The Open University reported that toads can sense impending earthquakes whilst the Monkton Conservation Commission awarded a £99,000 grant to build a tunnel to help salamanders cross the road. I thought £250 a month to insure a rabbit in Worcester was a bit steep, but it is the world's largest, 4ft 3in long and weighing 3st 7lbs. Evidently ducks and geese move more efficiently than humans. The former move in V-formations, humans walk abreast or in a U-formation. (Evidently an average of 1.2 metres per second. 2.7mph.) The average speed of a group of four shoppers is only 0.9 metres per second. As Michael Caine would no doubt say, 'Not a lot of people know that!)
The medical profession was in the news for all the wrong reasons. The doctor who removed a man's testicle when he was only supposed to remove a cyst made my eyes water. ( Don't go to Jordon, he's still practising there. I often wondered about the word 'practising, now I know.)
I had to smile at the doctor in Pakistan who used an ambulance to take home a cow he bought at market. I know it's not funny, but I can't get the picture out of my mind. Plus the man impersonating an American cosmetic surgeon who used a cooking pot to dispose of fat taken during liposuction. No wonder his customers were attracted by his low prices! The pensioner who left a fake bomb at his dentists after a dispute over overcharging has been banned from the surgery for life. Very naughty thing to do but how many of you would like to do the same?
The world still has it's share of idiots. Police checking commercial vehicles on the motorways have filmed drivers watching DVD's, playing video games and even cooking. Nothing seems to get through to people that such behaviour is unacceptable in the extreme. The female motorcycle instructor who fell off her machine and had to be helped back on was actually instructing a pupil whilst four times over the legal alcohol limit. The mind boggles. A man who put up a home made sign warning of potholes in Shadoxhurst in Kent was ordered to remove it, the police suggested it was 'a distraction'! Yet council workers in Birmingham renewing white lines continued their line through a three foot pothole. Again the mind boggles!
Another great month, but three stories in particular caught my eye. Number one, the family who tried to smuggle a dead relative in a wheelchair aboard an easyJet flight from Liverpool to Berlin. The relatives insisted he was merely sleeping, tests showed the man was in fact 'deceased'. Very reminiscent of the Monty Python 'Dead Parrot' sketch. I once wrote a short story concerning the problems associated with someone dying on you whilst 'out for the day'. How strange that fiction merely mirrors real life. (See post dated 29th April 2008 'Walter Mitty is Alive and Well.' Early days, only elicited one comment!)
Number two, the amazing former monk, Justo Gallego (Don Justo) aged eighty five. He has been building, by hand, single handed a cathedral on a plot of land outside Madrid. My words cannot do credit to this amazing man. Please, just type 'Justo Gallego' into Google etc. Irrespective of your religious convictions or otherwise, if you are not amazed by this man's efforts, you have no soul! (There are 650,000 references to this truly remarkable man.)
Finally April marked the death of Martin Elliot. Probably few will recognise the name. But how many will recognise his iconic photograph taken in 1976. How many walls of swooning young males did this photograph adorn I wonder. Thank you, Mr Elliot, and thank you Fiona Butler, aged eighteen at the time, now a married lady with children living in Stourport, Worcestershire.