Peter Rhodes: Cracked it?

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

NIGELLA'S eggs, Chris Packham's condition and the art of weather aftcasting

Nigella Lawson - cracked it?

"IT'S a long retirement." Peter Fiennes, author of a new book on trees, explaining that oaks can live to be 1,000 but produce most acorns when aged 50-150.

THE big news of the week was the revelation that Nigella Lawson can cook the perfect poached egg, having been tutored in the art by a French chef. I won't bore you with the process; life is far too short. And I smiled at John Humphry's gruff reaction on Today (Radio 4). He pointed out that anyone can soft-boil an egg and scoop the contents on to toast. Voilà - instant poached egg.

HOW green are the greenies? Researchers at Cambridge examined the lifestytle of conservation scientists and discovered that most of them had normal-sized carbon footprints and flew an average of nine times a year. The researchers concluded: "there was little correlation between the extent of environmental knowledge and environmentally-friendly behaviour." Which reinforces something I have suspected for ages, that when someone is banging on about saving the planet, you can often find harmless amusement by asking: "How many times did you fly last year?"

CHRIS Packham has Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism. In Chris Packham: Asperger's and Me (BBC 2) he explained how it made him a recluse, utterly fixated on animals. He avoids social company with humans and was unable to attend parties or even go to his own step-daughter's graduation. I cannot be the only viewer who had some difficulty squaring this Chris Packham with the star of Chris Packham's Wild Night Out, the stage show he takes to venues around the country. Thousands of us have seen Packham cheerfully addressing huge audiences, confidently taking questions and signing books while chatting with strangers. The fact that he would not wish his own condition to be cured suggests that Packham's form of Asperger's is mild - and far milder than some of the troubled Asperger's sufferers he met in this programme. The programme has been hailed by the critics as courageous, challenging and stunning, but did it actually tell us much about Asperger's?

THE Guardian has done us a public service by pointing out how many public figures who are today condemning Brexit and wrapping themselves in EU flags spent earlier years slagging off the EU and all its works. Today there is no fiercer critic of Brexit than the Tory Anna Soubry. Yet,although she still favoured remaining, this was her verdict in 2011: "I believe the EU has become a huge, overly costly, bureaucratic organisation fundamentally lacking in both democracy and accountability to the many millions of people who pay for it through their taxes and who are bound to live by its rules."

THE Remoaners claim their plan has always been to reform the EU - but from within. And what's the difference between doing that and doing nothing?

IS anyone else surprised that, while the weather forecasters queued up to explain why the sky had turned orange on Monday, no-one warned us in advance that it was going to happen? Not so much forecasting as aftcasting.

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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