PETER RHODES on new ways with dog muck, fivers with a life of their own and the joy of nettles.
APPARENTLY we should all be more worried about nitrogen pollution than global warming. Yes, I know it's going to be hard after 20 years spent fretting about greenhouse gases but you don't want to be left behind in the anxiety stakes, do you?
THE new worry? A charity called Plantlife claims air pollution caused by agriculture and engines is over-enriching our soil and encouraging the growth of “thuggish” plants such as nettles. Sorry to spoil the angst party but nettles are wonderful things. They are one of the most useful plants on the planet, rich in iron and vitamin C. You can eat them in salads, turn them into soup, brew them as tea or even turn them into nettle-yarn fabric. You could argue that an excess of nitrogen is giving us great bounty of a miracle crop. But that would be good news, and who wants that?
DOG walkers in wooded areas should stop using poo bags and adopt a "stick and flick" method, according to the Forestry Commission which has produced a poem to make the point: “If your dog should do a plop, take a while and make a stop / Just find a stick and flick it wide into the undergrowth at the side.” I find myself also moved to verse, to point out the possible hazards of the new method: “Make sure that you've got lots of space / 'Cos stick-flicked **** goes all over the place.”
THE Scots were assured by their political leaders that the 2014 vote on independence from the UK would be a “once in a generation” referendum. They are now being told to expect another one in a year or so. This one will also be a “once in a generation” referendum – unless they vote the wrong way again.
THERE is a grimmer explanation. Three or four years sounds like a very brief generation. But the Scots have a notoriously short life expectancy. When 16-year-olds were allowed to vote in the 2014 referendum, some wags described it as “extending the vote to the middle-aged.”
I REPORTED this week how E.on is bumping up the cost of our off-peak electricity by an eye-watering 22 per cent. This puff comes from an E.on advert: “We want to create the kind of solutions that help make your life easier - today and tomorrow.” Easier? Seriously? Why do I not warm to these people?
MORE issues with the new £5 note. A reader writes: “Is it just me or does the new five-pound note have a life of its own?” He reports a problem with “escaping” fivers creeping out of his shirt pocket and wonders whether some curious reaction is going on between the polymers in the note and the polymers in the shirt material. Fascinating.
HALF-watching the telly, I caught the Prime Minister telling the Commons about a “cattery trade delegation.” I was heartened to think someone as busy as Mrs May could find time to chat with people providing holiday accommodation for cats. The delegation turned out to be Qatari.Subscribe to our Newsletter