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.

The ace of spuds

Word of mouth: Sybil Kapoor meets the top potato inspector, Peter Saunders

RUGBY LEAGUE: Leeds rout piles on woe for Halifax

Leeds Rhinos 70 Halifax Blue Sox 22

Leading Article: Technology of the microchip will not end animal cruelty

THE CURRENT boom in animal-based docu-soaps, with the plethora of programmes such as Animal Hospital, Animal Police and Wildlife Police, has brought one unexpected benefit in its wake - other, that is, than a boost to the career of Rolf Harris.

Golf: Norman keeps rolling

ON SEVE BALLESTEROS' 42nd birthday, when the two-time champion missed the cut but the 19-year-old amateur, Sergio Garcia, qualified for the weekend on his debut at Augusta, Jose Maria Olazabal proved he was not the forgotten generation of Spanish golf by taking the lead after the second round of the 63rd US Masters.

Cowpats or chintz?

The right to roam is all well and good, as long as townies don't expect a pasteurised version of the countryside.

The mission Sometimes you just have to face it, says Maggie O'Farrell, beauty is more than skin-deep

have a nose. A big one. It has a bump in the middle which polite people describe as "aquiline" or "Roman" and rude people as "ski jump". But it has, with the passing of adolescence and the growth of much hair, long since ceased to be an issue. So when I am asked to go on a foray into the world of cosmetic surgery, I agree, partly because I am full of scorn for the self-interested, self-mutilating industry (I, for one, intend to reach the end of my life as 100 per cent biodegradable), and partly because I'm curious as to what cure they will offer for my particular protrusion.

Can you recognise these top Tories?

(50 per cent of party chairmen can't)

Books: Sentences with an appeal

Forget the author's sensational past as gangster and convict, argues Danuta Kean, and you will still enjoy a bleakly funny fictional debut; Hero of the Underworld by Jimmy Boyle Serpent's Tail, pounds 8.99, 216pp

Food for thought: Why are some potatoes good for boiling but not others?

With more than 80 varieties of potato available in the UK, selecting the right type to make the perfect mash can prove problematic. Although there are so many, all potatoes have the same composition; the outer skin (periderm), the flesh and the inner pith. Starch is the major component of the potato.

How We Met: Eric Anderson and Susan Hill

Dr Eric Anderson, 62, was born and brought up in Edinburgh. He began his teaching career at Fettes and later became headmaster of Eton. Now Rector of Lincoln College, Oxford, he was recently appointed Chairman of the National Heritage Memorial Fund. He lives in Oxford with his wife, Poppy; they have a son and a daughter. Whitbread Prize-winning novelist Susan Hill, 56, was born in Scarborough. Her many books include Air and Angels, Mrs de Winter and, most recently, The Service of Clouds. The stage adaptation of her novel The Woman in Black has been running since 1989. She and her husband, the Shakespearean scholar Stanley Wells, live in Gloucestershire with their two daughters

Racing: New course for Kelleway

THE COMPLETE Book of Trainers' Excuses - already one of the largest volumes in print - is about to receive a new entry. When a well-fancied runner is beaten on the all-weather at Lingfield this winter by one of Gay Kelleway's inmates, its handler will be able to take the owners aside and explain that, just as in football, it is always difficult for visitors to get a result against the home side.

Historical Notes: Eliot's hellish heavenly creatures

IN 1993 a stranger wrote to me about his mother's involvement with the Lunacy Law reformers in the Thirties. Part of their work was to rescue people who were put away for life not because they were dangers to society, but only because they were disturbed and difficult. This happened to T. S. Eliot's separated wife, Vivienne.

Golf: Trouble in school for errant Rose

TO LISTEN to Ken Rose, Justin's father, a career of stardom has already been mapped out for the 18-year-old from Hampshire via Johannesburg. There is one small problem - that of making the giant leap on to the European Tour - and it is one Rose has to attempt to make along with 180 others at the Qualifying School. After an opening 78, most of them were ahead of the young prodigy.

Rugby Union: Cherry pickers feed on Bedford

Gloucester 31 Bedford 21

Food and Drink: Good taste - Cape Cod Potato Chips

While we are well-acquainted with packets of New York Cheddar Kettle Chips and Sour Cream Pringles, Cape Cod chips are a new variation on the theme. Rather like single-estate teas and special-variety apple juices, Cape Cod is promoting single-variety potato crops. With names like Golden Russet and Yukon Gold, you could be forgiven for confusing them with types of apple.
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Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
South Africa
Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas