Peter Rhodes on blazing mobiles, helping hedgehogs and preparing to receive a crown

Read the latest column from Peter Rhodes.

Interesting theory, Mr Darwin
Interesting theory, Mr Darwin

Thanks for all your interesting suggestions on what I could do with my growing collection of tiny ramekins, as supplied with Charlie Bigham's pies. A reader writes: “Your pie dishes sound just the right size for hedgehog water bowls.” Now, why didn't I think of that? A Tiggywinkle tipple.

The return to normality continues. Last week, normal haircut; this week, normal check-up at the dentist's, leading to normal evidence of increasing decrepitude. I wandered home and found myself humming the closing line from the hymn, The Old Rugged Cross: “And exchange it some day for a crown.”

After worthy service over many decades, one of my fillings is breaking up. The dentist, who is probably younger than the filling, suggests exchanging it for a crown (a snip at £280 on the NHS although it only comes with a one-year guarantee).

I've never had a crown before. My only experience of hard-core dentistry was 30-odd years ago when I had root-canal work which, despite all you hear, was pretty much painless and leaves you feeling invincible, if only in one tooth.

Reinforced with titanium rods, never again will that particular molar get infected or feel any pain. In a perfect world, we'd all have the root-canal thing at birth or, preferably, evolve titanium rods by Darwinian natural selection.

Not that I have boundless faith in Mr Darwin's theory. Gardeners' World (BBC1) introduced us to an orchid which is fertilised by a bee. The insect picks up pollen in one gluey part of the flower and deposits it in another gluey part. The process works only because the glue in one location is twice as sticky as the glue in the other place.

Go on, you Darwinians, explain that. Which evolves first, the strong glue or the weak glue, or what . . . ?

Talking of evolution, I was 14 years old when I was first chucked out of a pub. Such is the pace of change that my grandson has achieved this life-milestone at 14 months. Little Ruben's mother insists that it was she, not the landlord, who removed the infant from the sun-patio for excessive shouting at other patrons, but in the great ledger of life, why get bogged down in details?

He has been removed from licensed premises for unacceptable behaviour. Join the club, lad.

My offence? I told the landlord I was my older brother's twin. He was quite relaxed about serving halves of bitter to lying little 14-year-olds but he resented being taken for an idiot. As I recall it, the conversation went: “Twins? He's twice your bloody size, geddout.”

As the prospect of flying once more becomes more likely, consider the latest statistics showing that experts have logged 166 cases of passengers' electronic devices getting trapped in seats, resulting in 42 mid-air fires.

When one terror subsides, there's always something to take its place, isn't there?

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