3 Sep 2012


Women only pen?
Stationary manufacturer BIC has provoked widespread ridicule after designing a range of pink and purple pens 'just for her'.
Advertised exclusively for women as “designed to fit comfortably in a woman’s hand” one version promises “smooth writing” and comes in a box of 12, writing in both blue and black ink. More

Favourite story of the week?
London commuters were left fearing their toes may be nibbled by a gang of wild mice on the underground after a prankster put up a sign warning them not to become the 'victim' of an 'attack'. More

They say it's the thought that counts.
All he wanted to do was stage a surprise proposal at one of Britain’s most romantic spots – a hill with beautiful countryside views. But a series of mishaps ensured that Steve Marks had a mountain to climb before he could pop the question to girlfriend Nuala O’Neill.
Mr Marks first arranged for a friend to leave a hamper, picnic blanket and champagne at The Temple in Stancombe, Gloucestershire – said to be one of the most romantic places in Britain. 
But things went wrong from the outset when, instead of delivering the couple to a country idyll, their satnav sent them to a retail park in the centre of Swindon, Wiltshire. Lovely. To make matters worse, the couple then got held up in heavy motorway traffic, leaving 34-year-old Mr Marks to contemplate popping the question in the middle of a jam. 
Just when he thought nothing else could go wrong, co-conspirator Mr Dawes called to say their intended destination was off the agenda anyway – it was privately owned... and not available for the proposal. More

Despite my telling you not to mention the 'C' word I had to mention this ......
Only 112 days to 'you know what' and shopping supermarket Asda opens a string of Father Christmas Grottoes in its stores ..... Four months before the day. More

The article that has me shouting "Obviously more money than sense."
Designer Jil Sander's 'Vasari' bag (pictured left) is possibly the world's most expensive paper bag at £185.
The bag, which is made of '100 per cent coated paper' and features stitched seams, was carried by office-ready male models during the designer's autumn/winter 2012 menswear show in January, and has proved such a hit that it's been selling out all over the world.
OR ...... There's a more luxurious leather version (pictured right), but you'll be left with little change from £500. More

The stuff of nightmares .....

These incredible images show an astonishing 20ft by 5ft wide web spun by thousands of Ermine Moth caterpillars on a bush opposite Belmarsh Prison in south east London in the space of just two weeks.
The silk blanket, so thick it looks like plastic, serves a dual purpose of not only protecting the caterpillars as they prepare to chrysalis into moths but also their favourite morsel. More

A disaster in the kitchen, I wonder if this would help?
A new gadget claims it will do away with the need to slave over a hot stove - by stirring your food for you.
The hi-tech pot, priced at £250, has a built-in stirring arm, providing what celebrity chef Jamie   
'So smug I could slap him' Oliver describes as ‘an extra pair of hands in the kitchen’More

Animal story of the week - thanks to Husband dearest who spotted this on the BBC's Nature site.
When western scrub jays encounter a dead bird, they call out to one another to stop foraging.
Making alarm calls, the jays then gathered around the body forming large cacophonous aggregations that encouraged other jays to attend to the dead. More

And the news from abroad. Thanks to Kelly who spotted this in the El Dorado news.
Paul Barnett points out a golf ball his crews cut in half when taking down a dead oak tree at the Lions Club Municipal Golf Course. By sheer luck, the saw cut through the ball almost right down the middle. The ball must have been lost about 60 years ago and the tree grew up around the golf ball. More


Deepali said...

that paper-bag story is crazy. I can't believe it is selling out in stores! What are people buying these days??

Alexia561 said...

Great stories this week! Heard about the BIC pens...how stupid can you get? Do they not have any women working there, who would tell them how silly a "women only" pen is?

Love the thought of wild mice gangs roaming subway stations! I can just see them, wearing little leather jackets and smoking. *L*

Mamakucingbooks said...

certainly makes my monday brighter.

ewww.....am so scared of the caterpillars photos.

naida said...

eeek about the 20ft by 5ft wide web! and if I saw a sign that said be careful of the mice, I'd probably run away screaming.

anilkurup said...

I like the caterpillar business and the golf ball holed in the tree trunk.

Jeannie said...

Crazy stories!

As for the caterpillars - many years ago, there was a huge increase in the tent caterpillar population where I lived. The tents were everywhere - they ate up a huge portion of especially the maple trees but any other variety was fair game. The caterpillars where thick on the road - you couldn't walk without squishing them underfoot as they dropped on your head and shoulders from above. Driving the car was not a safe answer as the squished bodies made the gravel road slippery and the car fishtailed along far worse than when it iced up in winter.

Heather said...

I want pink ink in the pink pen and purple in the purple.

Great assortment of stories again. Thanks.

as for books in a series, I have made a vow to read part 2 of the many series in which i have now read part 1. arg, will it never end.

Kelly said...

I tried to zoom by the caterpillar story without looking too closely. We get those in our bushes and trees and they creep me out!

The Jay story was fascinating - I had to read more!! I could only roll my eyes at the paper bag business.

Glad to see the golfball story made it here!

fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

I too had already seen the article about the BIC pens ... how patronising!

The Temple at Stancombe, is indeed a beautiful place, The Outlet Village in Swindon doesn't quite come up to scratch as a proposal venue by comparison!!

Swindon has such a bad name, that I am almost loathe sometimes to admit that it is where I come from and where my family still lives.

Hold On!! Why shouldn't I be proud of my roots, Swindon isn't that bad a place .... well not on a clear day and seen in the back windscreen of the car, as you pass the motorway junction for it!!

Great fun post.


Shooting Stars Mag said...

a designer paper bag? Oh goodness. What else are they going to come up with?! LOL


Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I was wondering why the mouse behavior wasn't more alarming (I was thinking rabies) than what was reported until I saw it was a hoax. Makes sense now. :P

I also think the moth thing is creepy interesting.

Suko said...

A good bag is hard to find? I hope it is reusable, at least.

Great "little" stories as always. Happy Monday, Petty!!

The Golden Eagle said...

Well, that's an expensive bag . . . I guess paper and/or the style of sack is back in fashion or something?

That's pretty amazing about the golf ball.

DMS said...

Whoever would by that paper bag should instead donate their money to a worthy cause! That is crazy! I can't believe that web- or those caterpillars! WOW!

joan said...

Hi love the bic pens and all the comments about them, I fancy some in that colour myself, until I saw the price, thanks for comment on my blog, robin hoods bay and Scarborough always bring back memories for me too, i can never tire of going there

Jenners said...

Hey I have those pens!! They are a little thinner for our "feminine" hands (I guess) but really, they are just pens in pastel colors. Silly!

And I love love love that warning sign!

GMR said...

Wow...now there's a selection of "news"! The mouse story was funny though probably not to the commuters (*-*), but the golf ball one really surprised. Mother Nature is pretty resilient!

NRIGirl said...

Trust me, when I saw the paper bag story in the daily my first thought was to mail it to you - just couldn't get around it. Glad you got it covered anyway.