The news in the UK this week will be dominated by tales of the Toffs at their party conference. It’s being held in Birmingham, rather than the usual genteel seaside resort, and this is clearly as a sop to the Midlanders. We can expect a torrent of similar bogus vote winners, so as an antidote to the impending doom and gloom, some silly stuff from over the past few days.

Firstly, some crackpot mooted that people on public transport should wear some sort of badge to indicate they’re open to a nice little chat. This clearly won’t get off the ground, but I found it mildly worrying that anybody even thinks such a scheme is necessary. Are we really that insular as a nation? Then I saw the proposer travels in London, and it all fell into place. There are some miserable buggers in The Smoke. Unlike where I live where at least two people said, ‘Good morning,’ to me on the short walk to the library.

Then the heart-warming tale of Gertie the dog. She and her owner John Dooner were having a stroll down a beach in Pembrokeshire when a German tourist’s prosthetic leg was swept out to sea by a freak wave. Mr Dooner lobbed a stone in the general direction of the leg, and Gertie, being a dog and hence a bit dim, dashed into the briny, couldn’t find the stone (obviously), and brought the leg back instead. A curious aspect to this story is that the tourist had taken her legs off in order to sunbathe.

More water-based frolics now. A litter enforcement patrol operative (that’s a First World name for a job) slapped an 80 quid fine on a woman feeding some ducks on a river near Maidstone. The bread she was scattering was, in this blithering idiot’s mind, litter. The woman appealed and the fine was rescinded.

I need hardly add that the patrols are operated by a private company. The pretentiously named Kingdom Security has issued some 20,000 tickets in the past five years. They obviously pay on a commission basis, and their operators have a bit of a history of bollockbrainery of the highest order.

The company attempted to fine a couple of workmen for putting fag ends in their own wheelbarrow. Another man was threatened with a penalty for putting a stubbed-out ciggie in a bin that was allegedly not in use. How you can tell a bin is ‘out of use’ escapes me.

Now I sit and await even more bollockbrainery that will be spewing out of the Toffs up in Brum. But may I just offer my best wishes to Marcus Ericsson, the Caterham F1 driver who hit a chicken in Malaysia, and to Romain Grosjean, the Haas driver who had the misfortune to be hit by his own wing mirror when it fell off in practice.