of thyme: Herbs conceal the smell of death on the killing ground of Gallipoli, Ross Davies found

THE FIRST surprise, perhaps, was going to Gallipoli at all. Other Great War battlefields are closer, and I don't even have any family who fought there. But then a chance came to see the place in the company of the historian Martin Middlebrook, author of the magisterial The First Day on the Somme.

Dunes decline as grazing dispute drags on: Nicholas Schoon looks at the threat to rare and beautiful plants on a north Devon coastal reserve

BRAUNTON BURROWS, the extensive sand dunes that make up one of Britain's finest coastal nature reserves, are in danger of being irretrievably damaged by neglect.

FOOD & DRINK / Women rule the roast: Albert Roux (and Lenny Henry), look to your laurels - the presiding genius of today's restaurant is increasingly likely to be female. Emily Green talks to seven women chefs

A SLENDER young woman called Frances Lang waited in reception with a box of colour Xeroxes. She was nervous, but came straight to the point. She was a photography student at Newport School of Art and Design in Gwent who had intermittently supported herself by waitressing. Would I look at her work?
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