WE don't usually get big storms in the UK, but last week was the exception.

The BBC reported that around 15,000 lightning strikes were recorded in four hours after thunderstorms and torrential rain swept across parts of southern Britain.

Stansted Airport reported delays to flights after a lightning strike briefly left its aircraft fuelling system "unavailable".

A panel of speakers at the Hay literary festival have claimed that Britain faces further isolation after Brexit if it doesn't adjust its citizens’ attitude towards learning foreign languages.

The Guardian reported that the pane, whichl included Cardiff University professor Claire Gorrara and linguist Teresa Tinsley, said that Britons have relied on a false belief that English is the world’s lingua franca for too long.

Only six per cent of the global population are native English speakers, with 75 per cent of the world unable to speak English at all. But three-quarters of UK residents can only speak English.

We Brits love our movies, according to an article in The Independent newspaper.

Research revealed that we get through more than 4,341 films in our lifetime.

Dunkirk was revealed as the most-watched movie released in the last 12 months, followed by Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Wonder Woman – both of which were shot in London.

If you like sausages, then Leabrooks in Derbyshire is the place to go.

The Derby Telegraph newspaper reports that local butchers Owen Taylor and Sons have produced the best sausage in the land.

Their Country Special sausage came out top dog at the 2018 Meat Management Industry Awards.

The Daily Express is warning of a flying ant invasion this summer with an estimated 50 billion expected to take to the skies.

This is because of unusually warm spring weather with experts predicting that “Flying Ant Day” – when they all appear apparently out of nowhere – will occur in June, rather than July.

The Express also tells us that a portrait of famous 16th century English sea captain Sir Francis Drake is expected to fetch as much as £500,000 at auction.

It is currently owned by a private collector and kept in Drake's Chamber in Buckland Abbey, Devon.  Extensive scientific research was carried out in 2014 to prove its authenticity: Paint analysis and X-Rays showed the painting was created by an unknown artist in the mid-1570s.

Andrew McKenzie, Bonham's Old Masters specialist, said: “Portraits of Drake painted in his lifetime are extremely rare and we do expect interest from the United States in particular."

It's also auction time for the original map of Winnie-the-Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood – “probably the most famous map in English literature” – which is expected to sell for up to £150,000..

The Guardian reports that EH Shepard’s original 1926 sketch, unseen for nearly half a century, introduced readers to the world of Christopher Robin and his woodland friends in the original book.

Philip Errington, Sotheby’s senior specialist in printed books and manuscripts, at Sotheby's said Shepard’s work was unique in that it had always been present in Pooh books.

One hundred and three year old Rosemary Powell, from London, is hanging up her collection tin after 97 years of selling poppies for Remembrance Day.

The BBC says Rosemary first helped her mother sell poppies on Richmond Bridge at the age of six for the first Poppy Appeal in 1921, and she is thought to be Britain's longest serving, and oldest, poppy seller.

Rosemary said collecting had kept her going all these years, but she was "getting old".

The Royal British Legion said Mrs Powell's efforts had been "nothing short of phenomenal".

Reference list:

The Express (www.express.co.uk)

The Guardian (www.guardian.co.uk)

The Independent (www.independent.co.uk)

BBC (www.bbc.co.uk)

Derby Telegraph (www.derbytelegraph.co.uk)