A liver transplant patient turned up to her operation appointment at a German hospital with a bottle of vodka in her bag, a court has heard.

This Student Life: `I don't think I could live with lads again'

Summer Term, week 8 at the Manchester Student House; It's the end of term and so goodbye to quarrels over girly pin-ups, dirty plates and silent sulks. By Cayte Williams

Arts: Why Russia loves Pushkin

The politics and bureaucratic chaos surrounding the celebration of his 200th birthday on Sunday would not surprise Alexander Pushkin. No other poet's life and work has ever been so bound to his country and language. By Ben Hooson

Vodka and rows at a funeral to savour


The Trader: Merger threat is all talk and no trousers

The office pest with the hands-on approach may not be quite what he appears to be

The Weasel: A new lavatory bowl leads to an acquaintance with the outer reaches of the design world, while the gift of a bottle of vodka raises doubts

MRS WEASEL has fallen in love. Don't get alarmed. The object of her affection is inanimate. Porcelain, to be precise. After years of dithering over possible replacements for our decaying sanitary ware, she has finally plumped for a Philippe Starck lavatory bowl and, possibly, a bidet. (The mysterious nature of this item only deepens when you learn that the word means "small horse" in French.) Mrs W was seduced by the unfussy designs of the Gallic maestro. I was placated by the fact that the price of his new range is categorised as "moderate" by south London's leading supplier of lavvies to the gentry, but what won me over was the idiosyncratic nature of the Starck bathroom catalogue: "We dive in and let the water sprites revive our spirits. The odyssey is over. And still waters run deep."

Restaurants; Russian revolution

Forget roulette with some miscellaneous meat and veg. Today's Russian restaurants offer a feast for all the senses, says Nikki Spencer

Travel for mind, body and spirit: Skin Sweating in Russia

There is a bath house in Novosibirsk that will also open your pores. Here, the best bit is when the beating stops. Not just because your skin is given a respite from being flayed with Siberian birch (see the man pictured right), but because the cessation signals the race to the front door of the banya, from where you plunge into a vast pillow of fresh snow, rolling around in the drift, urgently trying to extend the rush. The ambient temperature 10 seconds ago in the sauna was about 50C; outside, the winter is frozen, stuck at -30C. How can your body cope with the sudden change? Quite easily, thanks to the sense-numbing shots of vodka provided by the burly bath attendant prior to the birch-battering. It starts with a tickle, as he brushes the leaves against your bare soles, then he moves up to your calves, thighs and back, circulating that vodka ever-faster through your veins.

It's nightmare night again...

On New Year's Eve, when you find yourself on a pub crawl in Aldershot, what the hell do you do? Cayte Williams has all the answers

Our bedroom was absolutely freezing

Jo Kearney checks into a hotel where fridges stop the drinks from becoming frozen and vodka provides the heating

Comment: Excuse me? You've never seen a vodka luge?

ONE BIRTHDAY, and three extravagant parties on consecutive nights for a thousand guests bearing who knows how many gift-wrapped bottles of designer after-shave. There are, it seems, some benefits in being Prince of Wales and reaching 50. The last thrash is tonight at Highgrove.

Life ban for flight attack man

STEVEN HANDY, the Briton charged with slashing an air stewardess with a broken vodka bottle during a flight to Spain, was handed a lifetime ban by UK airlines yesterday.

Student Life: OK, who nicked the toilet seat?

Never mind about the fetish party. The kitchen's already such a tip, it's been declared a no-go area. Week 2 at the Manchester student house

Tales from the Church of Westwood

Vivienne Westwood by Jane Mulvagh HarperCollins pounds 19.99


In a spirit of gratitude, a successful Glaswegian vodka-importer decided to take the decadent art of cocktail-making. out to Warsaw. Richard Ehrlich went along for the ride
The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into disastrous conflicts
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
peopleFox presenter gives her less than favourable view of women in politics
Life and Style
The Zinger Double Down King, which is a bun-less burger released in Korea
food + drinkKFC unveils breadless meat beast
In other news ... Jon Snow performed at last year's Newsroom's Got Talent charity event
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
India & Nepal
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?