Christmas comes early

From today’s Times (news in brief columns, not available online):

Gut reaction

Juliette Piesley called the AA to her home in Addlestone, Surrey, when her car would not start after she renewed the battery in its key fob. The patrolman found that its immobiliser chip was missing. Ms Piesley recalled seeing her Hungarian vizsla eating. They sat the dog in the driving seat — and the car started.

(good story, pity about the style and grammar).

Where Christmas comes early

To the bafflement of its residents, St Austell, in Cornwall, has put up the Christmas lights in its main street three months early. The town’s chamber of commerce said that it normally put the lights up in November but had lost its storage facilities. Townsfolk said that the lights made the town look ridiculous, but Paul Scott, chairman of the chamber, said: "They’re not doing any harm. It saves you a job later when the weather is more inclement."

(picture provided in the print edition, page 23)

Housing works panel, tonight

Link: Maud Newton: Blog.

From Maud’s post: "I’ll be at Housing Works tonight at 7 p.m. for a discussion about blogging and book reviewing, and "what happens when the two intersect." Lizzie Skurnick (Old Hag), Laurie Muchnick (Newsday), and Frank Wilson (The Philadelphia Inquirer and Books, Inq.) are the other panelists. John Freeman of the National Book Critics Circle will moderate."

I wish I could be there – sounds a great event for anyone in the New York area who is free this evening.