How times have changed! In 1798, my ancestor William Summers was one of 20 farm labourers’ children who were the first to be vaccinated by Edward Jenner against smallpox. Only after they survived did the Earl of Berkeley submit his family to the process. Now, celebrities and the royal family will show us that the vaccine is safe (NHS to enlist ‘sensible’ celebrities to persuade people to take coronavirus vaccine, 29 November).
• On top of dealing with Covid-19 and Brexit, we now learn that the Queen is no longer the richest woman in the UK (Huge wealth of Rishi Sunak’s family not declared in ministerial register, 27 November. Should we start a crowdfunding page?
• Following Oliver Dowden’s latest intervention (Culture secretary to ask Netflix to play ‘health warning’ that The Crown is fictional, 29 November), will he be requiring the National Gallery to explain that its exhibits are not in fact photographs?
• We use too much water; cleaning products are highly polluting. Washing your entire body wasn’t deemed necessary 50 years ago, so why is it essential now (One in four Britons don’t shower every day. And the rest aren’t doing it right, 27 November)? What’s wrong with smelling like a human being?
• I hope that the Pennsylvania village of Intercourse is still thriving (Fugging hell: tired of mockery, Austrian village changes name, 26 November).