Before I start my weekly round-up of newspaper reports, I must say a big thank you to Sharon of SHARON'S GARDEN OF BOOK REVIEWS who did me the honour of sending me an Honest Scrap Award, the second I've received this week so please excuse me for not doing another post listing 10 things you didn't know about me but rather re-posting the list from earlier (click HERE to view). Thanks again, Sharon.
And now for this weeks newspapers, Petty Witter style.
A is for:
ADVERTISEMENT - Keepers are appealing for a new boyfriend for lonely hippopotamus Mimi after her old partner Carlo died at Rome zoo.
- The Mirror.
ALLOWED - The inhabitants of a small Italian town where 8,000 residents share the same sur-name have won a legal battle to use their nicknames, including "Fat", "Mad", and "Peasant", on all official documents.
For more than 200 years, the people of Chiogggia near Venice, have used the nicknames to distinguish between distantly related families, but they were never officially recognised.
Now, following a decree from the interior ministry, families in the town will be allowed to adopt their nicknames as a second official surname.
In many small Italian towns where local families have stayed put down the centuries, the entire population often shares just a few names. Chioggia, at the south end of the Venice lagoon, is an extreme case, with 8,000 Boscolos and 5,00 Tiozzos out of 52,000 people.
- Tom Kington, The Guardian. (Click HERE for full report).
Very sensible I say. I mean can you, for instance, imagine the calling of the school register without it? Teacher calls out "Tiozzo" and at least 10 children reply "Here, Miss".
B is for:
BURKA BARBIE - I never had a Barbie as a child - altogether "aah". Not that I was deprived or anything as, instead of Barbie, I had the altogether more British Sindy. Anyway, just when it seemed that the world had every possible version of Barbie from Beach Fun Barbie through to Barbie Island Princess to name but two (and believe me there are hundreds) marketing came up with a new Barbie - BURKA BARBIE - that's right, Burka Barbie.
These Barbie dolls are true cover-up girls in burkas. They were on show in Florence, Italy, for a charity auction in Barbie's 50th anniversary year. (You've got to hand it to her, at 50, Barbie isn't looking too bad.) The UK's biggest collector, Angela Ellis, 35, said "I think it's great."
- the Daily Mirror.
BYCYCLES - Surely a case for 'don't try to teach your granny to suck eggs' - a saying, believed to be of Scottish origin, meaning people shouldn't try to teach someone who has experience or is an expert in that area. Goodness only knows where this one came from, not even the web-sites can agree but this instruction Manuel must take the biscuit as far as eggs and grannies go.
Brochure of the week was the one telling cops how to ride a bike.
Thousands of pounds have been spent on the 93 page tome, produced for the Association Of British Police Officers, which has advice on how to balance on two wheels without falling off, how to brake, approach a junction, and warns of the perils of (wait for it ........) going up a kerb.
Undercover bike cops are also told how to carry out a risk assessment before removing their helmet, while another priceless bit of advice was the one that told officers to eat and drink before they went on patrol so they wouldn't go hungry.
- the Sunday Sun.
I only hope that there is also some mention of going to the loo before they start off. Seriously though, it's a frightening thought that someone out there believes our police men and women may not have the common sense to work these things out for themselves.
C is for -
CAKE - To hear of a couple divorcing is usually a sad affair and perhaps we shouldn't have laughed at this article ...... but we did.
An enterprising baker has started making Divorce Cakes for couples celebrating their break-up.
Fay Millar, 31, said "Divorce parties have been popular in the States for some time. Now they are taking off over here"
Since deciding to branch out from wedding cakes she has had many inquiries, mainly from ex-wives.
One popular design shows a blonde stabbing her husband in the back above a pool of blood-red icing. (This is my favourite.)
Another depicts a man booting his wife off the cake with the caption: Free at last! (You would have thought this was a favourite with the men. Surprisingly it wasn't. Though depicted in another newspaper, they seemed to favour the one illustrated HERE for some reason or other.)
Fay, who lives with her partner Lawrence and their two children in Brighton, said "Divorce can be horrible but I would like to think a comical cake can lighten the mood." (And make a lot of money when fewer people then ever are getting married or is that me being horribly cynical?)
Footnote: Unless otherwise stated, I will report the full article. If for whatever reason I am unable to do so I will endeavour to find a link to the full story.