News Round Up
by Patrick O’Connor
MY heart goes out to craftsman Dave Evans from Weymouth.
The Independent newspaper tells us that Dave spent five weeks creating a 40 thousand piece jigsaw commemorating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
He spent more than 200 hours putting together the 19.5ft by 8ft creation and had pinned his hopes on it entering the Guinness World records as the world’s largest jigsaw.
But then, disaster! The jigsaw, which had been resting an angle on a frame in his workshop, broke after falling onto the floor.
In an interview the local media prior to the jigsaw’s collapse, Mr Evans had been quoted as saying: “I’m literally over the moon that I’ve finally reached the last piece. My fingers are sore, my eyes are tired but my heart is full of pride. I feel like I’ve reached my own moon landing and the eagle has landed.”
Now, The Independent says, he has less than a week to put it back together ready for it to be transported to Norfolk for display at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate.
As has been said so many times, we Brits love our animals.
The Sun has declared Prince, a Chinese crested, as Britain’s most spoilt dog. He eats salmon from a £200 platinum bowl and sleeps in a bed shaped like a castle in white pyjamas bearing his name and a crown.
Apparently Prince bathes in Clarins bubble bath, has fruit salad with £45-a-jar honey and his teeth are brushed with chicken-flavour toothpaste.
His owner, Emma Buttarazzi, from Loughborough in Leicestershire, has spent £18,000 on him but says: “Prince is worth every penny. He is such a lovely dog.”
According to the BBC, a new study has revealed that some of Britain’s mainline train stations are being used by fewer than 30 people a year.
Teesside Airport station, in Darlington, had just 14 passengers between 2011-12 and Surrey’s Dorking West had 16 passengers, while Denton in Greater Manchester had 30.
However, First Great Western, which runs services through Dorking West, claims there is “an anomaly” in the calculations and the figure is wrong.
Supermarket shoppers are missing out on bargains because they are being confronted with so many competing sighs and posters, according to a story in the Daily Mail.
Behaviour analysts suggest that shoppers cannot take them all in and as a result, the subconscious takes over and we tend to fill our trolleys with items regardless of whether or not they are good value.
The popular game show Deal or No Deal has a big TV audience but a woman who won £95,000 obviously didn’t think that the benefit authorities would notice.
A report in The Independent says that Caroline Banana, of Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, admitted six counts of failing to disclose financial changes in her circumstances with the intention of profiting from the situation.
Benefit claimants must inform the Department of Work and Pensions if their bank balance exceeds £16,000, either due to a windfall or inheritance. However Banana, who appeared on the Channel 4 show hosted by Noel Edmonds in November 2011, did not disclose her winnings.
Sentencing her to do 215 hours unpaid work. District Judge David Taylor said “any honest person” would have reported the winnings within a short time of receiving them and said he was satisfied her behaviour did “amount to a deliberate cover up”.
Amusing story in the North Devon Journal about how members of a Women’s Institute club got the wrong end of the stick which ended up leaving them very red-faced.
Parkham WI ladies were looking forward to a talk by a former sea captain and so to get into the spirit of things, several members dressed up as pirates, in the hope that a humorous chat on piracy could be amongst the subjects covered.
But it turned out that Captain Colin Darch was going to relive his experiences about being captured by Somali pirates in 2008.
WI group treasurer Stephanie George said: “I suggested we dress up as I suspected it was a general talk about piracy or something to do with the Appledore Pirates, the fundraising group.
“I work in Walter Henry’s Bookshop in Bideford and on the morning of the day the meeting when I noticed Colin Darch’s book on the side and put two and two together. I thought “oh god, how awful!”
“By then it was too late, just thought we would have to go with it. It was lucky Colin was such a good sport.
“There he was delivering this harrowing story about how he was held hostage and feared for his life, and we were all sitting there dressed as Captain Hook.
Captain Darch told the Journal: “Of course I didn’t take offence or mind. It was more like the Pirates of Penzance. They were lovely ladies. They made me judge who was the best dressed which was a difficult choice. In the end I decided to choose the one with who had a fluffy parrot on her shoulder. Of course there weren’t any parrots near the real pirates.”
The Independent (www.independent.co.uk)
Daily Mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)
The Sun (www.thesun.co.uk)
North Devon Journal (www.thisisnorthdevon.co.uk)