Referendum 2? It was always part of the Project: Peter Rhodes on dark forces, raw meat and Mr Morris's flock of gulls

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

AFTER last week's thread on embarrassing places to live (Dog Bottom, Lickey End, etc), a travel advert at the weekend reminded me that one station on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway in Yorkshire is at Ingrow. Is it possible to think of Ingrow without thinking of toenails?

Desmond Morris

A READER said he read one news item twice and he's still not sure if it's a joke. It concerns the Central England Co-op which is using its 5p customer levy on plastic bags to buy life-saving defibrillators. These will be installed at Co-op shops - and funeral homes.

HOW many "new" discoveries are all that new? Researchers at a university in Australia claim that high heels make a woman arch her lower back, an age-old mating posture which attracts males. I seem to recall Desmond Morris made exactly the same point in The Naked Ape - published in 1967.

MORRIS, now in his 90th year, was always a wonderful interviewee. He produced some best-selling and mind-changing books yet was as modest a man as I have met, with a great sense of fun. While studying zoology at Birmingham University he had lodgings in the city. The landlady's pride and joy was a painting of a seashore with a flock of gulls. The young Morris bought a tin of white paint and amused himself by adding extra gulls to the canvas. He was proud never to have been found out.

WHY does Britain need a second referendum on leaving the EU? As any Remoaner will tell you, it's because when we voted to leave the EU we were not only dim, deluded and xenophobic but we did not realise what the terms of leaving would be. Things have changed, they say, therefore a second vote is essential. The truth? It is that the campaign for a second referendum began the moment the result of the first one was known. On the morning after the Referendum in 2016, I wrote: "Right from the outset, we must be aware that there are dark forces at work to prevent us from quitting the EU. Watch out for those who suggest what we really need is a second referendum, the kind the EU imposed on poor, dithering Ireland to bully it back into the fold." Referendum 2 is not a new idea. It was always part of the Project.

THERE is apparently a fad for feeding raw meat to dogs and cats. Scientists have warned that this could expose pets to deadly pathogens. I have explained this to our old moggie, stressing that his diet of squirrels and baby rabbits must be thoroughly cooked. But as he can barely master the cat litter, I don't fancy his chances with the barbecue.

ANY Questions (Radio 4) raised what may be the oldest puzzle in wooing: "At what stage does flirting become abuse?" It's when she doesn't fancy you.

*Peter Rhodes will be speaking at Wolverhampton Literature Festival on Sunday, January 28. See:

Peter Rhodes

By Peter Rhodes

Award-winning columnist and blogger. Keeping an eye on the tribulations and trivia of a fast-changing world


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