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2 March 2018

UK gets the coldest weather for almost 30 years

The first day of spring comes this week. But the weather is the coldest it's been all winter – possibly the coldest since 1991. An unusually chilly spell has hit our shores, coming from Siberia in Russia. Because of this, the media have called this phenomenon the 'beast from the east'. In the first few days of the week much of the country had snow – up to 8 inches in some places – and unusually cold temperatures, down to -10C in the South.

If you come from a country which gets snowy winters you will wonder why we are treating this as a problem. Most of the UK does not usually get this much snow, so it is not cost-effective to prepare in the same way as countries that expect it every year.

Rolling Stones announce new tour

It is 56 years since the Rolling Stones played their first show – yet they've just announced that they will play their first live dates in the UK for five years.

The band – famous for songs like 'I Can't Get No Satisfaction' – will tour the UK in May and June, and also do other shows in Europe. Singer Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards are both 74. Richards said: "It's such a joy to play with this band. There's no stopping us. We're only just getting started really."

Children struggling to hold pencil at school

Doctors say that some children starting school in the UK cannot hold a pencil properly because they have spent too much time playing on touchscreen gadgets and the muscles in their fingers have not developed enough to hold and use a pencil. They claim that increasing numbers of children starting schools don't have the movement and skill in their fingers that children had ten years ago. There are fears that some children may not master handwriting until later because they are not playing with building blocks and other toys. One child needed therapy for six months to help them develop the strength to hold a pencil properly.

Frankenstein author remembered

Have you seen any of the films based on the Frankenstein story? It was written 200 years ago, about Dr Frankenstein who made a creature out of dead body parts and brought it to life using lightning. Since then, the story has been used as the basis for many horror films.

It was written by Mary Shelley, who got the idea telling ghost stories with her friends – famous poets – while they were staying in Switzerland. It has been less well known that she wrote most of the book while staying in the UK city of Bath. Until now, there has been nothing in Bath to connect it to Frankenstein, but this week a blue sign was put up on the only surviving part of the building where she stayed while she wrote the story.


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