Arts and Entertainment

Given our national obsession with property prices, Tim Walker’s novel is bound to hit a nerve. His fictional couple, the Manvilles, bought their large north London home at a knock-down price in the 1990s, and it became the key to two aspects of their family life. Jerry, a successful advertising executive, undertook all the original plumbing, electrical and redecoration work; Pen devised a series of popular children’s books, The House on the Hill, whose “cheeky brat with the ridiculous schemes” is modelled on, and named after, her real-life son Conrad: 15 years on, they have done a loft conversion, and divorced.

Nick Clegg and David Cameron at yesterday's Coalition relaunch at CNH Tractors in Basildon

We never promised you a Rose Garden

Their political marriage was unveiled in the grounds of No 10. The second anniversary was celebrated – if that's the right word – in an Essex factory

Red Tractor: Guarantees food is British and legal,
but little else

The 'good food' stamp barely worth the label it's printed on

Red Tractor logo no guarantee of animal standards, report claims

Workers bulldoze the compound where Osama bin Laden was killed

Bin Laden's last refuge is razed in the dead of night

Pakistan brings in the bulldozers to destroy any chance of the spot where the al-Qa'ida leader died becoming a shrine

Ride-on lawnmower pioneer dies in Florida

The man who turned mowing the grass into a multimillion-dollar enterprise has died at the age of 87.

Downton die-hards: Do you know your Countess of Grantham from your Lady Mary Crawley?

The great Downton Abbey quiz

As millions tune in tonight to the last episode of the current series – don’t worry, they’re back next year! – The IoS invites you to form teams and get your fingers on the buzzer for our mammoth quiz.

A Slice of Sandwich: Langer can still laugh about how a journalist cost him the Open

Bernhard Langer was given a lifetime achievement award at the Association of Golf Writers annual dinner here last night. The German then had to listen to a speech by the member of the AGW who is the reason why Langer does not have an Open title to his name. Typically, Langer had the good grace to laugh when reminded about it.

In search of the thing that goes hum in the night

The people of Woodland, Co Durham, are being tormented by a strange nocturnal noise. Jonathan Brown puts his ear to the ground

Gypsies braced for 'war' as bulldozers move in

Britain's gypsies and travellers are bracing themselves for "a state of war" as council chiefs, encouraged by the Coalition government, move to bulldoze the homes of hundreds of people who live on the largest traveller site in the country.

Business Diary: Why investors love a good scrap

War, what is it good for? Making loads of money, according to a study from the Bocconi School of Management in Milan. It has looked at more than 100 conflicts going back 40 years and discovered that, on average, world stock markets tend to perform better when it's all kicking off.

Johnson opts for Tindall as captain to fire up England

The one topic of discussion at the England team base yesterday that had nothing to do with the remodelled red-rose line-out or Dylan Hartley's status as Number One Leper ahead of tomorrow night's Six Nations opener with Wales was the captaincy, awarded to the Gloucester centre Mike Tindall ahead of the Harlequins No 8 Nick Easter. Both men know what it is to play in a World Cup final; both are big personalities in the dressing room as well as on the pitch. In the end, though, it was not a tight call.

Hallogallo 2010, Barbican, London

Motorik still euphoric in a Neu! setting

Last remains of Jarvis to go under the hammer

The last remnants of the rail business of failed engineer Jarvis will be on the block at the InnoTrans exhibition in Berlin later this month. Valuations consultancy Edward Symmons is selling the last plant and equipment and expects to raise £5m to £10m.

Vintage tractor runs over pensioner

A pensioner on a mobility scooter has been run over by a vintage tractor at a country show in Dorchester, police said.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

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After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

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From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
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Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
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Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

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