~ Posted by Charles Nevin, August 8th 2012
Many of you, worried about being overcome by giddy Olympic joy, will be searching for reassurance that the old certainties of British life still exist. In particular, you will be asking yourselves what has happened to the Silly Season, the festival of charmingly odd news which makes up for the lack of pressing and urgent stories at this time of year (give or take the outbreak of the odd world war).
Well, I'm very happy to report that there was a traditional appearance last week: a new photograph of the Loch Ness Monster. It's the work of a professional Nessie hunter, Mr George Edwards, who takes tourists on to the loch in his boat, Nessie Hunter IV (he's been doing it a long time). He took the snap last November but, because of exhaustive, secret tests, has only been able to release it now, during the holiday season.
Elsewhere, there's been excitement in Beddington, near Croydon, where a hamster fell 12 feet from an open window onto a car bonnet and was then chased down Critton Avenue by a cat. Police were alerted and also gave chase before PC Helen Hansen apprehended the fugitive rodent by throwing her hat over it.
I also like Patty the donkey, of HorseWorld, near Bristol, who after just three weeks' training is now dashing off colourful abstracts with only her mouth and a brush, earning herself another top headline: Pic-Ass-O. But what we connoisseurs are really anticipating is another outing for the sheep in Yorkshire who have learnt to roll over cattle grids in order to munch up village gardens, particularly if the reports mention the fascinating finding that sheep can remember up to 25 faces of other sheep.
Charles Nevin is a frequent contributor to Intelligent Life, who spent 25 years on Fleet Street. He is the author of "The Book of Jacks"