Each week I use this space to share my five thoughts of the week – the good, the bad and the ugly.

But, I’m not selfish, so I’m also very happy to donate the space to guest writers to have their say, so write to me using the details below.

1. The ubiquitous ice bucket challenge was delayed reaching me, so I felt the need to do it a little bit differently. Those interested will find it on News Shopper’s website, but the number of people being seriously injured as they up the ante to ever-more spectacular stunts beggars belief. It’s supposed to be a bit of fun for a good cause.

2. Now here’s something I never thought I’d say – I honestly think traffic congestion on the M25 is improving. The default setting is to moan constantly about jams, but credit where it’s due, recent improvements have made a difference for the better, there I’ve said it, disagree if you can.

3. Tax discs become a thing of the past this October. And, for some reason I can’t quite identify, it makes me sad. Maybe I’m just afraid of change and there’s no good reason to keep them, so I’m sure I’ll get over it. But, like me, I bet a few people will feel a little bit sad about this one for a while.

4. Why don’t oranges taste like they used to? I love fruit of all sorts and oranges were one of my favourites, but they’re not what they were. Strange thing is, if anything they’re even juicer than they used to be, but the taste has gone. The growing process must have changed and the zest somehow lost.

5. What possible reason can there be for men of a certain age to start growing hair in their ears?

Thank you for reading.

Send in your 5THOUGHTS by email to aparkes@london.newsquest.co.uk. on Twitter to @parkestheeditor or through Facebook