Many years ago, when my daughter was the tiniest of tackers, I kissed her on the nose and said, by way of a joke: “I just ate your bogeys.”

“Nom nom,” she replied, sleepily. I that moment, I realised that we were raising a child with a quick wit and a predilection for gross-out humour.

These days, I am more likely to reprimand her for picking her hooter (especially in my bed). But it turns out that she’s in good company.

A recent study, of the kind that fills my inbox on a daily basis, has revealed the truth about a habit that's both widespread and yet rarely spoken about. A deep-delve into the private lives of 2,500 British residents showed that 58% admitted to engaging in nose-picking.

The majority confessed to disposing of the residues on furniture, with under the couch and behind the bed as prime locations. 

A further 22% flick their findings towards less visible surfaces, while 12% take the more discreet but no less unhygienic approach of rolling the nasal residue into a ball for disposal in a wastepaper basket.

A saintly 8% shows conscientious cleanliness, wrapping their disgusting debris in tissue before discarding it.

A separate poll ran across 3,000 office workers, a quarter of whom were found to be storing bogeys under their desks. Pity the poor hot desker reading this article – it’s best not to ask what lies beneath.

These surveys were conducted by web search experts A1SEO, when an eagle-eyed team member noticed a rise in searches for “how to remove bogeys from walls”, presumably by the flickers.

Having taken great delight in sharing such nauseating details, the study goes on to warn culprits that not only is the habit socially unacceptable, it can also be physically harmful. 

Bogeys are made up of mucus (aka snot) that has mixed with particles of dust, pollen, bacteria and other substances. They harbour bacteria and viruses, thus posing health risks to all who encounter contaminated spots.

Moreover, the habitual wiping of nasal secretions on soft furnishings can lead to stubborn staining and material damage, affecting not just sanitary conditions but also the aesthetics of living spaces.

From a personal hygiene perspective, the physical act of nose picking and improper disposal of the contents can escalate infection risks – and coming from a family of nose-bleeders, I can confirm that aggressive foraging only makes that condition a lot worse.

I’m willing to bet you’re either sniggering or squirming while you read all this. Either way, I feel compelled to ask: which category do you fall into?

Because, let’s face it, this phenomenon (scientific name: rhinotillexomania) is extremely common. While 58% of people admit to it, I’m sure a large chunk of the 42% are keeping conspicuously quiet or - to mix bodily metaphors - lying through their teeth.


Which was your favourite April Fool?

I especially enjoyed the A30 painted rainbow colours by Cornwall Pride, and the suggestion that Loe Bar had been washed away by torrential rains, allowing cruise liners to venture up the Helford.

Less amusing was our Easter Sunday mishap. Having prepared a lamb joint for dinner in the slow cooker, I went out for a walk with the family.

Very nice it was too – over to St Clement, across the Malpas and back via Sunny Corner. The rain even held off until the very end, when I trudged up the hill carrying a colander full of potatoes that had been peeled and parboiled by my Other Half’s mum, God bless her.

Upon my return, I was aghast to find the slow cooker switched off at the plug. I knew instantly who the culprit was.

OH is the enemy of “vampire power”, otherwise known as electrical appliances being left in standby mode. It’s estimated that standby power makes up a staggering 10% of all electricity used worldwide.

It’s therefore advisable to leave appliances and gadgets plugged in only when using or charging them, and switched off/unplugged at all other times, to avoid “phantom load”.

Leaving just one TV on standby can waste up to £16 of electricity a year. That might not sound like much, but when you tot it up to £432 million for all UK households (source: Utilita) – well, that’s pretty massive, both for the collective purse and for the planet.

The plug socket for the TV is too hard to reach, but OH does like to switch the radio off in the kitchen when no one is listening to it.

The radio sits next to the slow cooker. Both have black plugs. Guess which one he switched off on Sunday.

After some primal screaming and a few tears, I slammed the lamb in the oven and prayed no one got food poisoning. We all lived to tell the tale – even OH.