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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
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Karen Dunbar performs
Entertainers showcase local wit, talent and irrepressible spirit
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Career Services

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
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game