News Sunbathers in St James Park, London, as much of Britain is bathed in sunshine

Heavy downpours might have blighted the start of the Bank Holiday weekend for some, but tomorrow the whole country will once again be bathed in sunshine.

Soggy start to the Bank Holiday weekend

There was a soggy start to the Bank Holiday weekend for many today with heavy rain on the eastern side of the country.

A beautician at work in Coco Nail Bar in Portobello Road, west London, which offers 222 shades of varnish

Manicure mania: The business that nailed the beauty boom

As the high street suffers, the growing market for glamour has given one trade a remarkable lift

Call for a ban on ash woodchip

Imports of woodchip from foreign ash trees should be banned in an attempt to avoid the spread of the devastating ash dieback disease, a member of the Environment Select Committee has said.

Fogg's 'blasphemous' take on golf

Those crazy golfers! Spoof video is 'blasphemous' say former players

For some, the idea of watching golf on TV ranks somewhere alongside drain-cleaning in the fun stakes.

Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips dictates play

Wales develop taste for revenge on a Grand scale

Wales 24 Italy 3

Jeffries returns to demonstrate kicker's art

Wakefield Wildcats 18 Bradford Bulls 36

The Business On...Kate Swann, Chief executive, WH Smith

Still gliding serenely, or sinking in the retail slowdown?

Ray Davies - How a lonely Londoner created one of the great Sixties songs

Of all The Kinks' hits, Waterloo Sunset is the one that still casts a spell. Ray Davies tells the band's biographer, Nick Hasted, how he came to write a genuine anthem

Make the most of Summer in the Cotswolds!

There's more to the Cotswolds than rolling pastures, chocolate-box villages and the famous honey-coloured stone. Ian White goes exploring

Nice day for a white weeding: How to get rid of Bindweed

A July Sunday evening at the playground: a summer's dusk with the first stars coming out, and still lots of kids are here. (Some naughtier children have even climbed over the security fence and are testing the new adventure playground, unable to wait until official opening day.) And I am whiling away time pulling out bindweed.

How to beef up your barbecue

Forget charcoal – the secret of gourmet grilling is sizzling your meat over mesquite, hickory, or even wood chips infused with Jack Daniel's.

Snakes & Ladders: England's quest to reach the top of the game

England have fixed their sights on becoming the world's No 1 Test team – and sooner rather than later. Given a good run of results, and a fair wind, they could be crowned by the end of a summer which sees them start against fourth-ranked Sri Lanka and then tackle leaders India. Knowing England, though, their journey from today in third spot is unlikely to be without its ups and downs. Or snakes and ladders. Independent Sport will monitor England's progress on a daily basis throughout the summer's seven Tests.

Michael Owen says Premier League crown is 'pinnacle of career'

Michael Owen has admitted lifting the Premier League title with Manchester United represents the pinnacle of his career.

McIlroy chips in at last as the big shots win opening battles

So much for matchplay being a lottery. Five of the world's top six are here in Andalucia and each of them shrugged off the supposed volatility of the head-to-head format to win their opening matches. For yesterday at least, all the balls rolled out in order for the multi-millionaires.

Diary: Another two theories to explain why Tony and Cherie weren't invited...

Conspiracy theorising, unlike pageantry, isn't what we do best, as today's closing item makes very clear. But that's not to say that the British are averse to a little wild speculation when the occasion demands. And so to the Blairs' wedding snub – a gross affront to common decency that has provoked many competing ideas as to its genesis.

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A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
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Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
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Lizards, such as Iguanas (pictured), have a unique pattern of tissue growth
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Anna Nicole Smith died of an accidental overdose in 2007
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'The Great British Bake Off' showcases food at its most sumptuous
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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
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home