Let's talk money for starters. Anyone got any spare cash? So what's going, cheap or otherwise. A Supermarine Swift jet aircraft on eBay, cheap at £250,000. Or some bed items, maybe? Hitler's single sheet and pillow, embroidered with his initials, estimated auction price, £3,000 (Bristol). The sign, reading 'BED PEACE' that hung above John Lennon and Yoko Ono's 'bed in' in 1969. (on sale at Christies, London, estimated price £100,000). No, how about the blackboard from the room where Michael Jackson died. Reads 'I (heart) Daddy SMILE, it's for free.' Written in chalk by his children, estimated price, £250. We may be broke, but there's still plenty of money about. The world's most expensive train ticket fetched £3,872 at auction in Cirencester. (Journey from Banagher and Maryborough, original price 9s 4d.) A doll, originally bought in 1747 fetched £58,850 at Bonhams in London. Not over surprised, London after all is, well, London. (There's an unmodernised flat, two bedrooms, for sale in Belgravia. Only £600,000 and its got a long lease. Not really, how would ten years suit you!
Mind you, for the 'real' money its back to the good old US of A. Liz Taylor's 'La Peregrina' necklace is to be auctioned in New York in December, estimate, $3 million. This after all is the country that has built a robotic rover (called Curiosity) to investigate whether Mars is capable of supporting life. The cost of this 'robot', £1.6 billion! We can't compete with that. Why bother! We are in recession. We are careful with the money, we have to be. So the 99p stores contribution to it all is to be applauded. A bra for less than £1. (Choice of three colours plus a bow at the front.) Well done (ladies?), now how about something for the chaps!
Petty criminals, now they're always good for a smile. Like the thief on the the church roof in Lincoln who took the lead and left behind a can of Polish lager covered in his finger prints. And the A-level student from Wolverhampton who stole two left-footed trainers from a shop during the August riots. (Doesn't say much for modern A levels.) Or the burglar tip toeing round a bedroom in Swansea when his mobile phone went off. Not so petty the hopelessly inadequate postman in Torquay who finished up with over 30,000 undelivered, unopened items dating back to 2008. (A third of it junk mail) Stored in his shed, his car and a local garage. Interestingly enough, he's been replaced by two postmen and a van!
Now ten unrelated titbits that I found interesting.
1 Danica May Camacho born to a 'jeepney' driver in the Philippines one Sunday night in November was the seventh billion human being.
2 Two Russian families, whose children aged 12 were accidentally switched at birth have bought houses next to each other with compensation from a court.
3 A researcher at Oxford University has been honoured for devising a fence that scares away elephants in Africa by buzzing like a bee.
4 A couple in Ratley, Warwickshire have had to halt their house extension work after four skeletons, part of an Anglo-Saxon burial ground were found under their patio.
5 5000 portions of curry were served in Trafalgar Square from malformed vegetables to highlight the fact that 30% of all fruit and vegetables is rejected by supermarkets for not meeting cosmetic standards.
6 270 tons of miniature Eiffel Towers were sized in police raids on illicit street vendors in Paris.
7 A teenager preparing for a skiing trip to the South Pole prepared by spending the night in a supermarket freezer. In Iceland of course.
8 Tonga won a competitive football match for the first time in their history. Their Man of the Match was Johny 'Jayieh' Saelua, the first transgender footballer to play in the World Cup.
9 Surgeons removed a piece of bone from Matthew Willey, took it from one Birmingham hospital to another for radiotherapy, returned it and reattached it, all in a ten hour operation.
10 Johny Rotton, of Sex Pistols fame drew some rather crude drawings on the wall of his flat in London, in 1977. It has been suggested they be preserved, being, like the cave paintings in France, 'of archaeological interest'.
Finally a few 'rude' bits I couldn't help noticing. The Office For National Statistics has published figures for a 'baby boom', suggesting it was down to last years long and harsh winter. Really! San Francisco is changing the law and making it an offence to enter a restaurant naked. Evidently it has been putting people off eating! (Surely a Freudian slip that reported it was making the city the butt of many a joke?)
A man accused of secretly filming himself making love to his girlfriend in South Wales claimed it was 'research not voyeurism', he being a 'Time and Motion Consultant'. You couldn't make it up! (He was found not guilty. One person who saw the 35 minute video said, and I quote, 'There was very little action in it.')
The mind boggles but not in the same league as the Russian historian and expert on local cemeteries. He had 29 mummified female corpses, some posed, in his home, all dressed up as life-size dolls. Some with music boxes, toy hearts and soap inserted into the rib cages. He was described by a local newspaper editor as a loner with 'certain quirks'. Rather an understatement I fear. I think Louis hit it in one 'What a Wonderful World'.