Society Diary: Superb owls, scone-themed trains, and a hike to Ibiza

16 Feb 2024 Voices

Civil Society’s light-hearted columnist summarises the big stories in the charity world this week...

A short-eared owl


Happy Friday, dear readers, and hopefully the second day of the Rishession is being kind to you.

When Diary first saw the word of the week, it thought Sean Connery had been resurrected (or should that be reshurrected?). But alas, it is a fun, portmanteau, moniker for our country’s deepening financial crisis.

This week started with a large American event called the Super Bowl, which as far as Diary can see from news reports featured some large men running around for Taylor Swift’s entertainment.

While Diary was wondering how the bowl fitted into proceedings, bird charity RSPB helpfully tweeted a quartet of superb owls (get it?) for us all to admire.

In other news this week, those Londoners have only gone and given their trains some new names.

That’s right, mayor Sadiq Khan has called different bits of the sprawling overground (which is like the tube but not under the ground) things like the Windrush line, to honour the city’s Caribbean communities, the Suffragette line, to celebrate the women who fought for voting rights, and the Mildmay line, commemorating the Shoreditch hospital that played a pivotal role during the HIV/Aids crisis in the 80s.

Many members of the public praised the thoughtful rebranding but some GB News commentators and Daily Mail articles pointed out that it is in fact a load of woke nonsense.

Meanwhile, the National Trust briefly had Diary fooled when it announced that the new line names were all scone-based.

But as one reply pointed out, how are commuters meant to pronounce “scone” on the sweet and savoury lines? Thankfully, the announcement was a playful ruse, or else Diary fears such heated debates could finally bring this country to its knees.

And finally, a man after Diary’s own heart. Plasterer Henry Moores from Cheshire is hiking 1,200 miles from the UK to Ibiza so he can party with Gary Lineker’s nightclub-owning brother. The 21-year-old previously raised £20,000 for charities by walking to Paris last year and hopes to raise even more on this adventure. Kudos to the young man for his commitment to raving.

That’s it for this week. Diary has just discovered the Donkey Sanctuary’s selection of 24-hour webcams so will be spending the weekend checking in on the likes of Cocoa, Drizzle and Ruby. It’s like Big Brother but with donkeys.

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