Start the week with Charles Nevin: Tree surgeon to plastics tycoon

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The Independent Online

Happy Monday. Another interesting week on the anniversary front, as we are able to celebrate the 104th birthday (had he been preserved) of Earl Tupper, inventor of Tupperware. Did you know that there's a Tupperware party somewhere in the world every 2.3 seconds? Of course you did, just as you know that the Queen keeps her cereal in it. I myself was unaware that Mr Tupper was a qualified tree surgeon, and that Rick Goings, the present Tupperware chief, practices transcendental meditation most afternoons. Remarkable. Party, anybody?

Elsewhere, you will be aware that there's a prodigious amount of thieving going on, prompted by the hard times. In cities, it's bus shelters, manhole covers and other potential scrap; in the country, wood is being stolen against the coming winter. As most of our police have resigned or are investigating each other, I thought I might warn of other targets likely to disappear as soon as backs are turned: 1. Matches. 2. Magnets. 3. Pokers. 4. The Angel of the North. 5. Boris Johnson's bicycle. 6. Tin openers. 7. Your overcoat. 8. The New Forest. 9. Your chair. 10. Always check the escalator is still there.

Keep calm! There have been reports recently, and even in this space, that the Silly Season has failed to arrive. Might I point out that Mr William Jobes, 62, has spotted the Loch Ness Monster on his 45th annual visit; and that Ms Pippa Lee, 27, a plate spinner with a circus, is running out of plates.

Latest robbery updates: Police in Surrey have smashed an egg-poaching racket, arresting 13 people as they tried to flee a farm in Tadworth. No details on spoons. In Austria, meanwhile, thieves have got away with 21 tonnes of ketchup and mustard from the back of a lorry; officers there are trawling the usual sauces.

Finally, a choice, according to mood, of quotes from those whose anniversaries fall this week: A. J. Balfour, prime minister, born 163 years ago today: "Nothing matters very much, and few things matter at all." Or, from Earl Tupper: "The fruits of life fall into the hands of those who climb the tree and pick them." And then, of course, store them carefully in plastic containers.