Read on for four cheering stories to put a smile on your face during lockdown

'We need more of this sort of picture'

The picture above, used in the Dorset Echo's 2013 report of the World Nettle Eating Championships at the Bottle Inn in Marshwood, amused reader Anna Owen of Wyke Regis no end.

In July 2013 she wrote: "Thank you so much Dorset Echo for giving me a reason to laugh. I refer to the great picture of the World Nettle Eating Championships at the Bottle Inn.

Dorset Echo:

"The winner in the centre of the picture is thoroughly enjoying himself, but what of the chap front left?

"He is clutching a bunch of nettles and is wearing a ‘laurel wreath’ of nettles and appears to be having a doze, sunbathing, or has he conked out with the excitement of it all? We need more of this sort of picture."

Weymouth's smallest dog

Dorset Echo:

In 1959 the Dorset Echo reported on Mr Oliver Taylor, of St Thomas Street, Weymouth, whose toy Yorkshire terrier, Trixie, was the town's smallest dog and also the smallest of its breed.

He had just acquired a new pygmy-sized dog, which was even tinier than the first.

Trixie, who died a few months before the article was written, was known to many Weymouthians as the little dog which loved to ride in her master's pocket, with her head just peeping out. She measured nine inches in length, six inches in height and weighed just 1½lb.

The dog Mr Taylor had acquired, Trixie No 2, weighed only 8oz and was only 6ins long and 3ins high.

Ugly fruit

Dorset Echo:

A misshapen tomato

Back in 2014 a new class was introduced at Dorset County Show celebrating ugly fruit.

The two day celebration of Dorset food and farming was doing its bit to prevent perfectly edible fruit and vegetables going to waste.

The show's competition planned to educate consumers about misshapen fruit and veg.

Show secretary Sam Mackenzie Green said: “There are no boundaries to this class, other than visual non-conformity and the more extreme the better.

“We’re looking for the complete antithesis to the fruit and vegetable norm – double heads knobs and protuberances will not only be most welcome but will also score the points.

“‘Ugliness’ in the context of its definition as ‘something not conventionally pretty or attractive’, is going to be celebrated, worshipped and adored in this year’s horticulture tent, rather than rejected and cast out.”

She added: “Our mission is to persuade our show-going public that misshapen fruit and veg can be just as tasty as the cream of the crop and that beauty, in this instance, should be in the taste buds of the beholder.”

Rubbish thief

Dorset Echo:

In 2008 we reported on pensioner Joan Goodland of Dorchester having the last laugh when a man carried a bag for her - then ran off with it.

The rubbish thief struck at the Dorchester block of flats where Miss Goodland, 93 at the time, lived in an upstairs maisonette.
She said: “I had my shopping bag in one hand and my rubbish bag in the other and I looked down and saw someone in the courtyard.
“I was going downstairs a bit awkwardly and I asked this young man if he would kindly take my bag down for me.
“Fortunately, I gave him the one with the rubbish and he kindly took it down stairs, hesitated a moment and then took off across the road.
“I never saw him again – he just went. I called out ‘hey’ but he didn’t look back.
“When I thought about it I just laughed and laughed. He would have got a surprise when he opened the bag and found my rubbish in there.”
Miss Goodland said the black plastic bag contained an assortment of household rubbish including an empty loo-cleaner bottle and an empty household cleaning bottle.
She added: “I do realise the seriousness of it but I’ve got a sense of humour. I didn’t report it to the police – I wouldn’t know him again if I saw him. It was only the rubbish and I don’t want it back but it’s just as well because I wouldn’t have had a chance to get anything off him, he was away so quickly.
“But it did make me laugh and I’d be quite happy for him to run off with my rubbish any time he wanted to.”