SPARE a thought this week for 82 year old Gladys Phillips who was locked in a public toilet for four days!

The Daily Express says that Gladys kept her spirits up by knitting and eating mints.

She had been shopping in Felixstowe, Suffolk, when she visited a newly installed hi-tech toilet which hadn't yet been officially opened to the public.

After she forced her way inside, the toilet door locked behind her - and she was trapped there for four days until workmen came to finish off the painting job and discovered her finishing off the last stitches of a pink scarf.

Gladys commented:“I was not really concerned at first when I couldn’t get out. In fact I was just relieved I’d managed to go to the loo! I kept banging on the door and walls, and shouting for help, but obviously no one could hear me.  I realised I had to tough it out, and so I sat on the loo and began knitting. I had a full bag of mint imperials to eat which kept my spirits up no end. The loo was very clean and cosy. I was able to sleep on my big overcoat and was lovely and warm, and if I got cold I just sat under the hand dryer for a while.”

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Children in Nottingham must have thought that Santa had arrived early when a reindeer escaped from a supermarket's Christmas event and raced down residential streets.

The Guardian reports that the reindeer, called Bjorn, was startled by a car horn and galloped away from the car park at the Tesco store in Carlton Hill, Nottingham. He was later found in a garden and returned to safety.

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Christmas Day was just another working day for nearly a million people in the UK.

The Daily Mirror said a Trades Union Congress survey showed that over 900,000 Brits were on duty – a rise of five per cent in three years.

These included 168,000 care workers, 152,000 medical staff, 92,000 in hotels, pubs and restaurants, 22,000 police, 28,000 security guards, 15,000 farm workers and 20,000 clergy.

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A study in the BMJ journal, outlined by The Guardian, revealed that children as young as one regularly use touchscreen devices, with most toddlers handling them competently by the age of two.

Swiping, unlocking or searching on smartphones and tablets were skills possessed by the majority of children in the study.

82 per cent of parents owned a smart device, 87 per cent of whom let their child play with it. Half of parents said their child can unlock the screen while 91 per cent can swipe and 64 per cent can search for features.

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Would you eat a 46 year old Christmas pudding? The BBC reports that the pudding, which was discovered during a house clearance, has been declared 'dry' but tasty by the microbiology department at the University of Nottingham.

It was sent to them to see if it was still fit to eat and the university's Christine Dodd said it posed no threat to her students as it was steamed for five hours first.

“It tastes amazing – honestly!" she commented.

Mrs Dodd added that any bacteria in the pudding would not have survived the five hours of steaming - and the potent combination of alcohol and fruit.

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Not the sort of Christmas card you would want to be receiving... the Manchester Evening News says that Greater Manchester Police sent cards to known criminals telling them to behave over the festive season or end up behind bars.

Around 1,000 cards were sent out reading: “This is not just a Christmas dinner… this is a GMP custody suite Christmas dinner.”

Superintendent Chris Hankinson, branch commander for Criminal Justice and Custody at GMP, said: “Whilst this card does poke a bit of fun at our custody suites’ meal options, there is a serious message behind this. Law-abiding citizens of Greater Manchester should be able to enjoy Christmas without fear of criminal behaviour wreaking havoc.

This card is our reminder that we will not tolerate a small handful of people ruining a special time for many, and will take action where appropriate.”

Reference list:
The Express (www.express.co.uk)

The Guardian (www.guardian.co.uk)

Daily Mirror (www.mirror.co.uk)

BBC (www.bbc.co.uk)

Manchester Evening News (www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk)