Hope you've all had a good Be Nice to Nettles week!
I thought this was a joke until I researched it - I get told all sorts of things by the people I work with, it's always worth double-checking what they claim before using it in other conversations. But no, this one is genuine! I was delighted, there's something quite cute about the title of this event. The Natural History Museum even had a Nettle Day yesterday, with lots of themed activites and gifts being sold.
It turns out that nettles are actually very useful wee plants. They provide safe nests for certain species of butterflies to lay their eggs, they provide a home for ladybirds, they apparently help Cornish Yarg cheese to ripen and they make a delicious tea when brewed. It's even claimed that they delay mould growth when used as packaging for fruit - I think I'll carry out an experiment on this one, I'd be very interested to see how well it performs.
I've found an unlikely love in nettles this week. They're a lot more useful than I'd first thought, not the horrible things which I considered to be the wasps of the plant world some years ago. The week ends tomorrow, go out and appreciate them a bit - wave at them for a while if you're not very self-conscious.
Come back, nettles! All is forgiven!