This week's UK news: 26 June 2009
26 June 2009

Anyone for tennis?

The Wimbledon tennis tournament began this week and, unusually, some of the players were hoping for rain. Also unusually, the first few days were very hot and sunny.

Wimbledon is the one major tennis event still played on grass courts, but rain has often stopped play in the past. Now the main court has a roof which can be used if the weather is bad.

There are also hopes that Briton Andy Murray could be the first local winner of Wimbledon since 1977, when Virginia Wade won the women’s tournament. The last British man to win Wimbledon was Fred Perry in 1936.

Talk to your plants

British plant experts have found that tomato plants grow taller if you talk to them. And the voices of women make plants grow the most.

Tomato plants were played the voices of a particular man or woman for a month. The tallest plant spoken to by a woman was nearly two inches (5cm) taller than the tallest plant spoken to by a man. On average, the women’s plants were an inch taller than the men’s. Some of the men’s plants were shorter than the plants which grew in silence.

Colin Crosbie, who led the experiment, said they did not know why the women’s voices were more effective. He thought it might be the greater variety of sounds women make.

Talking to plants became an interesting topic in the UK when Prince Charles revealed 20 years ago that he did this. People were very rude about it then but it seems he has been proved right.

Music and mud

The most famous British music festival got under way. And so did the rain, which often turns the Glastonbury festival into a mudbath for music fans. The first day of the festival, held on a farm in Somerset, had violent thunderstorms.

Glastonbury mud is famous and so most festival goers had packed rubber boots and rainwear with their tents and sleeping bags.

Bands playing over the weekend include Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen and Lady GaGa.

Meanwhile, British music fans who had bought tickets for Michael Jackson’s series of concerts in London were left very disappointed after the singer’s unexpected death.

Carry your own bags

Ryanair, the cheap airline, announced plans to make passengers carry their own cases to the aeroplane. The airline is constantly looking for ways to save money, such as abolishing check-in desks.

It has also suggested it might charge passengers to use the toilet during flights. It is not clear whether this idea is a joke or not.


by Susan Young -


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