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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A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

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Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

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Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
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Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

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The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

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New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

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