Business Diary: Flanders finally gets one up on Peston

One of the more entertaining business rumbles of this year has unfolded over at the BBC following the return to work after maternity leave of the corporation's economics editor, Stephanie Flanders. Her return put her head-to-head every day in a battle of the blogs with the Beeb's high-profile business editor, Robert Peston. And at first she proved far less popular. Still, their final pre-Christmas blogs show there has been a remarkable turnaround in the fortunes of the two. Peston's festive missive attracted 120-odd comments, while Flanders got more than 150. Game on for 2010, then.

Stackridge, 100 Club, London

Back in the early 1970s Stackridge were what the more discerning listener moved on to when they had finished with Lindisfarne. Like the Geordie folk-rockers, Stackridge had an air of feisty provincialism – they emerged from the Bath/Bristol area – and were not lacking in fiddles and flutes. But they were less earnest and more whimsical.

The first poppy found in war diary

Some fragile petals recovered from the diary of a First World War soldier are thought to be the oldest Remembrance poppies in Britain.

Ripple effect: The Belgian coastline's white sand beaches and chic restaurants will seduce and surprise the sophisticated traveller

Saint-Tropez too pricey? Amalfi too busy? The Costas too hot? The Dalmatian coast too trendy? If you're looking for a quiet and scenic stretch of continental sand, look no further than the Flemish coast.

Credit crisis diary: Flanders sticks her stake in the ground

Another warning shot from the BBC's economics editor, Stephanie Flanders, to her colleague Robert Peston, the Beeb's business editor, with whom, insiders say, a healthy rivalry is developing. In a less than exacting interview with the London Evening Standard, Flanders makes a point of praising Peston for his coverage of the credit crunch, which she says has been "business centred" until recently. Now, however, "the story is moving on to the real economy", Flanders adds. In other words, "Get off my patch, Robert".

Bruges: A genuine work of art

Old master or cutting-edge installation? Bruges is both, says Harriet O’Brien

Simon Calder: Why Go Now?

'Widescreen skies provide constantly changing aerial scenery'

24-Hour Room Service: Kempinski Duke's Palace, Bruges, Belgium

At the end of a narrow cobbled street in the heart of the Unesco city of Bruges towers a cream and red-brick turreted palace that has recently opened as Bruges's first five-star hotel. It is the latest incarnation of the Prinsenhof, built in 1429 by the powerful Duke Philip the Good – then the richest man in Europe – to celebrate his marriage to Isabella of Portugal.

In Bruges, 18<br />Flashbacks of a Fool, 15<br />Street Kings, 15

Gangster romp on the cobbles has the makings of a cult classic

Hugo Claus: Acclaimed author whose work was marked by intelligence and passion

Though often a controversial figure, the Flemish writer, director and graphic artist Hugo Claus was rarely overtly political. His sympathies were with the underdog, but he never descended to agitprop. Claus was the recipient of seven state prizes in Belgium and in 1986 was awarded the prestigious Prize for Dutch Literature. Harry Mulisch, the only other living writer in Dutch to be tipped for the Nobel Prize, called Claus "a great figure", while the poet Remco Campert described him as "the greatest writer of my generation".

Belgian crisis ends as new government is sworn in

A new government has been formed in Belgium, ending nine months of political deadlock which had threatened to break the country apart. But members of the new government are expected to resume battle soon over devolution of powers to the regions.

Album: Bach

Motets &ndash; Flemish Radio Choir/Bo Holten, GLOSSA

Leading article: Prolonging an uneasy marriage

Belgian politicians have found a Belgian solution to a Belgian crisis. Six months after he "lost" a general election, the caretaker Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt is to become an "interim" prime minister at the head of an "interim" coalition government. The longest political crisis in Belgium's crisis-strewn history is over or, at least, suspended until March.

Class of 2007: The top 20 non-premiership players

Championship footballers are back in vogue, with clubs like Manchester United, Chelsea and even Real Madrid taking an interest in players not appearing in the top division. As Premiership managers begin to flex their cheque-books in the January transfer window, Glenn Moore reveals The Independent's second annual survey of the top 20 outside the Premiership
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
The super-rich now live in their own Elysium - they breathe better air, and eat better food, when they're not making beans on toast for their kids

The super-rich now live in their own Elysium

They breathe better air, eat better food, take better medicine
A generation of dropouts failed by colleges

Dropout generation failed by colleges

£800m a year wasted on students who quit courses before they graduate
Entering civilian life 'can be like going into the jungle' for returning soldiers

Homeless Veterans appeal

Entering civilian life can be like going into the jungle
Sam Taylor-Johnson: Woman on top

Sam Taylor-Johnson: Woman on top

Fifty Shades of Grey director on bringing the hit to the screen
Shazam! Story of the $1bn 'what's that song?' app

Shazam: Story of the $1bn 'what's that song?' app

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch