Every week, The Friday Speed Read carefully collates a Schott’s Miscellany of the week’s top news stories for friends, family, colleagues and pets to pore over.
This week we have once again handed over the Speed Read reins to a guest writer – yes folks, the feminist millennial is back, much like the heatwave, after a rather dreary week of weather. The grey, muggy (as in weather conditions, not Mike from Love Island fame) skies over the last few days have provided a wonderful representation of the general mood around the ever looming it-which-shall-not-be-named (Brexit).
Theresa’s been playing a round of the classic Noel Edmonds’ gameshow Deal or No Deal this week, with the EU leaning ever closer to smugly smiling a ‘no deal’ at our pitiful red box. Meanwhile, the Daily Express has kindly listed all the food we should be stockpiling in case of a no-deal Brexit, in the form of a pre-apocalypse recipe: ‘Any spices, chilli, anchovies or tomatoes will be needed for flavour’. Much appreciated by Brits, I’m sure, after The Sun stated on Monday that one in two of us take our own teabags or coffee on holiday, with a third of us even taking biscuits, too. Can’t trust those hot beverages abroad these days!
The Daily Mail reported on Wednesday that apparently almost half of Tories think Theresa May should resign. It’s wonderful that our current elected party has faith in our PM, isn’t it, especially when she’s guiding us through one of the most insane political transitions of the last 100 years. It’s not all bad though: Jeremy Hunt (our new foreign secretary might I add) has described mistaking his wife for Japanese rather than Chinese during a visit to China as simply ‘a terrible mistake’.
The Beano celebrated 80 years of being ‘Britain’s most rebellious comic’ this week just as the news comes in that children lack basic speaking skills before they start primary school. According to the Daily Telegraph, more than a quarter of four- and five-year-olds cannot read simple words. Education Secretary Damian Hinds will speak at an education summit this Autumn to suggest how modern technology might be able to support parents in encouraging early language development.
It’s not all positive on the modern technology front, though: research by Ofcom suggests that the average British adult checks their phone every 12 minutes. HuffPost reported that people claim to now spend an average of 24 hours a week online, double the amount of time spent in 2007. Interestingly, this was also the year the first Apple iPhone was released, who have just today become the first public company to reach a value of $1 trillion. Research published this week from University of Bath suggests that having an open mind to experiences, people and places can spark creativity, so with ‘Scroll Free September’ on the horizon, perhaps it’s time to consider lessening our phone addiction in favour of trying something new.
The Bank of England raised its benchmark interest rate today from 0.5% to 0.75% for only the second time in a decade, according to BBC News. Good news for savers, bad news for people with mortgages. Earlier this week, however, Heston Blumenthal’s £25 Waitrose gin lost out to Aldi’s £10 version in an international blind taste test, so at least we can save on our favourite tipple. Plus, according to research published in the British Medical Journal, abstaining from alcohol during middle age actually increases the risk of dementia later on, so there’s no need to feel guilty raising a glass.
I couldn’t help ending today’s round-up on a feminist note. Metro reported on Wednesday that the term ‘housewife’ may (finally) become obsolete as half of modern women have deemed the term outdated, sexist and embarrassing. Apparently, we no longer possess the ‘traditional’ skills required to reach Gold Tier housewife status, such as darning socks, polishing silverware and plucking a pheasant (although plucking a pheasant does sound like it could be good mindfulness activity, I might take it up). Fashion is also moving forward, too, as River Island have hired a seven-year-old double amputee to model their latest activewear for children. Daisy Demetree is already a certified #girlboss!
Have a wonderful weekend.