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VALUABLE things we've learned this week:

One. No matter how scary prices become - food, petrol, clothes, houses - there's always someone who's worth an absolute fortune yet still finds them utterly outrageous.

Robbie Williams has bought Michael Winner's old west London mansion - 46 rooms, Grade 2* Listed, cinema, swimming pool, editing suite - for £17.5 million. It isn't just that Winner tried to sell it for £60m two years ago, before the estate agents murmured apologetically, well, Michael, it's actually worth a bit less than that. It's more that Williams, who is worth £100m and already owns an £8m, seven-bedroom Wiltshire mansion, is appalled by how much it costs to find a decent place in the capital.

"Prices are astronomical," he complained, before adding, with a sensitivity towards the ordinary person that quite becomes him: "I don't know how anybody can afford to live in London full stop. It's all unrealistic ... I just want to park outside the house but you can't get anywhere. It's frightening. Even garages are going for £500,000. Parking spaces are £250,000."

My first thought was that there was something strangely comforting in the fact that someone who is worth £100m should be staggered by London property prices.

My second, more compelling, thought was - hold on, half a mil for a garage? If only I had a way of taking my empty double garage to London and selling it, I'd be able to retire before Christmas.

Things we've learned, two. The going price of a Nissan 370Z is one testicle. An American, Mark Parisi, is donating one of his testicles for scientific research in return for $35,000 (£21,000). Not because he is in dire financial straits - but because he wants to buy one of these Nissans. Good job, really, that he doesn't have his eye on a Maserati.

Things we've learned, three. A special way of making sure your fellow passengers on a flight will always remember you? Singing U2 as loudly and atrociously as you can.

A survey of midair irritants uncovered the case of a couple in their 20s, who murdered U2 songs until asked to desist by a stewardess.

They took this badly, causing other passengers to fear there would be an incident. Their main defence seemed to be that they were from New York.

"Thankfully they stopped," a fellow passenger observed. "But it was a while before I could enjoy U2 again."

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