The euphoria in which I was warmly enveloped on a sunny Monday morning has by now, this heat-oppressed Wednesday evening, completely dissipated.
I knew the mood couldn’t last, of course, and sure enough the morning papers and the evening news bulletins have since revelled in reminding us how bad things are in the world: the American economy remains in deep trouble – congressional budget stitch-ups notwithstanding; the leaders of the so-called Euro-zone persist in failing to convince the rest of the planet that 29 countries with 29 differing economies, histories and social cultures can function happily with one currency; the regime in Syria has resumed killing protesters on an industrial scale – if it ever stopped; and now Egypt seems to be in danger of boiling up again. To consolidate the misery, stock markets around the world have understandably responded to these and other baleful developments by falling out of bed.
Even Britain’s recent spell of balmy weather is predicted to end in thunderstorms tomorrow.
Whatever happened to those traditional and beloved dog days of August? There was a time when Fleet Street editors, with half the world on holiday, had so little of importance to report that they were blissfully driven to filling their columns with daft man-bites-dog stories about nuns working as waiters at gay bars, greyhounds swimming the English Channel in relays for charity and guests at Buckingham Palace garden parties swearing to have seen three-legged aliens disguised as footmen serving cocktails.
Well, it’s only the second day of the month, so perhaps there’s still time for the annual infusion of benign madness. I do hope so.