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You’ll probably think I’m quackers!

ducksAnyone who has paid a visit to my bathroom will know that I am particularly fond of a rubber duck!   I used to have a much larger collection but an episode with a cleaner and a plastic carrier bag meant that the originals were lost to the bin men!  That said, I now have another 6 wee friends taking pride of place beside the bath!

My collection is small fry though!  Duck in LondonDid anyone see the story of the huge rubber duck that “swam” under Tower Bridge in December?  This was a stunt organised by an online bingo site to publicise its £250,000 “bursary” to help make more Britons have fun.  The giant 50ft-tall rubber duck went along the River Thames, past HMS Belfast, The Tower of London and under a raised Tower Bridge, much to the amusement of tourists along the riverbank.

duck in darling harbourAnd this week another specimen has been spotted floating through Darling Harbour in Australia to mark the opening of the Sydney Festival.  Looking very similar to the London visitor, but with more plastic coverage over the hovercraft-like platform.

The organisers of the Festival say that the duck has been popping up in various sites around the world since 2007, although this is the first I’ve read about it.  If it wants to join us on the Clyde in Glasgow next as part of the 2014 Commonwealth Games celebrations, that would be ducking marvellous!

Keep your eyes on the road

A recent study by insurance firm MoreTh>N has discovered that over a third of drivers, 34%, have had a prang or near miss in the UK as a result of taking their eyes off the road to admire a view.  And an admiring 14% have slammed on the brakes to get a longer look – typically reducing their speed by 27 mph.   Accidents resulting from these distractions cause an average £413.56 of damage each time.

And top of the list is the well-known tourist spot of Stonehenge where distracted motorists have more accidents passing here than any other British landmark.   A quarter of motorists, 26%, have been distracted by the pre-historic monument of Stonehenge near Amesbury, Wiltshire.

The Angel of the North, in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, is the second most dangerous landmark and the Blackpool Tower, in Lancashire, third.  A captivated 18% and 12% of motorists find their eyes drifting towards these sites as they pass.  Just over one in ten of these drivers, 11%, have had or nearly had an accident at these two beauty spots.

The top ten also includes the Scottish Highlands, the Houses of Parliament, Windsor Castle, Tower Bridge, and Clifton Suspension Bridge.  Cheddar Gorge and Severn Bridge complete the list.

So, in the words of Paul Evans from 1959, “Keep your mind on your drivin’, keep your hands on the wheel, keep your snoopy eyes on the road ahead…”

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