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.

Daylesford Organic fined over worker crushed under tractor

Multi-millionaire owners of 'Harvey Nicks of Cotswolds' told to pay £90,000 after health and safety failures

More storms ahead to batter Britain

More stormy weather will batter Britain later this week, forecasters predict. By Thursday more downpours are expected to add to already high river levels, particularly in Wales, the south west, north west and west Midlands.

Album: Seasick Steve, Man from Another Time (Atlantic)

Everyone's favourite pro hobo returns and, while this album may not be as charmingly titled as last year's I Started Out With Nothing and I Still Got Most of It Left, there's still plenty of voodoo blues to be squeezed out of those one-stringed geetars.

Album: Seasick Steve, Man from Another Time (Atlantic)

Recorded live on old-style analogue equipment, Man from Another Time is typically enjoyable, though not quite as potent as the quarter-million-selling I Started Out with Nothing and I've Still Got Most of It Left – despite Steve's lo-fi ringing of the changes, with his trusty "three-string trance wonder" guitar set aside occasionally in favour of slide licks played on a homemade cigar-box guitar ("Happy"), and more primitive still, the single-string device whose construction is explained and demonstrated in "Diddley Bo".

Observations: Rochdale is a new rock hot-spot

It is an unlikely place for music pilgrimage, but Kenion Street in Rochdale is about to be placed firmly on the rock map with its own blue plaque. The site deserving of such an accolade is the former home of Cargo Studios, an establishment key to the North-west's musical development.

Last Night's Television: Farmer Wants A Wife, Five

"Derek can only fancy one of us," said Sarah about half way through Farmer Wants a Wife, a dating show with muddy wellies. Sarah was one of the two finalists who'd been invited to get to know Derek a little better by spending a week on the farm with him – and Sarah was absolutely wrong. She may know a lot about dogs and horses, but she doesn't know a lot about human husbandry if she doesn't understand that Derek was already beginning to wonder why he had to pick between quiet, sensible Sarah and bubbly, effervescent Karla, who had chastely described herself on her application as "master chef in the kitchen, maid in the house and complete whore in the bedroom". "Can't we live somewhere where I can have two wives," he murmured when it came time to choose, and I don't think he was entirely joking. If we're to be blunt about this – and what the hell, we're in our own homes here – then Karla had the edge as far as looks went, but she also had the effervescence, a strenuously raucous cheerfulness that you could easily imagine might begin to grate on long winter nights.

Organised crime targets tractors

Organised crime bosses are turning to tractors and building equipment to launder cash, industry experts claim.

The Sketch: Matador Cameron scores another hit on wounded bull

To continue the animal imagery, we now have the old bull alone in the middle of the arena. He paws at the sawdust and bleeds. His head sways to and fro, left and right, but he can still lift it, he can still make short charges to scatter his tormentors. Bloodied certainly, bowed even, but still dangerous. Meanwhile, Cameron has moved from one kind of bull fighter to another, from banderillero to matador. He used to run alongside and plunge his darts into the great neck. Now they confront each other more directly, eye to eye. The crowd is quiet.

Devoted parents whose grief drove them to Beachy Head

Neil and Kazumi Puttick did everything possible to make the life of their paralysed son bearable. But his sudden death from meningitis was too much to bear

I can handle the rough stuff, insists Tractor boy Wickham

The Ipswich teenager Connor Wickham is relishing the chance to become the club's youngest player if he makes an appearance from the bench at home against Doncaster Rovers today.

Thousands flee Fargo ahead of floodwaters

Bone-chilling temperatures were slowing the rise of the record-high Red River today, while weary volunteers were left with little to do but watch, wait, and wonder if all their hard work had been enough to save the US city of Fargo from major flooding.

The Crossroads, By Niccolo Ammanititrans Jonathan Hunt

Niccolo Ammaniti has cranked up the volume for his blistering new novel. "'Wake up, wake up for fuck's sake!'" yells Cristiano Zena's father, Rino, before instructing his son to take his gun and go and shoot a neighbour's barking dog. By now the reader is pretty wide awake, and unlikely to doze off. We are back in Ammaniti's favourite territory, the forgotten, dusty suburbs of forgotten, dusty Italian towns, with a gallery of low-lifes that would put the wind up Jeremy Kyle.

Barclays take their ball away

It's not sulking, but it was their game and the people of Sark refused to play nicely

Katy Holland: Holidays with the grandkids

Are We There Yet? This week I got a ticking off from a disgruntled grandma from Sussex
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Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
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A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
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Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
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Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
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Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
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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
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention