The Daily: April 30
Monday, 30 April 2012

The Daily: April 30

We scour the news so as you don't have to...

Written by Poppy Cockburn

A Brushstroke of Good Fortune

The artist, Lucian Freud, who famously painted Her Royal Highness herself, has left behind a hefty will amounting to almost £96 million, the largest sum ever by a British artist. The vast amount by far exceeds those left by Freud’s painterly peers. David Dawson, the artist’s long-time friend and assistant, has emerged as one of the primary beneficiaries, inheriting a £2.5 million portion and a West London home. The rest of Freud's estate has been left to his daughter, Rose Pearce, and lawyer, Diana Rawstron.

Growing Pains

Chelsea Flower Show gardeners have been fighting a bitter battle with the weather as they struggle with their seedlings. The unseasonably cold and wet conditions have stunted the growth of many flowers including irises, tulips, azaleas and peonies according to growers who’ve predicted a national shortage. With only three weeks to go until the show opens, fears of cheating and the necessary resorting to imports are over-shadowing the event, whilst some gardeners are keeping their buds cosy by dressing the stems in woolly fleeces at night. Chris Beardshaw of Radio 4’s Gardener’s Question Time observed: ‘It won’t be a floral bounty. But there will be a perfect reflection of our own gardens as nature and the seasons intended’. The Queen will be attending a preview of the show on May 21 where the sunshine will hopefully make an appearance too.

British Bat Experts Take Fright

An epidemic of fungal disease commonly known as white-nose syndrome has wiped out an astounding seven million bats in the US over the last six years and now biologists are worrying about the health of our own flying mammals. The lethal disease awakens bats from hibernation prematurely, causing them to reduce their fat stores before they’re ready and weakened, they perish. An average bat eats up hundreds of thousands of insects every year and their loss from the food chain will precedent a significant increase in creepy-crawly pests. Fortunately, despite bat fanatic’s fears, the syndrome has yet to reach British shores and specialists are unable to identify whether the UK’s flying friends are immune to the infection. A new campaign for research into the disease is currently underway.

Rural Romance Leads to Enduring Love

New findings show that more relationships in the countryside blossom and last than in urban environs with an astonishing 77% of adults living in rural regions claiming to have found their soulmate compared with 48% in more built up areas. So why is this the case? Is it the wonderfully picturesque views that have inspired many a romantic poet, the fresh air, or simply the slower pace of life? Life coach Jenni Trent Hughes said: ‘Country living makes many of us calmer, more relaxed. It puts us in a better frame of mind which reflects well on our relationships’. Sounds as though an excursion to the countryside is in order...

Royal Recycling

In a recent interview Prince Charles revealed his waste-not, want-not side telling how he had his old bathroom curtains turned into cushions. ‘I hate throwing things away’ he stated. The thrifty royal is scrupulous in his love for green living and other frugalities include pouring his bath water on his garden and finding a fantastic source of home insulation in sheep’s wool.

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