Beer on tap is a temptation to town twinning

FOR all my adult life I have quite happily resisted any little thought about joining a town twinning association. Don t get me wrong, I think they are an admirable idea working on a number of levels. For those too young to know, the suggestion for such bo

FOR all my adult life I have quite happily resisted any little thought about joining a town twinning association.

Don't get me wrong, I think they are an admirable idea working on a number of levels.

For those too young to know, the suggestion for such bodies emerged as people thought about ways of repairing international relations after the Second World War.

Of course, politicians had to get involved in organising such associations - and so ensuring that they got invited on the jaunts abroad and made merry at civic ceremonies at home - but essentially their success and longevity has been thanks to the hard work of ordinary folk and their willingness to stretch the hand of friendship across the seas.


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For some, such associations have become an important part of their lives. They dedicate much of their leisure time to organising and taking part in activities.

I say good luck to them. If that's what they want to do, enjoy it.

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I'm not a club joining type but I was tempted to fill in an application form this week when a piece of news caught my eye on the internet.

Creative plumbing delivers beer, it was headlined which I thought was intriguing enough to take a look.

It was reported that a lady by the name of Haldis decided to do the washing up, turned on her kitchen tap and out poured not water but beer.

"We thought we were in heaven," said Haldis, a comment I would certainly have made myself if I had been in the same position.

An apparently unlimited supply of ale on tap sounds like a dream come true.

And this was happening in Kristiansand, the Norwegian twin town of Letchworth Garden City. It is a country which has some of the highest beer prices in the world.

At last I had found, for me, a good reason to join a town twinning association but, hold on a minute, reading down the story I discovered that two storeys below Haldis' apartment workers in a bar were perplexed at water flowing from their beer taps.

The sobering fact was that someone had somehow connected a beer barrel to the upstairs water pipe by mistake.

It was soon rectified. Haldis, who found that the beer piped into her home was "flat and tasted odd", said if it happens again she wants a barrel of Baileys to be connected instead.

I hope she does, but for me I won't be heading off for Kristiansand in the foreseeable future.

Norway can be a pretty cold place - and so can this country in a month when spring is meant to cheer us all up.

No chance of that in the sort of weather we are suffering right now.

Freezing conditions have had a serious effect on frog spawn sites, it seems.

It is worrying and the Woodland Trust put out a press release about the problem but I could not help but laugh at the title which read: Has frog spawn frozen as spring turned a tad polar?

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