Friday 14 June 2024

A Hurrah for Newspapers

 I understand that Newspaper sales are not what they used to be. Folk these days rely on TV, their mobile, all the fancy ways now of getting to know what's happening without spending their money on a daily wad of paper stuck through the letterbox, three quarters of which they never read (and if you don't catch the arrival of the paperboy quickly on a pouring wet morning then the half of it sticking out of the letterbox needs pegging on the line to dry out).  You can easily rustle up an argument to understand why sales are down.

But I love my newspaper.  Perhaps it is a family thing.  My father took The Daily Herald until it disappeared from the newstands in about 1964 just a few years before he died.   It doesn't need saying that he was  staunch Labour Movement man but as a child I found it very boring.

My first husband's father was a Daily Mail man.  Each morning an unopened edition was by his place at the breakfast table.  Woebetide    anyone who had dared to read it before him.  My husband loved Teddy Tail of the Daily Mail (a strip cartoon) and he would carefully open the paper and read him each morning (|if there was an accident  and the page got ruffled his mother would iron it before she folded it by 'the Old Man's' place).

I am addicted to The Times and wait for its arrival each morning in anticipation of a good read.   It is like a best friend who saves up special things to tell you; little snippets of information -useless information some would call it- that stir up the old brain cells and start the day off well.

 I have just spent an hour (after spending a similar length of time on the Mind Games)  reading snippets and I thought I would share one or two of the interesting snippets with you:

Did you know that it is exactly 105 years ago today since Alcock and Brown took off in a First World War biplane to attempt a flight across the Atlantic? After a nail-biting, hair-raising flight they made it, thus winning a £10,000 prize for the first non-stop flight over the Atlantic.   That landed in what they thought looked like a flat green field in Ireland but what turned out to be a bog, so they came to a halt nose first but unhurt after 1890 miles in around 16 hours 10 minutes (120 mph) - at that time the longest distance flown by man.   They were both knighted by King George Vth.   That's surely worth keeping in the brain's memory box for next time the Red Arrows scorch through the skies leaving a red white and blue vapour trail and gone before you can blink.   (Thank you for that Paul Simons)

Then a quick turn to the Comment section to find out what snippet Jonathan Tulloch has today in his beautifully written Nature notes.   They are never a disappointment (just a tiny bit of irritation that this neat, always nicely illustrated, snippet never appears on a Saturday).   Today's is about the Water Vole (or as he points out), Ratty in Wind in the Willows.   He is apparently becoming more "fossorial" (hands up those of you who knew that word - it means 'adapted for digging') and can    now be sussed out at Easterhouse near Glasgow where he forages above ground but lives in subterranean holes.  Apparently Water Voles feature quite heavily on the menu of American Mink so I hope he has done his homework thoroughly.

There you are.   Two snippets for your digestion.

Covid still taking its toll but we are getting there.  Bad sleeping and poor appetite but improving.   And it is snippets like these that keep  me going!






27 comments:

Tom Stephenson said...

I have learned something today - the meaning of fossorial. I used to occasionally buy Sunday newspapers with supplements and waste a lot of the day with them sprwled out over the floor before the pubs opened, but - as you say - there are all sorts of news media and you don't have to wait for the pubs to open! Ah, Ratty. How I love him and the anthropomorphic world he lives in.

Susan said...

Your history with newspapers is fascinating. My family subscribed to several newspapers. As children we loved the cartoon section of the paper. Charlie Brown was always a favorite. Today, I find newspapers tend to be quite slanted toward conservative or liberal views and often balance is not a priority. If you read both conservative and liberal newspapers you can eek out some reality of any situation. Currently, I enjoy the weekly news magazine: "The Economist." It covers world news in-depth and provides follow-up on any given world event. It is a British magazine and the quality of writing and article content is next to none.

Sue in Suffolk said...

It was always the East Anglian Daily Times for my Dad and Colin's family too and then us as well. We had it delivered right up to moving to the smallholding where there were no deliveries. It was the only way to find out what was happening - births, marriages and deaths being an important page.
Now it's a poor old paper and over £2 on a Saturday - although plenty of puzzles to do but I rarely buy a copy

Anonymous said...

We have subscribed to our local city newspaper for years but recently the reporting has been so politically slanted and just plain inaccurate that I'm at a breaking point, or maybe a breaking up point. Things are bad enough here in the US without trusted sources veering off course.

cheers anyway,

Ceci

Linda said...

I am a new reader of your blog and am quite enjoying it.
How I miss the Sunday edition of the Philadelphia Inquired (Pennsylvania USA). Would start going through it at breakfast and read it through the entire day.

Ellen D. said...

You should send those first few paragraphs to your newspaper for them to print in the "letters to the editor" if they have that section where you are. It is good advertising for them!
I get the Chicago Tribune Sunday paper in print but the rest of the week, the paper comes electronically in my email. Saving paper and money. I like the Sunday copy for the puzzles!

anonymous said...

You are fortunate to have
what sounds like a good
quality newspaper that you enjoy brought your house for you. Similar to what others have said, the only one available near me is so liberal that it's
actually inaccurate, plus they don't do home delivery,one must be dressed well enough to be seen in public then drive to go out to buy it .This is a development that began fairly recently.Mind you,my home is beside a lake in a rural area,large cities here in the United States have a variety of publications,some are actually accurately written reports. However,to acquire those one would need to drive to a city,not an option that appeals to me.So I go onto the internet to see what's happening... It's far more pleasant to read whatever you write about!! I'm glad the effects of Covid on you are beginning to lessen and hope you
feel well enough to enjoy everything soon, Mary

Derek Faulkner said...

