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28 February 2024

This England: Chewie couture

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

Cosplayers often go to painstaking lengths to look like their favourite characters from science fiction. But one man has taken his dedication to a new and very hairy level.

It takes Paul Smith 300 hours to make each Chewbacca costume that he wears at conventions across the country. The 54-year-old has spent thousands of pounds building his collection. It includes six Wookiees – the species Chewbacca belongs to in Star Wars.

The process starts when a friend sews a mesh suit. Paul then buys bags of hair extensions from wig shops. “I need about 45 bags of hair extensions per suit,” he said.
BBC Scotland (Steve Morley)

Fox news

A crafty fox picked up an RSPCA officer’s mobile phone and dumped it in bushes.

Ben Fitzcosta had set up the device to film the rescue of an injured vixen when her curious mate pounced in Bagshot, Surrey. The phone recorded the theft – and Ben saying “I can’t believe that” as he fetched it back. The vixen is recovering at a refuge.
Metro (Amanda Welles)

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Signalling failure

A gift bag for menopausal railway staff working for Avanti West Coast has been called an “insulting gimmick” by unions.

The pack included a fan for hot sweats; a jelly-baby sweet “in case you feel like biting someone’s head off”; a tissue “if you’re feeling a bit emotional”; and a paperclip “to help you keep it all together”.
The Guardian (Lyn Hedges)

[See also: This England: What a stink]

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This article appears in the 28 Feb 2024 issue of the New Statesman, The QE Theory of Everything

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via spotlightonpolicy.substack.com
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Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
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