News Round Up

by Patrick O'Connor

DON'T do it!  Stick woodchip wallpaper, mirrored ceilings or nude portraits in your house, that is.

In a study of 2,000 house-hunters,, reported in the Daily Mail, that these are

the biggest turn-offs for would-be buyers.

More than a third of people, (39 per cent for woodchip), said they find them ‘unattractive’ in a property, and this is followed by avocado bathroom suites, (31 per cent), a taxidermy collection, (24 per cent), and 1980s DIY paint effects such as rag-rolling, (20 per cent).

Strip lighting, themed rooms, and an outdoor hot tub, also made the list of undesirables.


It seems, says the Daily Express, that we could be saying farewell to traditional British names such as Gertrude and Cecil.

Family history website,, carried out a survey of birth records and found that a number of names, which were in the top 100 in 1905, had vanished from the 2012 list.

They have also classed Horace, Leslie and ­Norman for boys, and Hilda and Edna for girls, as endangered - their use has fallen by 99 per cent since 1905.

Miriam Silverman, of Ancestry UK, said: “Of course, no first name can truly become extinct, as it can easily be resurrected, but it’s fascinating to look at the list from 1905 and see which have thrived, and which have faded into obscurity.”


A nice gesture by pop singer Ed Sheeran, who donated clothing to a charity shop in Suffolk, which raised more than £1,000 inside half an hour.

The BBC said that over 100 people visited the St Elizabeth Hospice Shop in Framlingham to buy the items. Sheeran announced the sale on Twitter, where he has more than nine million followers. (Luckily they didn't all turn up.)

Shop manager Rachail Pollard said: "The response to the sale has been great. Around 25 fans and their families were queuing outside, some from 8am, from as far afield as Norfolk and Herts. We have been taking lots of calls from America where Ed is huge.

Everyone was happy to pay for what they wanted as they knew it was going to a good local cause. It has been an exciting week for all of us."


Somebody, somewhere is missing a garden gnome. A story in the Daily Mirror tells us that police discovered more than 30 gnomes in a car they stopped and searched in the Banff area of Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

They included a Rangers FC gnome, a Buddha and an Oor Wullie, as well as more traditional gnomes.


It's nice to see that our politicians are concerned about our welfare, especially those 'unelected' souls, in the House of Lords.

The Daily Mirror reports on a debate in the Lords during which the British public was warned to cut down on baked beans because of the impact of “smelly emissions” on global warming.

Climate Change Minister Lady Verma urged us to 'moderate' our behaviour, after Labour peer Viscount Simon raised questions about the impact of human eating habits.

Viscount Simon commented: “A programme on the BBC stated this country has the largest production of baked beans and the largest consumption of baked beans in the world.

“Could you say whether this affects the calculation of global warming by the Government as a result of the smelly emission?”

Lady Verma replied: “You raise a very important point, we do need to moderate our behaviour.”

Wise words...


A story in The Scotsman newspaper reveals the affection felt in the Scottish town of St Andrew's for one of its most beloved residents.

So much so that they have raised £5,000 for a bronze statue to be erected – as a tribute to 14 year old cat Hamish McHamish.

The cat originally belonged to local woman Marianne Baird, but walked out at the age of one and has since become the town’s collective pet, wandering between houses, shops and university buildings.

Flora Selwyn, editor of the St Andrews in Focus magazine, who launched a fundraising drive for the statue in 2013, commented: “Our statue is a way of saying thank you to Hamish for being so ‘purrfectly’ adorable and to celebrate him and the joy he brings us.”

Hamish’s former owner ensures he has a yearly check-up with a vet, but he mostly enjoys a nomadic existence as the town’s pet, visiting places where he is guaranteed a bite to eat.


Reference lists:

The Express (

Daily Mail (

Daily Mirror (


The Scotsman (