News

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

Street Life SAMOTECHNY LANE

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

FOOD & DRINK: OUT WITH THE VLADS

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
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University Edible Garden, Leeds – a sustainable garden in the centre of the university, passers-by can help themselves to the home-grown produce
newsFrom a former custard factory to a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery
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Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
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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
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz