Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

Strangers' Britain

High cost of loving

Rent-a-womb mother Erika Bergern had a bit of explaining to do when her baby was born looking suspiciously like her husband.

She had signed an £8,000 contract with businessman Walter Schmidt not to have marital sex while she was trying to become pregnant with his injected sperm. When a daughter was born who was the spitting image of Erika's husband, Walter took her to court in Hamm.

Erike, 23, confessed "my husband and I got carried away one night and took a chance." The judge ordered her to repay the £8,000 to Herr Schmidt.

Rent-a-mum baby in despair

Britain's first rent-a-womb baby may never have a mum and dad to call her own. The tragic toddler- now aged three - faces the prospect of growing up all alone. In her short life, the child has:

Never met her real dad and would-be mum;

Never seen her actual mother since being put into care and made a ward when she was just 12 weeks old.

And may never be adopted by loving foster parents because her mother refuses to sign the vital papers.

The tragic situation has arisen because of a bitter row between Rita Parker, 41, and the childless woman she bore a baby for postman's wife Pauline Taylor.

Mrs Taylor, from Crewe, Cheshire, injected Mrs Parker with her husband's sperm in an amazing do-it-yourself operation using a £1.18p insemination kit supplied by the British pregnancy Advisory Service. But two days after finding she was pregnant, Mrs Parker who has 11 other children from two marriages dis- covered the Taylors had previously adopted a baby and handed it back into council care.

She said last week: "When I found out, I hated Pauline for deceiving me though till then we were like sisters. I decided to keep the baby and Pauline and her husband Harry completely lost interest."

£5,000 award for dead dog

A man has been ordered to pay £5,000 damages after a court ruled he was responsible for the death of a pedigree Doberman.

Chester, a stud dog, was killed by a car only 32 hours after it was entrusted into the care of Mr Gary Patterson, a former manager and chef of a restaurant at Thatcham, Newbury, Berkshire.

Mr Patterson had promised he would keep the dog in the fenced garden at the restaurant where he lived, but Chester ran on to a busy dual carriageway outside and was struck a car.

Newbury County Court heard that in February 1984 Mr Patterson went to buy a Doberman dog from a breeder, Mrs Valerie King of Ashford Hill, near Newbury.

Mr Patterson wanted a black and tan dog so Mrs King agreed to let him have Chester, her only stud dog, on condition that he looked after it well and that she retained full breeding rights, being able to use the dog as a stud whenever she wished.

In court Mrs King told Judge Blomfield that Chester was a great loss to her breeding business. Judge Blomfield estimated that Mrs King has lost about £6,200 over the past two years and ordered Mr Patterson to pay her £5,000 damages.

It’s the cheaper minute steak

The average man has never had it so good when it comes to buying food, drink and other essentials.

A pound of rump steak now takes 51 minutes to earn - compared with 54 minutes in 1971.

A pint of beer can be earned in 12 minutes as against 13 then. A bottle of Scotch takes 2hrs 16mins compared with 4hrs 17ms.

A large white sliced loaf is earned in seven as against nine minutes. A pound of butter in 17 as against 22 minutes. And a colour TV licence takes only 13hrs 40mins compared with 19hrs 40mins.

Welsh women are the sexiest

They're saucy in Swansea, raunchy inRhondda, and downright randy in Tonypandy. Not the boyos,'s the girls.

Welsh women are the sexiest in Britain, a new survey reveals. They love to make love anytime night or day.

They have sex more often than English, Scottish or Irish women.

They know precisely when they want it. They make love in the kitchen, the car and at work more than anyone else. And they're also unfaithful.

When asked how often they had sex with their partner, 31 per cent of Welsh women said daily or five or six times a week.

Only four per cent in London and seven per cent in the North of England could boast the same.

One in five wives admitted adultery, while sixty per cent of women quizzed said sex with a lover was better than with a regular partner.

Runners-up in the survey, published in the magazine Chat, were Scots lassies with 22 per cent enjoying sex almost every day.

No sex please, the cat is lost

Newlyweds David and Julie Biddle have scrapped their honeymoon to search for their lost moggie.

They should have spent their wedding night cuddling up in an inn on the Austrian ski slopes. Instead, they spent it trudging the streets looking for their four- year-old black and white cat Tonic.

Tonic vanished on the eve of their church wedding - so as soon as the reception was over David, 30, and 29-year-old Julie, set off on their hunt.

David, a financial consultant, said: "We simply couldn't go on the honeymoon in case she suddenly turned up and there was no one there.

"We have probably lost the £600 we paid for the holiday. Insurance companies don't cover lost cats in their cancellation clauses.

"But we would not have been able to enjoy ourselves."

The couple combed the five miles between Marston Green, West Midlands, where David had lived with Tonic, and their new home at Blayshorne Avenue, Solihull.

Despite the newly weds efforts there has been no trace of tearaway Tonic.

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