Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. World
  2. UK
29 September 2021

This England: Upping sticks

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

Upping sticks

Sir, it is clear from Prue Blake’s letter that it is still virtually impossible to return walking sticks or crutches to an NHS hospital.

Some years ago I had the same problem, having promised an elderly friend with an overdeveloped conscience that I would find a way to return her crutches. In the end I went into the local emergency department, laid them on a chair and then ran like hell.
A letter in the Times
(Terry Timblick)

[See also: This England: Spurring stuff]

Better late than never

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

As excuses for the late return of a library book go, Clare Henderson’s was one of the best. When the archaeologist was contacted about her overdue book, The Buildings of St Kilda, she said she couldn’t return it because she was repairing the buildings of St Kilda, 112 miles from the mainland.

Henderson, 41, borrowed the book from a library in Perth when she was applying for the job on St Kilda, and after she was offered the post, asked if she could have the book for a bit longer. Culture Perth and Kinross Libraries have accepted that the book will be nearly 17 months late by the time it is returned.
Sunday Post
(Ron Grant)

Content from our partners
How do we secure the hybrid office?
How materials innovation can help achieve net zero and level-up the UK
Fantastic mental well-being strategies and where to find them

[See also: This England: Flight of fancy]

Numpty Dumpty

A health centre in Shetland has apologised after a “rogue” phone message addressed the caller as a “complete numpty”.

The fault at the Lerwick GP Practice stemmed from an automated test message which was accidentally left on its new phone system.
Aberdeen Press & Journal 
(Chris Cope)

[See also: This England: Nen or neen?]

Each printed entry receives a £5 book token. Entries to or on a postcard to This England.

This article appears in the 29 Sep 2021 issue of the New Statesman, Spirit of the Age