Friday, January 24, 2014

Read all About it!

One of the great things about being in Great Britain is reading the Great British newspaper. There are at least ten to choose from daily and today's Daily Mail is a wonderful 80 pages long - you can spend at least an hour reading it and many of the approximately 13 million people who buy a newspaper each day do!
In fact, 12,681,472 (according to ABC figures for the nationals in November this year and for the regionals in the Jan-June period this year).  The 10 London-based national titles sell an average of 9,540,993 a day. The 68 English regional dailies (mornings and evenings) together sell 2,085,116. The nine Scottish dailies sell 735,002; the six Welsh sell 183,131; and the three Northern Ireland titles sell 137,230. That is quite something!
The power of the British press is not an illusion and its obviously not a thing of the past - the news articles are generally well written and are a mix between serious news, amusing and quirky pieces, feel good stories, sports, finance pages and then of course the advertisements. This recipe seems to work for most of the papers but the ratio depends on the publication. Yesterdays Mail led with a headline "New Sex Storm Shames Lib Dems' so sex and scandal still sell papers as The News of the World proved for many years as Britain top selling Sunday paper, till they pushed the boundaries too far with the 'hacking scandal' that proved to be the scandal to end all scandals for them.
What I love to read though is not usually on the front page. I like to dig into the middle pages for hidden treasure - the hidden snippets of trivia,  like the article about the anger of South African officials about the rabbit carved in the ear of a bronze statue of Nelson Mandela unveiled in Pretoria in December last year. Apparently its the trademark of the sculptor and meetings are underway to get it removed. Really!! I think Nelson would be charmed and with his great sense of humour may suggest 'hare' spray! Then there is an article about a driver who drove through a puddle drenching parents and children on their way to school and faces a R 90 000 fine! Surely that is an April fool - except its January!
Also there is half a page about a doll that apparently promotes anorexia - Do 3 year olds know what that is I wonder! The offending doll closes its mouth and shakes its head when offered food - in a similar way to toddlers who wont eat their dinner! Having a look around the Great British public who clearly love their pies, crisps, cakes and beer - I think these dolls should be compulsory purchase! The same article shows this picture of the doll that won an award this year - Its called a Worry Eater - I think it gives a clear message that worrying gives you bandy legs and makes you a funny shape!!
There is an interesting article about PINK and how we should wear it, write in it, paint our lips and nails with it in order to prevent us losing the will to live in the depths of the Great British Winter. Earlier this week, I read that the third Monday in January is the most depressing day of the year in the UK and there are efforts to launch Blooming Monday on this day, and encourage people to wear bright colours in order to reduce depression and SAD syndrome (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
My favourite though was a very funny send up by Craig Brown "10 things that you didn't know about the film Zulu" - which is broadcast over Christmas every year in the UK. The piece explains how the film was nearly named 'Lulu' after the 60s singer and how cutting of one scene resulted in the loss of a really good dance number and how eventually the Zulus were repelled by a rendition of  'Men of Garlic'. We-e-e-ll, it made me want to SHOUT with laughter and is a masterpiece of satirical writing and so funny that I cannot do it justice  - click here for the link too read it.
 PS I don't think the Boer War is funny - just in case i start another scandal!
 I cant wait for the weekends papers - They are bigger better and blow me away!

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