AN antique book featuring medicinal remedies dating back nearly 350 years is to be auctioned off in Derby, says the Daily Mail.

Tips in 'A Friend To The Sick - The Englishman’s Preservation', which is expected to sell for more than £350, include rubbing watercress on the gums and stuffing bread into the ear. It also contains age-old secrets to good health, such as eating burnt birds and drinking liquor.

The book was written in 1673 by Royal Physician, William Sermon, who was a physician of Charles II, and who advised: “With earache, take a loaf made with one part of caraway seeds, and cut it through the middle and apply it to the ears.”

And for toothache, he suggested: “To make rotten teeth sound, take the juice of water cresses and white wine in equal measure, mix them together and rub the teeth and gums therewith.”

Football certainly is a funny old game. According to the BBC, French club St Etienne have bought old square goalposts from Glasgow's Hampden Park stadium because their supporters believe they would have won rather than lost the 1976 European Cup final 1-0 to Bayern Munich had the posts been round.

Club president Roland Romeyer said: “This is a very powerful symbol. They will be delivered shortly and we'll have a little ceremony.”

Goalbound efforts by Dominique Bathenay and Jacques Santini hit the woodwork at Hampden in the 1976 final. A regulation change by world governing body Fifa in 1987 meant that the square posts had to be replaced and they have since been stored at the Scottish Football Museum. St Etienne paid 20,000 euros for the posts and they will be housed in a club museum.

Mind your step... apparently a new pavement installed in the Welsh town of Pontypridd creates an optical illusion that hides a kerb which has caused at least 20 people to trip so badly that they needed to be taken to hospital.

The Daily Telegraph reports that 75 year old Morfydd Jenkins was left badly bruised when she went over on the trip hazard while rushing to get a bus.

She said: “I was going to the bus stop and all I remember is falling over the kerb - I didn't see it. I was taken to hospital and had X-rays and I had a lot of bruising and cuts to my face and neck.”

It would seem that London's flamboyant Mayor Boris Johnson was spinning quite a yarn to Chinese students when he tried to encourage them to come and study in the capital city, says The Independent.

Boris is hoping to lure them here on the possibility of romantic liaisons with – Harry Potter!

In a speech to students at Peking University Johnson asked: “Who was Harry Potter's first girlfriend? Who is the first person he kisses? That's right, Cho Chang, who is a Chinese overseas student at Hogwarts school. Ladies and gents I rest my case.”

He also claimed that London was home to “more Chinese students than any other city on earth, outside China” before saying: “Where does Harry Potter buy his uniform and his wand and stuff like that and his books? I think it's in Diagon Alley which is in London. Where is the location of the Ministry of Magic? London.”

Apparently some of the world's finest conker swingers descended on a village pub in Northamptonshire for a major sporting event.

The World Conker Championships were staged at the Shuckburgh Arms in Southwick and attracted competitors from 15 countries.

But it was an Englishman, Simon Cullum, who emerged as the overall winner to be declared Conker King, says The Independent.

Simon Cullum said: “We usually just come here for the real ale, but this year we had to take it a bit more seriously.”

A story guaranteed to bring a tear to the eye of all dog lovers in the Daily Star.

Fifty nine year old Kevin Johnson, from Puckeridge in Hertfordshire, who died of a broken heart just weeks after his German Shepherd Chelsea was put to sleep, has left £364,568.68 to animal charity the RSPCA.

His aunt Myfanwy Gillham said: “Kevin was totally devastated at losing Chelsea. She was the apple of his eye and his biggest friend. He just lost heart after she went. He and Chelsea bonded straight away from their very first meeting as soon as he set eyes on her.

“One terrible morning, he came downstairs and found Chelsea collapsed. She couldn’t even stand up. Kevin couldn’t get over it and started letting his business go. It was totally unexpected when Chelsea had the stroke because she was always such a lively dog. Two months later he had a heart attack and was found dead on his bed. We’re sure poor Kevin died of a broken heart.”

How many marks out of 10 would you give the headmaster who, according to the Daily Express, has banned schoolgirls from using slang in an attempt to improve standards?

Chris Everitt has drawn up a list of 10 outlawed words at the Harris Academy, Upper Norwood secondary school in south London including “coz”, “aint”, “like”, “we woz”, “you woz”, “innit”. Also included are “bare” – slang for “very” and “extra” – which means “over the top”.

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