News Jack Hammersley and Jorge Gill recreated wakeboarding, similar to that pictured, in a carpark in Guildford

Jack Hammersley and Jorge Gill were criticised for using a pulley system to wakeboard in an underground carpark

Water baby: Laura and her daughter

On The Road: A dip in the sea in the south of France

Our first family holiday was anything but a holiday, I realised, at 4am in a turquoise-walled suite in the South of France, where the peace was broken at regular intervals by a wailing baby. Correction: my wailing baby. While we were trying to introduce her to a new routine, it seemed that she was breaking us into a completely new way of being, a holiday where we couldn't relax, even when she was sleeping.

Asking prices slashed to tempt home buyers from Olympics

Sellers putting their homes on the market slashed asking prices in August in a bid to tempt would-be buyers away from the Olympics, according to the property webside Rightmove.

Helen Glover and Heather Stanning of Great Britain celebrate in their boat after winning gold in the Women's Pair Final

Fast-tracked to Olympian: Helen Glover on her rise to Olympic gold

Their superiority was evident in moments, measured by clear water to their pursuers within the first 500 metres. But that margin, in turn, traced back four years to one of barely half an inch.

Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins are favourites for gold

The Brits: How we've fared so far

ROWING

A view from outside the Olympic Stadium

Danny Boyle hails 15,000 Olympics opening ceremony volunteers

Danny Boyle dedicated his £27 million Olympics opening extravaganza to the 15,000 volunteers who will help bring it to life tonight as organisers said they expected a sell-out crowd.

Brandt Snedeker acknowledges the crowd at Royal Lytham

Snedeker: They've never heard of me in America either!

Laidback leader hails from Elvis country – but will he get caught in a trap over the weekend?

Video: Surfing goats ride waves in Southern California

Two goats named Goatee and Pismo are wowing California beachgoers with their surfing skills.

Heather Stanning (left) and Helen Glover strike gold yesterday

Rowing: Third straight gold for British pair

Helen Glover and Heather Stanning are on course to make history for Great Britain at the Olympics after winning a third consecutive Rowing World Cup gold medal in Munich yesterday.

Malek Mohammed prepares for a training swim in Kabul

Poverty or bad luck no barriers to hope for young Afghan swimmer

Malek Mohammed was gathering firewood when he stepped on a buried remnant of Afghanistan's turbulent past. The landmine severed his right leg and flung him into the air.

Windsurfers promise to fight 2016 kiteboarding replacement decision

A fight to overturn a decision to kick windsurfing out of the Olympic Games in 2016 has been promised by the windsurfers themselves as kiteboarding has been given the two medal events.

Land's Edge: a coastal memoir, By Tim Winton

A novelist captures all the glamour, and terror, of the sea

Peterson on a poster for the documentary 'Searching for Michael Peterson'

Michael Peterson: Surfer whose glittering career was ended by his troubled life

Known as "MP" among the surfing fraternity, Michael Peterson dominated Australian surfing in the early 1970s. But although he was regarded as the best in the world by his peers, his domination never spread beyond his native country. With his aviator sunglasses, leather jacket and brooding aura, Peterson was nothing short of intimidating. Resented by some but adored by the majority, he was supremely talented, but his career hit the buffers before it had had chance to blossom.

Traveller's guide: Active family holidays

The landscape for active family holidays is a truly adventurous and wild place, a far cry from the fly-and-flop options that once characterised the average family fortnight abroad. Exploring the countryside, learning a new skill, bonding over an exciting new activity: whatever your goal, today's family trips are all about engaging your tribe.

The London 2012 Anti-Doping Laboratory in Harlow

Every British athlete to be drug-tested before start of Games

Every member of Britain's 550-strong Olympic team and 300 Paralympians will be drug-tested at least once between now and this summer's London Games. UK Anti-Doping yesterday announced what it claims will be the most comprehensive pre-Games programme.

The bright and inviting Natural Retreats complex by Fistral Beach

Stay The Night: Natural Retreats, Fistral Beach

The town may be overrun by mankini-clad Borats, but this coast still offers scenic solitude and rolling surf, says Emily Dugan

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Actor Burt Reynolds last year
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The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Lake Garda
Lake Como
Bruges
Paris
Prices correct as of 28 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game