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27 October 2021

This England: Arias of torture

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 court has heard how Catherine Searle, 81, used her parrot in a campaign of harassment against the couple next door, encouraging the bird to torment them with its singing. Paul and Lydia Appleton described the operatic repertoire as “akin to torture”.

Mrs Appleton said: “People think she’s a little old lady, and we’re not treated seriously. She’s continuously finding ways to overstimulate her parrot for days on end by playing the television loudly and is using it as a weapon.”
The Times
(Keith Turner)

[See also: This England: Flight of fancy]

Digging for pleasure

Volunteer gardeners at Penrith Station in Cumbria are helping stressed commuters to relax as they return to work as Covid restrictions ease – by inviting them to do a little gardening while they wait for their train.

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Passengers can water the planters or pick herbs to take with them on their journey, or simply walk through a wildlife garden created on disused tracks.
Gardener’s World
(Terry Timblick)

Getting a faceful

Human waste from a passing plane splattered on to a man as he was in his garden, covering him and his home.

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Councillor Karen Davies told a meeting that the incident left the man “splattered in a very unpleasant way”. She said it happened in Windsor in July on the flight path to Heathrow.

Another councillor said the resident had decided not to pursue an insurance claim. “He’s just sort of had to take it on the chin,” she said.
Bristol Live
(Steve Morley)

Each printed entry receives a £5 book token. Entries to comp@newstatesman.co.uk or on a postcard to This England.

[See also: Subscriber of the week: Nigel Evans]

This article appears in the 27 Oct 2021 issue of the New Statesman, Our Fragile Future