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10 February 2021

This England: Men who Zoom with goats

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 farmer who was half kidding when she suggested hiring her goats out for Zoom meetings during lockdown has said making £50,000 shows it was no joke.

Dot McCarthy, from Rossendale in Lancashire, said the number of people paying for “show goat” Lola and others to butt in on calls had been “insane”. She added that it was “more fun” than selling manure to make ends meet.

BBC North West (Christopher Rossi)

As easy as A-B-C

Romeos can pop the question on Valentine’s Day with tins of Marry Me Alphabetti spaghetti. The cans only have the letters M, A, R, Y, E so romantics can spell out their intentions.

The special Heinz cans were inspired by Diarmuid Farrell who picked out letters from a regular tin of Alphabetti spaghetti to spell “Karen Menton will you marry me?” The couple, from Longford, Ireland, wrote to Heinz last year to share their happy news.

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Daily Mirror (Daragh Brady)

Making a meal of it

North Yorkshire Police have issued fines to a couple who drove from Derbyshire to York in search of Sunday lunch.

The couple were given a fixed penalty notice when stopped on the A64.

According to a police Facebook post, the couple made the journey when one of their mothers “let them down” after failing to make good on a promise to cook them Sunday lunch. It read: “We know nobody does Yorkshire puddings better than us here in Yorkshire. But they’re really not worth getting into trouble for.”

Yorkshire Post (Michael Meadowcroft)

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

This article appears in the 10 Feb 2021 issue of the New Statesman, End of the affair