December 11th, 2006
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Charlotte: If like me you have never liked spinach and feel vaguely uneasy about missing out on all the health benefits which it provides, you may be glad to know that it is not such a good guy after all. It and other foods high in oxalic acid, like rhubarb (and sad to say, chocolate) can interfere with the absorption of calcium by forming insoluble salts in the gut. Popeye may have had big muscles thanks to his love of spinach but the truth is he may also have been putting himself at risk of thinning bones!
Charlotte: How on earth does anyone manage to get into journalism nowadays? A first degree is no longer adequate and so you have to do either a Masters or another postgraduate qualification. Leaving aside the cost which can be up to £6000, the best of the courses insist that you have had at least 4 weeks work experience on regional newspapers before being accepted. All the newspapers that I have approached will only give work experience to those already on these postgrad courses. I have spoken to various journalists on national newspapers through contacts at Uni and they have all said that the way they got their work experience was through family and friends. Too bad then if like mine, your family and friends all chose the wrong career and there’s not a journalist amongst them!
Charlotte: We have heard a lot from the police recently about making sure that we plan our journeys home carefully, whether because of the temptation to drink and drive in the festive period or for the poor women of Ipswich when there was a murderer in their midst. Booking a taxi ahead of time is often easier said than done though. My brother tried to pre-book a taxi to pick him and his girlfriend up from a night out last Friday. They expected to arrive at the station at 1am . He was told that no bookings could be taken for weekends and as that would technically be Saturday morning they could not help. He then asked whether they could be picked up at 11.45pm – still Friday night as opposed to Saturday morning. Unfortunately, they explained, bookings could not be accepted for between 6pm and midnight on weekdays either. In the event, they phoned when they got back to the station and only had to wait about ten minutes but had this been me on my own I would have felt far from safe standing in the dark in the small hours of the morning at a railway station.