Five-minute memoir: the box of delights

The day after my father died, my aunt came to me and said, "You're an orphan now". It didn't matter that I was in my early forties, or that my mother had passed away years before – the fact remained, my dad was gone. My brothers, my sister and I were on our own, lost without the rudder that had once steered the family ship.

Observations' One To Watch: Laura Dos Santos
Actress, 32

She just shared a quick scene with Kenneth Branagh in Wallander as the killer’s wife.

Penelope Skinner: More nourishing drama from a truly gutsy playwright

Penelope Skinner is our leading young feminist writer, says Nione Meakin

Boris Johnson says his 'Hiroshima' tube messages did not put people off coming into London during the Games

London 2012: Boris defends 'Hiroshima' tube messages amid 'ghost town' claims

London Mayor Boris Johnson has countered criticisms that his "Hiroshima tube announcements" have discouraged people from coming into the capital during the Olympics. 

Man guilty of babysitter killing

A teenage karate teacher was today convicted of stabbing his girlfriend to death on Boxing Day as she babysat two young children.

Anthony Hilton: Ramsay the right recipe to save euro? Dream on

This week's most imaginative plan for the eurozone came from Lombard Street Research, a City economics consultancy. It suggested Gordon Ramsay, the chef who sorts out troubled restaurants, should give it the Hell's Kitchen treatment.

Donostia, 10 Seymour Place, London W1

As holidaymakers know, Donostia is the Basque name for San Sebastian, the lovely, sun-drenched municipality on the north coast of Spain that's capital of the Basque country. Tourists spill into it every year to, um, bask in the Bay of Biscay, to drink txakoli and nibble pungent snacks in the tiny bars of the Parte Vieja (or 'Old Part of Town') or sample the classier cuisine of the Michelin-starred Arzak restaurant.

Farewell to fishnet tights: Final curtain for Chicago musical in London

Long-running West End show Chicago - which has featured an array of star names - is to close after nearly 15 years.

Get the Chariots of Fire VIP experience for just £45

Welcome to a theatrical celebration of one of this country’s greatest sporting achievements.

The River Café, The banks of the River Wye, Glasbury-on-Wye, near Hay-on-Wye, Hereford

Last time a critic visited the River Café, a court case ensued. Now, let our man be the judge...

Mathew Horne
Measuring up: Nonhlanhla Kheswa in ‘The Suit’

Curtain rises on London's brave new world

Eight of the capital's best-known theatres are teaming up for the greatest show in town. By David Lan

See the UK premiere of The Suit for just £15

The ultimate betrayal. The cruellest revenge. A hauntingly beautiful musical play.

See the UK premiere of The Suit for just £15

The ultimate betrayal. The cruellest revenge. A hauntingly beautiful musical play.

O'Brien's lesser lights stride into frame for Epsom Classics

The established Ballydoyle stars are scheduled to glitter at Newmarket at the weekend, with Camelot and Maybe, last year's top-rated juvenile colt and filly, short-priced favourites for the 2,000 Guineas and 1,000 Guineas respectively. But there have been echoes of light from some of their less-exposed Aidan O'Brien stablemates, notably the filly Kissed at Navan yesterday and the colt Imperial Monarch at Sandown on Saturday.

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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
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

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There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit