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6 March 2024

This England: To Enderby and beyond

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

A lost budgie, affectionately named Budge Lightyear after it was found at a UK space attraction, is looking for its owner. The brightly coloured yellow and green bird was discovered by a visitor at the National Space Centre in Leicester.

Budge Lightyear was rescued by RSPCA staff, who called the bird a “feathered voyager” and took it into care at the charity’s Woodside Animal Centre.
Sunday Post (Ron Grant)

Serpentine surprise

A dead python hidden inside a sofa shocked staff at a non-profit social enterprise. The couch was being cleaned at Cunninghame Furniture Recycling in Irvine when the creature fell out.

“People keep these animals as pets but the customer who donated the sofa to us confirmed they had gotten it second-hand and had never kept snakes,” said a worker at the North Ayrshire charity. “So it could have been the previous owner’s and the snake had been in there all this time.”
Metro (Michael Meadowcroft)

Political puzzles

Schoolboy Henil Soni set himself the task of making a portrait of the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak – with 1,764 Rubik’s cubes. The 11-year-old solved hundreds of the cubes and arranged others to give him the dots of colour needed for the creation.

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“He is so proud,” said mum Priyanka, 35, of Harwich, Essex. “But we’ve had to move the sofas out of the house as the portraits take up all the space.”
Metro (Amanda Welles)

[See also: This England: Chewie couture]

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This article appears in the 06 Mar 2024 issue of the New Statesman, Bust Britain