News Round Up

by Patrick O'Connor


MORE British men are now carrying handbags, says a survey by Vouchercodes, reported in the Daily Mirror.

Fifty five per cent of the 2,000 men polled are not afraid of being seen carrying one on a regular basis and the survey reveals the average content amounts to £880.

The top five items carried around are wallets, smartphones, headphones, glasses and laptops and one in 14 men got a bag after their partner complained about having to carry extra belongings in their own bag.

Consumer editor of, Anita Naik, said: “The research shows men are starting to embrace the man bag and recognise the practical benefits of carrying everything in one place, especially with expensive tech to carry around every day.”

Cats were hurled six feet into the air by the latest storms to hit the UK, says the Daily Mirror.

They quote Shirley Bray, from Chobham in Surrey, who watched in disbelief when a freak tornado 'really made the fur fly'.

Shirley said: “We've got four feral cats in the yard and they were being lifted off the ground - about 6ft off the ground - they just went round like a big paper bag.”

When 14 year old Charlotte Frazer-Morris, from Walsall in the West Midlands, took a Mensa IQ test 'for a laugh' she probably didn't think how remarkable the outcome would be.

For, says the Mirror, Charlotte scored 162 - higher than Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein and Bill Gates.

“I wasn’t expecting to do so well because the same day I’d done an English test and got the worst score I’d ever got. Even when I heard I’d scored 162 it didn’t mean anything. It was only when I researched it that it sank in how well I’d done. I couldn’t stop laughing,” said Charlotte.

Her mother Julie commented: “I knew she was bright as she’s in the top sets at school, but I was still quite surprised. She’s not that academic or intellectual, but very bright, quick and streetwise. We’re very proud.”

They may be bright at Cambridge University but a story in the Daily Telegraph suggests they could have other things on their mind.

A Freedom of Information request has revealed that the university spent almost £3 million on wine last year, the equivalent of the tuition fees of 300 students.

Colleges at the university spent the money on wine for student functions, including providing alcohol at undergraduate dinners.

In the three academic years from 2010 until 2013 a total of 30 colleges spent £7.9 million on wine.

A spokeswoman for the university said: “The Colleges of the University of Cambridge run substantial catering and conference businesses and this expenditure reflects that.”

Another sign of the times... according to the Daily Mirror, a Church of England diocese has issued a set of social media guidelines dubbed the Twitter Commandments.

Bath and Wells diocese posted the instructions to help followers remember God while tweeting.

The first 'rule' urges users to not 'rush in' and to always give 'due consideration' before posting online.

A meal fit for a king...details have emerged of a rare royal recipe book which described the culinary treats enjoyed by King George II.

The Daily Express said that the King, his wife Caroline and their guests tucked into such delights as lark, blackbird and puffin at Kensington Palace between 1736 and 1737.

Also on the menu were foods considered rare delicacies at the time such as cauliflower, artichoke and pineapple.

The 160-page recipe book was written by King George's chef William Daniel and is being sold at an auction in Cirencester.

Auctioneer Chris Albury said: “One occasionally sees individual menus for this or that special occasion but it is rare to see such a full record covering 18 months of royal dining.”

Have you ever got yourself into a right pickle over packaging? Well, according to the Daily Express, three in four people surveyed admitted they resorted to hacking their way into difficult-to-open packaging with a knife and nearly two-thirds had hurt themselves in the struggle.

In the survey for The Grocer magazine, 80 per cent of people had cut a packet with scissors in frustration, 74 per cent had used a knife and 47 per cent their teeth. The Grocer said: “A red mist - descends. They call it Wrap Rage.”

The Daily Telegraph tells us that the Church of England is to offer cut-price funerals to those who choose cremation instead of traditional burial because of a national shortage of grave space.

This follows warnings that Britain could run out of burial space by the end of the decade. The Church has more than 10,000 churchyards but as more and more local churchyards fill up and are formally 'closed' this means that no more burials can take place.

A House of Commons committee says the Queen's royal household could be doing more to reduce its costs and increase income, reports The Guardian.

Margaret Hodge, chair of the public accounts committee said: “With better commercial expertise in place, we think there is room to do more with less, reducing costs further and supporting the Queen's programme more effectively."


Reference lists:


The Express(

The Guardian (

Daily Mirror (

Daily Telegraph (www.telegraph