The Daily: June 22
We scour the news so you don't have to.
Gardeners have been urged to let stinging nettles grow and abstain from cutting them as they are essential to wildlife. More than 40 species of insects are dependent on the plants for food and protection. These insects are in turn vital food sources for ladybirds. Butterflies, small tortoiseshells, peacocks, aphids and baby blue tits also feed on the plants. In other wildlife news, the number of swans who nest on the Thames has drastically fallen 20% over the last year because of the recent floods, diseases and attacks by hooligans. This comes despite the Queen’s Swan Maker, David Barber, noticing a rise in the number of nests on the river. The floods have unfortunately swept away most of the nests. The official number will only be established next month at the Swan Upping.
50 things to die before you turn 51 list given to husband
Most wives simply want their husbands to spend more time at home with the kids, and help around the house, but for Kerry Humphries, that simply isn’t enough. She has challenged her husband, Paul Humphries, to complete her list of fifty things to do in a year before he turns 51. They range from banal everyday tasks such as taking the children to school, cooking a roast dinner and making a cake with his children, slightly more daring accomplishments such as trying a tuna sandwich, throwing a “sickie” from work and riding a roller-coaster, to adventurous feats such as going white water rafting, “going commando” to somewhere posh and cycling from London to Paris. Paul Humphries was surprised to receive “Paulie’s 50 things to do whilst your 50”, which is stuck to the family fridge, where it canno tbe ignored. He said: “When we were talking about it I thought it was a bit tongue-in-cheek, I certainly didn’t expect there to be 50 things.” The list was obviously done with good intentions by Kerry Humphries, as the last task is simply entitled: “Be happy”.
Monastery offer different gap year experience
A gap year usually consists of discovering the world and taking advantage of the freedom of post childhood and pre student loan and mortgage responsibilities. Teenagers generally spend the evenings partying and the mornings sleeping off their hangovers. However, the Quarr Abbey on the Isle of Wight is trying to give alternative gap years by offering “monastic internship” to four successful male applicants between the age of 18 and 25. They will receive free accommodation and food in exchange for four hours of work, such as cooking, tending to the cattle, sheep, pigs and bees and the garden, every day except Sunday. They will also participate in all seven daily services, which start with Vigils at 5.30am and follow the rules of the monastery.
Essex school wins spelling bee again
The Ladies Who Spell from the Colchester County High School for Girls has won the primary school The Times spelling bee, making it the second year in a row that an Essex school has emerged victorious. Ten teams of four from schools around the country, from as far as Scotland, battled it out in the final at the Institute of Education in London. The teams had been wittered down to ten from an initial 1,200 participating schools. Azita Ahmadi, 12, Clair Lucas, 11, Maria Abbot, 12, Megha Rolly were ecstatic when they were announced as the winners and will each take home an electronic book reader, individual medals and trophies as well as a trophy to proudly display at their school. They also won the opportunity to guest edit the Young Times, supplement to The Times. The Red Devils from Mary Erskine and Steward Melville’s Junior School finished runners up and the Judd Buzz team from the Judd Buzz School came third. Kent’s Pablo Rozo-Navarro, who only speaks Spanish at home, merits a special mention.
Airbrushed images are dangerous to children
Parents are being warned of the danger of their children’s exposure to airbrushed images of celebrities and models, which can lead to low self-esteem and unrealistic expectations and attempts to look as thin or well-built as the altered celebrities. They are urged to show airbrushed photographs to children as young as six and not to ignore their sons who can equally be affected. These warnings follow the suicide, which has been blamed on the fashion industry, of 14 year-old Fiona Geraghty, who suffered from bulimia. The Home Office has issued an online booklet for parents showing two versions of pictures of singers and actors, one unaltered and the other airbrushed. It also advises parents to “place emphasis on personal attributes such as personality, achievements, skills and outlook on life” and “refrain from placing emphasis on physical aspects such as prettiness, likeness to celebrities or thinness”.
Daily tip from the lady archive
"DEEPLY-ROOTED is the idea that men are indifferent to dress, while the ladies, God bless them, think of nothing else"The Lady, With Prejudice, 8th January, 1942