HOW about this for a tale to send a shiver down your spine?

The Daily Mirror reports that mum-of-two Andrea Mort, from St Helen's, Merseyside, got the fright of her life after mistaking a four-foot ball python curled up in her kitchen sink for a rubber toy.  

She initially thought it was a prank after finding it while making an early morning cup of tea.  Her son, Gareth Mort (23), managed to scoop up the creature and called out the RSPCA to collect it.

He commented: “We woke up in the morning and my mum noticed it first. She thought that I had put a toy one there at first as a joke, and it actually looked like one at first and then when we started prodding it, its tongue was coming out and it started moving its head.”

Adults who want to leap back to their childhood are in for a treat, says the Daily Star.

A huge ball pit with thumping loud music is to tour the UK in August. It will be filled with 200,000 balls, big inflatables and playground games, and it will also be packed with special golden prize balls offering up prizes.

A spokesperson for Ball Mania said: “Remember the absolute elation of jumping around in pools full of plastic multi-coloured balls when you were a kid? Well, good news as we're bringing that experience back! Our ball pit is the largest in the country and we're opening it up exclusively for adults.”

(It will still end in tears.)

Interesting property news in the Daily Express who tell us that archaeologists have discovered the remains of three properties in Burghead, Moray, Scotland.

They have not yet been dated, but two of them are believed to be from the Pictish period of Scotland, which was during the Late Iron Age and Early Medieval periods. The last property is believed to be dated from the Middle Ages. 

John Barrett, a historian from Moray is among the team working on uncovering the properties.

He said: “We’ve discovered bits of bone at the site as well, so it should be no problem to carbon date the finds, but that process will take several weeks. My guess is that the older ones are Pictish, but we’ll have to wait and see.”

David Bowie fans are in for a rare treat, according to The Guardian.

Six signed photographs taken by travelling companion Geoff MacCormack will be auctioned at an entertainment memorabilia sale at Bonhams in Knightsbridge, central London in June.

MacCormack photographed the late singer on the Trans-Siberian railway. The two were on the train from Vladivostok to Moscow after the Japan leg of his Ziggy Stardust tour in 1973. Bowie was there partly due to his acute fear of flying, but also because he wanted to see the Soviet Union.

MacCormack said: “For me, these images … almost feel as if they belong in a family album. They capture the sense of two mates – one of whom just happened to have become a rock star – having the time of their lives.”

There was a worrying environmental story in The Independent... pesticides and hedgerows being ripped up and the intensification of farming have contributed to a 55 per cent fall in farmland birds since 1970. New government figures show that populations of farmland, woodland and marine birds have all fallen dramatically over the past 50 years.

The figures cover 130 bird species, including turtle doves, corn buntings, willow tits and grey partridges, which have all fallen to less than 10 per cent of the levels in 1970.

Reference list:

The Express (

The Guardian (

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Daily Mirror (

Daily Star (www.daily