SO far it's never happened to me but....

The Daily Express reports that British drivers paid out £125 millions a year in extra parking charges because they forgot where they had left their car!

Figures released in a survey carried out for insurers Direct Line revealed that up to 14 million people were hit by extra charges.

A spokesman for Direct Line said: “A simple way to fix this is to take a photograph of the car’s location, that way it’s easy to see the zone or level when you return back.

“Forgetting where you’ve left your vehicle is not only a recipe for increased stress levels but it could mean you have to pay out extra parking charges or, worse still, find the car has been clamped or towed away.”

A 1956 Austin Princess hearse which was once owned by the Beatle John Lennon could sell for as much as £250,000 when it is auctioned off in September, says the Daily Mail.

Lennon used the car, which was fitted with aircraft seats, as his personal limousine after buying it second-hand in August 1971.

It was registered in the name of John Ono Lennon at the address 3 Savile Row, which was the Mayfair base of the Beatles.

It was eventually sold to an American in 1972 and has remained in the US ever since but is now returning to Britain in September when it will be sold by Sotheby's in London.

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A couple from East Stoke in Nottinghamshire have been surprised to find that a banana tree which has been in their garden for 10 years has finally produced fruit.

The Daily Express says that Andy and Joyce Lee bought the tree at a local garden centre when it was a small plant with one stalk. It was planted outside and it has grown to more than 15ft tall, producing several stalks.

Andy commented: “I was quite surprised as it's mostly places like Cornwall where banana plants produce fruit in this country.”

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The Guardian tells us that a huge mechanical puppet – The Man Engine - is to tour around Devon and Cornwall to celebrate the mining history of south-west England.

It has been described as the largest mechanical puppet to have been built in the UK and will travel 130 miles during the next fortnight with the help of puppeteers and mechanised parts.

It is the size of a double decker bus but it becomes nearly three times as tall when it extends to its full height of about 12 metres (39ft) and will form the centrepiece of theatrical shows and cultural events.

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£43,400 is the price paid at an auction for a first edition of the Beatrix Potter children's book The Tale Of Peter Rabbit, according to the Daily Mail.

The book featured 41 full-page line drawings and was printed privately by Potter in 1901 after several children's book publishers turned her down.

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If you didn't like chicken then a visit to a Harvester restaurant in Cheltenham recently might have left you disappointed.

A report in the Daily Mirror says that customers Jake Hall and Becky Dostal were presented with a makeshift menu scrawled on a piece of paper with virtually nothing on it.

They were informed that most items were out of stock including steaks, burgers, ribs, mash potato and even beans.

Jake said: “I noticed a clipboard which basically said everything was out of stock.

“When the chap came over to serve us, he asked if we'd seen the clipboard - I said yes, and asked what options there are. He told us it was basically just the chicken dishes.”

A spokeswoman for Harvester said: “We had a busy weekend at the start of the school holidays and unfortunately ran out of some of our most popular dishes on the menu.

“To be helpful a well-intentioned team member made a list of unavailable items to assist guests when ordering. We have now restocked and can only apologise for any inconvenience.”

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A pet cat called by Bobby is recovering after trapping itself in a washing machine while the owner put it on a 60c cycle, reports The Independent.

Owner Lisa Keefe, from The Meadows, Nottingham, said she immediately stopped the machine when she heard a loud thudding sound and found the cat inside.

The nine-month-old was taken to Nottingham Pet Hospital.

Vet Tamsin Thomas said: “Bobby was on the verge of collapse as his body was soaked through and his temperature was dangerously low.

“We gently dried him out, kept him warm and gave him IV fluids to treat shock. We monitored him overnight, and within hours he had stabilised and was able to go home the next day.”

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Reference list:

The Express (www.express.co.uk)

The Guardian (www.guardian.co.uk)

The Independent (www.independent.co.uk)

Daily Mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)

Daily Mirror (www.mirror.co.uk)