THOUGHT-PROVOKING: They do things differently at Sofala. Some parents might consider this quite appealing. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 081616csnapTHE staff at Bathurst’sJohn Matthews & Co Pharmacy had plenty to cheer about as the Olympics Games rolled in Rio overnight on Monday.

As the Games’ focus turned to track and field, Australian Madeline Hills lined up in the final of the 3000m steeplechase.

Madeline is the sister of John Matthews pharmacist Marcus Heiner and the whole staff were sending their support to her.

And Madeline did them all proud, finishing seventh in the gruelling race.

Emu enjoys the close encounterA LOCAL cyclist had a curious interaction with wildlife on the weekend.

Our friend was out riding to the south of the city when he came across an emu casually strolling down the middle of the road.

He took out his phone to film the encounter and it was quite clear the emu was as interested in the rider as the rider was in the emu.

Only in Australia.

Those quirks encapsulatedAND now, only inBritain.

Parade read an obituary for the 6th Duke of Westminsterin one of the metropolitan papersthis week and reckons it neatly contained so many of the contradictions and quirksof the mother country.

There was the extreme wealth (the Duke had a fortune estimated at more than $13.5 billion), the property ownership straight out of the Monopoly board game (he owned quite a bit of Mayfair, apparently) and the sort of unusual name that only the British can supply (he married the daughter ofLt-Col Harold “Bunny” Phillips).

But then there was the burden of responsibility (he was 15 when his uncle the 4thDuke died and “everyone started to treat me differently”), the sense of reserve (he said it would drive him “bonkers” if he thought too deeply about how much money he was making or losing) and the yearning for the respect of the ordinary man(the Duke was a long-serving Territorial Army officer who spent at least one weekend a month on exercises with down-to-earth soldiers).

It was, in summary, a fascinating read –a slice ofBritain in miniature.

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