Happy Hump Day News: Everyday Heroes and Giraffes on Rafts

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and possibly the most hopeful week of 2020! Margaret Keenan from Coventry received the world’s first COVID-19 vaccination outside of clinical trials and Martin Kenyon – a 91-year-old man whose delightfully ‘British’ attitude made this CNN interview go viral – closely followed her. Here are some other lovely tidbits from around the world to boost your serotonin today…

Smell by dates


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Do you ever have arguments with your partner/family/flatmates about whether food is still edible or not? You might dubiously sniff it, but do you really know what you’re smelling for? Food waste fighting app Too Good To Go has produced handy smell by labels that help you identify what certain foods actually smell like if they are unsafe to eat. For more information and to order your free labels, visit the website.

Everyday heroes

It’s been a big week for Coventry, 2021’s UK City of Culture! In addition to administering the first coronavirus vaccine, the city has displayed 21 portraits of its everyday heroes in its shop windows. Plus, artist Ana Jaks has produced illustrations of five standout heroes and all 100 of the nominees will be able to see their names on baubles on the city’s Christmas trees. The celebrated community members include food business owner Kelly Iles who delivered 60,500 free meals to local hospitals for NHS staff.

Let them eat cake

You can never have too much cake, however a baker in Manchester has made quite sure that NHS staff at the Royal Bolton Hospital won’t run out of the sweet treat for their tea breaks anytime soon. Rosie Dummer made a six-foot, 30-stone cake in the shape of an NHS worker hugging Santa Claus called ‘A hug for Christmas’. The cake was made for a TV show that’s due to hit our screens later this month and its 17 layers are made up of chocolate cake with chocolate orange frosting.



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Many of the activities that we’ve turned to during the pandemic seem to remind us of simpler, slower times – for example, baking, reading and walking in the park. A writer at the New Yorker has revived another almost forgotten tradition and set up a worldwide pen pal project, encouraging people to sit down and hand write letters. If you’d like to get involved, there might still be time to find your pen pal match. Visit the website here.

Genius gir-rafts


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Eight Rothschild’s giraffes have been rescued from a peninsula in Kenya that was cut off from the mainland and surrounded by crocodile infested water due to flooding. The task of getting a giraffe on a boat isn’t simple though… Training began months before the actual journey, which was made using a specially constructed raft. The raft had soil on the bottom so that the giraffes felt like they were on land. It was particularly important to save these giraffes, as there are only around 800 of the Rothschild’s subspecies left in Kenya.

The Green Nobel Prize

The winners of the Goldman Environmental Prize were announced this week, highlighting the incredible work that is quietly being done by people all over the world. The six winners included Kristal Ambrose from the Bahamas who is the founder of the Bahamas Plastic Movement and helped ban single use plastics in the country. Another winner, Nemonte Nenquimo, is an indigenous woman who led a campaign that resulted in 500,000 acres of the Amazon Rainforest being protected from oil extraction.

The Italian Job


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If 2020 has made you consider escaping city life, then this scheme could be just what you’ve been looking for. The enchanting hilltop village of Castropignano in Italy has joined the country’s One Euro House scheme, which sells dilapidated properties for just one euro. In order to buy one, you need to submit plans to the village mayor outlining what you’d do with it, and put down a deposit of E2000, which wil be refunded once the renovations are complete.

And finally…

Not in the Christmas spirit quite yet? Pour some mulled wine and watch this mesmerising video of reindeer in Norway wandering beneath the northern lights.