Peter Rhodes on a French tec, a weighty airliner and the perils of “improving” modern art

Read the latest column from Peter Rhodes.

Omar Sy in Lupin – tense
Omar Sy in Lupin – tense

Great literary works of our age. We have just bought a child car seat for our grandson who is now 14 months old. The instruction book runs to 80 pages. And that's just the English section.

Talking of languages, if you haven't caught the cracking French detective series Lupin (Netflix), then do.

Omar Sy stars as the master thief Assane Diop in a yarn as tense as Luther and a sight more believable than Poirot. And, what joy for us of a certain age, the subtitles come as standard.

Last week's item on doctors withdrawing painkillers from patients who think they need the medication (on the grounds that doctor knows best), reminds a reader of her male surgeon who loftily informed her before surgery that “the cervix is not a particularly sensitive area.”

A couple visiting a South Korean art gallery came across a huge, unframed wall painting surrounded by tins of paint and brushes. Assuming it to be a form of “participatory art,” they set about adding to it with extra daubs of colour.

Turns out it was no such thing but a work by John Andrew Perello, also known as JonOne, worth a cool £320,000.

He wants it restored “ in a way that will not financially burden the couple” who do not face any criminal charges.

The art of charity.

I sympathise with the would-be art improvers, having once wandered through a modern-art gallery in Dundee where the exhibits included all sorts of curious creations.

We left one room and entered another to find a fire hose uncoiled on the floor and some folding chairs scattered about.

We four adults had no idea whether we were supposed to ignore this room and walk straight through or to admire the exquisitely imaginative layout of the hose and chairs, recognising in it mankind's eternal, nay, elemental, struggle between sitting down and, er, spraying things with water.

We did a little restrained nodding and chin-stroking before heading for the gift shop.

After a successful venture in Burton upon Trent, a couple of restaurateurs are launching a cafe boasting “exotic meats” such as camel and venison in Walsall.

I am reminded of a similar restaurant some years ago in Wolverhampton. A colleague said he always ordered the kangaroo “ because you've got somewhere to keep your bap.”

I did not know until this week that airline crews make pre-flight adjustments to take account of the weight of passengers.

This came to light a few days ago when it was revealed that a Tui flight to Majorca took off heavier than expected at Birmingham because all passengers with the prefix “Miss” were allocated the standard child's weight of 35kg instead of the adult figure of 69kg.

I'm not entirely reassured, because 69kg is only 10.8 stone and if anyone thinks that's the average weight of ladies in Brum, well, what can a gentleman say?

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