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24 April 2024

This England: Split decision

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 couple have been divorced by mistake after a computer error at a family law firm. A staff member at Vardags accidentally opened the wrong couple’s file when trying to apply for a final divorce order for another client. Vardags applied three days later to rescind the order but a senior judge, Andrew McFarlane, dismissed the application. The firm’s head, Ayesha Vardag, said the state “should not be divorcing people on the basis of a clerical error”.
BBC (Steve Morley)

Costa-lot coffee

If you’ve ever balked at the rising cost of your daily cappuccino, you may want to steer clear of a coffee shop in London that charges as much as £265 a cup. The moodily lit Shot London, in Mayfair, offers a list of single-origin brews that start at £8 and quickly spiral upwards to the £265 Japan Typica Natural, an “exquisite coffee” offering “bright acidity and fruity, juicy notes”. Alessandro Birtolo, the head barista, said the shop sells two to three cups of the brew a week, though one customer has been known to return daily.
The Times (Amanda Welles)

Train-steamed asparagus

St George’s Day marks the start of the British Asparagus Festival in Evesham – a month-long celebration of all things asparagus. It will be filled with music, morris dancing, Gus the Asparagus Man, and the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway’s Asparagus Express, departing from Broadway at 11.35am.
Evesham Observer (Ron Smith)

[See also: This England: May the farce be with you]

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This article appears in the 24 Apr 2024 issue of the New Statesman, The Age of Danger