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.

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

Can you recognise these top Tories?

(50 per cent of party chairmen can't)

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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece