Peter Rhodes on lecturing the small people, saving the planet and finding a fortune in your kitchen cabinet

Two people have spoken out recently against ploughing billions of dollars and tons of brain power into space tourism. One was the Duke of Cambridge who said after William Shatner's flight into space: “We need some of the world’s greatest brains and minds fixed on trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live.” It is unusual for any royal to speak so stridently about world affairs.

Prince William – repair this planet
Prince William – repair this planet

The second person was a reader, June from Walsall, in a letter headlined: “Must only the 'small people' make change?” On balance, I preferred June's complaint to Prince William's, if only because she knows more about being one of the small people. She points out that we are endlessly “lectured at” by the likes of Attenborough and Thunberg to do our bit to save the planet while “colossal fuel burning” goes into space trips. “Please don't ask me,” she says, “what I can do to save the planet while all the rich boys with their toys act like this doesn't involve them.”

Well said, June. I wonder if anyone's listening?

An old dish found in a Scottish mansion has been identified as a 1520's Italian creation and auctioned for more than £1 million. If this doesn't inspire you to check the recesses of your crockery cupboards for something mediaeval or from ancient Rome, it should. Get hunting today. Note: although “Pyrex” may sound like ancient Latin, it isn't.

Some of the tabloids went big on the story of “Britain's youngest grandmother,” who is a 33-year-old childminder whose daughter, 17, gave birth recently. I wonder how many social workers on Britain's bleakest sink estates read the report and raised their eyebrows in surprise, knowing of even younger grandmothers. Go online and you'll find several alleged sightings of signs hung on roundabouts or motorway bridges in deprived areas with the greeting: “Happy 30th, Gran.”

After my enthusiasm last week about Simon & Garfunkel's 1970 album Bridge Over Troubled Water, I should point out, for the sake of balance, that some of us Sixties kids still think S&G's best work was on the two albums Sounds of Silence and Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, released four years earlier. (Other Sixties kids do not share this view, which is, y'know, cool, man).

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