First, a walker, of which we have many, inadvertently left the ‘swing’ gate open into the church yard.
Then when I collected the cattle from the Church Field, I failed to notice one was missing.
As we weighed the cattle, selecting some to remain in, and happily ignorant of my miscounting, I received a call from a Church Lane resident telling me he had a rather agitated Sussex steer grazing his lawn, which he thought must have jumped the fence.
It later turned out that the steer had found his way into the grave yard through the open ‘swing’ gate, where it left a surprising number of tell-tale hoof prints and cow pats. He then departed through the lynch gate, visiting the car park, before deciding the Old Vicarage garden was more interesting.
Talking of church, last week I attended four funerals but sadly no weddings. All the departed had lived long fulfilling and very active lives, and the services celebrated loved ones greatly valued by their families, and communities until the end.
It seems that scientists are beginning to question why we are living so long. They have concluded that there is no plausible biological reason why we should live much beyond the age of 50.
Edinburgh University scientists said the unusually long lives of humans was an ‘evolutionary puzzle’, and that natural selection cannot directly favour continued living beyond the age of child bearing in women, and usefulness in men. We could have an interesting debate as to how long men remain ‘useful’!
If the scientists had sat listening to the Eulogies at all four funerals, they would perhaps revise their opinion regarding ‘usefulness’.
On the other hand, it is wise for us to recognise when our ‘useful’ contribution to public utterances are past their sell by date.
The formidable, charismatic and much loved Baroness Trumpington has done just that, as she announces her retirement from the House of Lords. Unfortunately some of her colleagues on the red benches fail to recognise that once they are no longer at the ‘heart’ of government, their interventions are not necessarily helpful or accurate.
It is a mystery as to why the BBC insist on regularly wheeling out Lords Heselitine and Lawson, other than perhaps to fan the flames of controversy with their extreme views.
They say, in a city, you are never further than six feet from a rat. (I won’t divert here to the ‘rats’ in Westminster!)
Extraordinarily it appears that many Parisians believe it is quite acceptable, to have rats running round their feet.
The French capital is facing its worst rat crises in decades, and the authorities are spending £14million in an attempt to reduce the infestation, which is spilling over into the parks where children are in danger of being bitten or infected by these filthy creatures.
Never the less 25,000 people have signed a petition, including the Green Mayor, who is defending what he calls the ‘poor unfortunate rats’.
Josette Benchetrit, a clinical psychologist who set up the petition said: “The fear of rats is an unwarranted social phobia, like spider phobia. These poor unfortunates are being mercilessly killed because they’ve been designated by society as scapegoats to be eradicated”. You really couldn’t make it up!
Scientists are wonderful people who use their many talents to solve problems, which on the whole are dedicated to making our lives better. It will be interesting to see the outcome of the research by scientists from Cardiff and Stockholm Universities, who found that a tenth of all methane emissions from the Baltic Sea is due to mussels, clams and oysters.
They say these molluscs produce “ridiculous” levels of climate-warming gases, on a par to the output of a herd of 20,000 dairy cattle.