Pat, I so enjoyed the enthusiasm that you showed for your daily newspaper. Over a period of time they become like a comfort blanket or a member of the family, appearing on a daily basis.Sadly perhaps, I have to start each day reading my chosen newspaper, the Telegraph and each day has to start that way. For 50 odd years it has been my chosen way of receiving the news and information, whilst reading between the lines in respect of political bias.

Barbara Rogers said...

Several papers in the US do on-line versions now...and they represent a spectrum of political leanings of course. I read snippets that others share, but don't subscribe to any. I used to be addicted to the comics page, and would read it through before the "not so good" news of the day, back when I read paper newspapers. Somehow I don't click into the comics anymore. Mmm, perhaps because all the news seems like one these days.

Granny Sue said...

We could only get a "daily" paper Tuesday through Thursday, and in the mail. Often an edition was missed and they never credited our bill for it. I really looked forward to getting the paper but it got too expensive and aggravating to continue.
Our local paper prints only good news, so it's more like an advertisement for our county than real news. Most of the reporting is like cheerleading about churches, sports, and local business. While good news all the time might sound nice, one has no idea of what else is going on, as nothing in the least controversial is ever reported. At a couple dollars for one thin weekly edition, just not worth it.

gz said...

I grew up with The Guardian from my father and the Daily Worker..which changed name in 1966 to the Morning Star...from my maternal grandmother.

I just get the Guardian on Saturdays now..I can't justify the paper..or the cost..of a daily paper...so read online

Traveller said...

I used to travel a lot for work (thus the handle). The hotel I stayed in gave a complimentary Times and I used to get the Grauniad as well. I never had a chance to read them as I was in meetings, out at dinner or working. I put them all in a bag, picked up others at the Heathrow lounge, boarded the plane with a bulging bag of newspapers then spent a happy few hours of the trans Atlantic flight home reading them.

I now read newspapers on line. If you have a library card you probably have access to PressReader and can read lots of newspapers for free and from around the world

The Weaver of Grass said...

Sue in Suffolk made me smile. The local paper here is The Darlington and Stockton Times - published every Friday (our local Auction Mart and Town Market Day). 'My' farmer would buy one each week, come in at lunch time, spread it out on the farm kitchen table and look to see which locals had died. Most important news of the day.

Derek Faulkner said...

I can identify with the farmer's priority reading in the local paper. When our local newspaper was truly representative of our local news (which it sadly isn't any more) that was always the first section that I read.

Debby said...

I would love to have a good newspaper here. We don't have one. Our newspaper was bought out by a major corporation who shut it down, combining it with a city newspaper in another state. No local news, very little national and world news and too much sporting news. I miss a real paper.

Heather said...

Fascinating snippets. So pleased water voles are making a comeback. They almost disappeared from Slimbridge Wetlands Centre near where I live. My husband loved spotting various birds but I always looked for the water voles.
I think the Times has kept it's character, where most of the others have deteriorated over the years. I buy a local paper because it gives the most important news and brilliant puzzle pages!

Barbara Anne said...

Love the snippets and I get (by email) The Writer's Almanac which tells what event or writers' birthday or what was published on this date in what year and quite enjoy that.

It's good to hear you're improving and will soon be dealing only with the after effects of Covid. Hope your appetite improves and you sleep restfully.

Hugs!

John Going Gently said...

Are You up for a visit

Red said...

These snippets keep you right in the game. I think with modern gadgets we consume much less news.

Anonymous said...

Hope you are feeling better Weave.
I must admit I had to look up the difference was between a mole and a vole, having neither in this country. I was happy at last to see evidence of moles having dug on lawns around our accommodation decades ago on my first trip to the U.K.(The owner of the property was none to happy about the destruction though). I would have loved to have seen a mole or a badger, but I gather they are considered a pest, much like the adorable wombat in Australia. Some on the land here feel the necessity to blast their burrows, poison or fill the burrows in with a grader, though there are wombat rescue organisations to counter-balance that culture.
I remember seeing an English film once where a servant ironed the newspaper in the morning for the master of the stately home and I thought, really? - Pam, Sth. Australia

Anonymous said...

We subscribe to the local newspaper which is actually quite good. For the weekend, I buy the Sunday edition of one of the national papers. I think the big advantage of a good newpaper is that it will give you opinions that differ from yours and make you think about it. On the internet, if you read something slanted in a certain direction you will be offered only more of this instead of a balanced view.
I used to res the TIME magazine, but gave it up because it became more and more US-centered. Now I buy the Economist from time to time. It is excellent and brilliantly written, but sadly very expensive here.
Hilde in Germany

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you everyone for your contribution. I expect all news will end up on line but while I am on the planet my Times will hopefully pop through my letter box every morning.

John - am e mailing you.

Daisy Debs said...

Glad to hear that word ..improving 💐x

Marianne said...

Today summer begins, sending you joyful summer days to watch your garden. We still get a weekend paper, everything else is on line

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elliek said...

Did Debby of Penn. close her account. It is private and I cannot reach her. I thought we had become fb friends. Ellie

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