Peter Rhodes on naming a little prince, watching royal bumps and the smelly side of farming

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

'TIS the season to be painting. As I may have pointed out earlier, some paint names convey little about the colour in the tin.

Smelly neighbours

From one leading range we have discovered Overtly Olive, Sophisticated Sage and the deeply enigmatic Wellbeing.

MY piece on blood-pressure reminds a reader of an appointment with his GP when his pressure readings were a bit high. The doctor suggested he should relax, sit down for 10 minutes and read a newspaper. It was the Daily Mail. As he puts it: "You can guess the rest."

MASTER Sergeant Robin Brown thought she'd enliven the US National Guard oath of allegiance by using a dinosaur hand-puppet to recite the words, Sooty-and-Sweep style. Unsurprisingly, she and two colleagues who took part in the gag have been sacked. What is surprising is that Brown served in the public-affairs office. Despite all the media training, she forgot the first rule of public relations. Wherever you are and whatever you're about to do, just pause, remind yourself that you live in a world where there are no longer any secrets and ask the question: how's this gonna look in the papers?

A LANCASHIRE farmer, Stephen Nolan, has won much support for erecting a sign pointing out that, among other things, farm animals "make funny sounds, smell bad and have sex outdoors." Unless you can tolerate all this, he says, then don't buy a property next to a farm. Which all sounds perfectly reasonable. Except that in my experience when people suddenly start complaining about farm smells it isn't always because they're newly arrived snowflake townies who can't abide old-fashioned muck. Sometimes they are long-term country dwellers living close to a farmer who's just drenched his fields in pig or poultry slurry, or some other vile-smelling by-product of industrialised agriculture, and is playing the "townie" card rather than doing the decent thing and apologising.

THERE was some speculation that William and Kate's little boy who arrived this week might have been overdue and born late. A republican reader asks: "Late for what?" He goes on to say uncharitable things about this privileged little chap being able to look forward to 80 years or more spent doing absolutely nothing of any consequence. Oh, lighten up. If it wasn't for our Royal Family, who would plant all those saplings, watch all that ethnic dancing and draw apart the little curtains to reveal all those plaques?

AND yes, it would have been wonderful if Queen Victoria's husband, the German prince who did so much to transform Britain, could have been commemorated in the name of the new arrival. But in this age of body piercings did anyone seriously think the baby would be a Prince Albert?

AND now the bump-watching begins. Over the coming months, will Kate's bump disappear before Meghan's starts to appear? Take it from me, in newsrooms and TV centres across the nation, idealistic young reporters will be looking at the day's schedule of soul-destroying, bonkers, royal-tummy stories and wondering how they ever signed up for this.

Peter Rhodes

By Peter Rhodes

Award-winning columnist and blogger. Keeping an eye on the tribulations and trivia of a fast-changing world


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