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25 October 2023

This England: Dasher seeks Dancer

This column – which, though named after a line in Shakespeare’s “Richard II”, refers to the whole of Britain – has run in the NS since 1934.

By New Statesman

The owner of a grieving reindeer wants to ship a new mate 300 miles to the animal’s paddock – so he isn’t lonely at Christmas.

Sven the reindeer lost his stablemate Claus last month to a short illness, leaving him on his own at Little Haven Farm in Hull. The death sparked fears from the animal sanctuary’s owner, Suzie Wright, 40, that he might “die from loneliness”.

She found online that a female reindeer was available in Dorset, but now needs to raise £4,000 to bring her to Sven.

Suzie pleaded: “The sooner the better. It’d be great for Christmas.”
(Richard Fearn)

Walking on eggshells

A grandmother was taken to court for hurling a box of eggs to the floor in a row with her mother. Alissa Ash, 59, refused to accept a caution after mum Ann-Marie, 89, called the police. She admitted criminal damage – in a case that cost £1,000.

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Guildford magistrate James Barber said: “I’m struggling to find any criminality other than breaking a few eggs. I do it every time I make breakfast.”
(Jenny Woodhouse)

One becomes one

A woman who spent 20 years saving for her dream wedding has thrown herself her own big day after not meeting the right partner. Sarah Wilkinson, 42, held a ceremony in Suffolk.

She said the occasion was a natural progression after she treated herself to an engagement ring. “It was a lovely day for me to be centre of attention,” she said. “I think you get to the point where you think ‘I might not have this with a partner by my side, but why should I miss out?’”
BBC East of England
(Steve Morley)

Each printed entry receives a £5 book token. Entries to or on a postcard to This England.

[See also: This England: Seeds of doubt]

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This article appears in the 25 Oct 2023 issue of the New Statesman, Fog of War