You've got mail

A pointless marketing study from Adobe suggests the most vexatious, yet commonly-used email phrases is "Not sure if you saw my last email", typically used in follow-up messages, after initial attempts have fallen on deaf ears. True that.

Old term, new hashtags

A reader writes: "This week I have been foraging (blackberry picking), wild swimming (having a swim in the sea) and forest bathing (taking a woodland walk). It's interesting how ordinary experiences enjoyed by my wartime-generation mother become romantically repackaged and resold to millennials." The Guardian

Ill-timed pigeon shoot

Grant from Whangamata writes: "We were on holiday in Dumfries, Scotland, some years ago and the council were having a massive problem with pigeon poo. Their solution: eliminate the pigeons using shotguns. Problem was that this was carried out by council officers at 3pm as the children were coming out of school. Not a great solution and promptly discontinued."

Strange names

1. Morris Ford, Chris Cross and, incredible but true, Roland Butter.


2. At my husband's primary school, there was a Pearl Diver.

3. Iris Chew was the postmaster's wife.

4. As a teenager I knew a Cherry Ordchard.

5. My daughter went to high school with a girl called Phillipa Kettle.

6. A school in Hamilton has on its roll twins Chaos and Havoc.

7. As a teacher, I have encountered many unusual names: Casa Blanca, Monte Carlo, Flyriver and Dargaville, and siblings Heaven and Testify, Sincere, Earnest and Faith; and Destiny and Devine.

8. Back in the early 1920s, my dad went to school in East London with a boy called Orson Carte. Once he grew up, he realised what a twisted sense of humour his parents must have had!

Unworldly price too!

An Auckland retailer advertising these ridiculously priced headphones and amplifier ... no, not a typo.
An Auckland retailer advertising these ridiculously priced headphones and amplifier ... no, not a typo.

New neighbours a buzz kill

"We have a problem with bees," writes a reader. "A beekeeper has brought his work home and placed six beehives, housing thousands of bees, metres from our clothesline. The excrement mess is indescribable. The council says in a residential area we should expect insects. Well that's a surprise, but thousands of bees? I know how to get rid of them but it is probably illegal. Any helpful suggestions?"

Video pick

Border Collie watches herself win a dog competition on tv…

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