Peter Rhodes on keeping fit and the tempting prospect of vertical farming

The plan to shift the Eurovision Song Contest from Ukraine to the UK is based on the belief that Ukraine will be laid waste by warfare but Britain won't be. Yet according to a pro-Putin Russian MP Andrey Gurulyov, if the Third World War kicks off, London will be the first target to be hit. Boom Bang-a-Bang.

Experts tell us that up to one-fifth of office space in London and the south-east may not be required in the post-pandemic world of work as employees spend less time at their desks. That depends entirely on what it is required for. How many of today's soaring office blocks could be turned over to so-called vertical farming with vegetables and protein grown indoors without soil?

Vertical farming means no pesticides, no crop diseases, no droughts, no flooding, no harvest seasons and a much safer workplace. You get a steady, all-year reliable source of food - and much more of it. One acre indoors is reckoned to be as productive as up to 20 acres of farmland, and the produce can be sold directly into city centres with zero travel costs. I really have no idea what we are waiting for.

Fiona Bruce says as a younger woman she took “literally no exercise” until she was shamed into it by her GP. She is probably better off exercising than not exercising. But it is a strange thing that, in the entire animal kingdom, we are the only species that runs when it isn't necessary. Strange, too, that so many folk who run, jump, jog or skip to get fit end up extremely unfit with knackered joints.

And never forget the much-attributed (Churchill? Mark Twain?) advice on the subject: “The only exercise I take is acting as pall-bearer to my friends who have indulged in strenuous exercise.”

But then Churchill was prime minister at a time when Brits were slim and fighting fit on a rationed wartime diet of about 1,200 calories a day. Since then we have morphed into a nation of lardies. Can nothing save us? Inflation might. Three recent reports suggest that British families hit by the cost of living are cutting back on alcohol, gambling and food. So not all bad, then.

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