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As the leaves fall I realise I'm just a man for one season

That's how I feel today ladies and gentlemen - a bit frisky and daring because it's Autumn!

What price perfection, and what size?

A new book traces the breast's changing shape from `little balls of ivory' beloved in the Renaissance to the late 20th century's pneumatic grapefruits

HOW WE MET; MAYA ANGELOU AND MAVIS NICHOLSON

Maya Angelou (far right) is one of the world's most eminent writers and poets, who has also won international acclaim as an actress, filmmaker, ambassador and civil-rights activist. Born in 1928 in St Louis, Missouri, she was raised in Arkansas by her grandmother. Since then her books have sold millions of copies worldwide, and she was specially commissioned to write and perform a poem at President Clinton's inauguration. She lives in Carolina, and has a son and a grandson. Born in south Wales, Mavis Nicholson is a successful writer and broadcaster, whose journalistic career has spanned TV presenting, autobiography, interviewing (currently for the `Mail On Sunday'), and agony columns. She lives in Wales with her husband; they have three sons and three grandchildren

For Delia it was guavas. For Mr Skillet it would be the walnut woman

Today we attempt to conclude our new romantic cookery thriller, `Delia's Just Desserts'. The story so far is that Toby Skillet has volunteered to rescue the ailing rum butter industry by going to Delia Smith and imploring her to turn rum butter into a fashionable ingredient. He sets off on a mission made all the harder by the fact that he does not know her address. Now read on!

Letter: Badger menace

Sir: Dr Willie Stanton is not the only person concerned about damage by badgers to gardens (Letters, 13 December). Gardeners from this allotment society are now being compelled to give up their plots when badgers move in.

Three to view/ in the pink

Reed Cottage in Staple, Kent, dates from the 17th century. The four-bedroom, two-reception room house has an inglenook fireplace, exposed beams and leaded light windows. Outside, there are two studios, workshop and garaging. The gardens include walnut, medlar, plum and cherrry trees. Around pounds 210,000 (Calcutt MacLean, 01233 812060).

Trees: An acorn bunged in a pot and a 20-year obsession

It doesn't take a tree expert to plant a tree. Average people across the UK are planting acorns and conkers in pots and parklandss to do their bit to save the nation's forests. Caroline Allen reports.

You don't have to smoke it - you can eat it

Leading chef and IoS restaurant critic Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall with an alternative to the traditional method of consumption

Strike a light! Cigars - and humidors - are back in fashion

Collect to invest: John Windsor on the enduring enticements of Cuba

Multitudes of people!Walking up the hills!

THESE DEMENTED LANDS by Alan Warner Cape pounds 15.99

Fun, self-indulgence and the odd parsnip or two

We launch the New Year with a three-week guide to better eating. We're not suggesting self-denial and hair shirts. The opposite, in fact. Anna Thomas, whose books 'The Vegetarian Epicure', and its sequel, sold two million copies to make her the best-selling vegetarian author of all time, is not herself vegetarian. She just likes the taste of good, fresh food that also happens to be healthy.

Christmas is tacky? Blame Wagner

At this Christmas time, when greater understanding is still needed among those of different faiths, I bring you a series of Christmas tales from different religions all round the world. Today's Christmas story comes from the old Norse religion, and is called:

PRESERVING TRADITION

Orchards and gardens are yielding their ripe and fragrant harvests. One of the best ways to preserve this precious sweetness for the colder months ahead is as brightly-coloured jams and jellies, the perfect way to keep a little of the summer in a jar

The birthday bash that never got to market; City Diary

As the Stock Exchange prepares for a mega birthday bash for AIM, the successor to the USM launched a year ago, others have been forced to abandon similar plans. Brian Winterflood's Winterflood Securities, by far the biggest market-maker in AIM, considered hosting a first birthday party but balked at the sheer number of people it would involve.

WELSH WIZARDRY

For his monthly series on Britain's new regional food, Michael Bateman goes to Wales where Franco Taruschio translates classic Welsh ingredients into Italian poetry
Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
tech

Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download

Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff
tv

Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Arts and Entertainment
tv

Life and Style
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Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Panama
Languedoc Roussillon
Marrakesh & the Atlas Mountains
Bruges
The Jura Mountains
Dubrovnik & the Dalmatian Coast
Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week