Monday, 28 March 2016


I have spent the past week feeling refreshed.

Originally the word “Easter” comes from the Saxon ‘Eostre’, the pagan Goddess of Spring which in turn came from the Germanic ‘Austro’ - the Goddess of Dawn. From its outset Easter was always magical. The Christian story of the risen Christ made it much more so.

Something magical still happens every year. Welcome to spring flowers; to plucky battalions of daffodils; to some experimental bursts of sunshine and lambs gambolling.  In April we put on walking shoes to go on pilgrimage like Chaucer.

Change is in the air and, of course, more sunlight makes life easier. This and a degree of gastronomic restraint as opposed to the mandatory, bloated excess of Christmas means this season of celebration leaves us feeling ready to get going.

So, yes, I feel terrific and my good humour even extends to the bunch of jokers who’d been making me rather grumpy recently.

What do this lot have in common? Trump; Putin; Farage; Johnson.

And of course you’re right.

Extravagant egos; wrong people to run anything; irresolute yet dictatorial; will do/say anything to get their own way. They make Kevin Spacey acting the part of Frank Underwood in “House of Cards” look very electable.  They have all pandered or are currently pandering to a vision of the present and future forged entirely out of a nostalgic image of former glory. But to be fair they have the capacity to entertain us as well as baffle.

Hence my good humour. I suddenly realised I was taking what they said much too seriously. The best way to debunk is to deflate with laughter. And anyway the premise of an argument solely based on rationality will inevitably fail. As that supple brained Ad Man Rory Sutherland recently noted, on issues like the EU or the America Presidency or which house to buy or whom to marry, emotion rightly plays a large part.

When I turn on the news or I read the paper I often find I’m reduced to frothing rage.
But then when I see a front cover of Private Eye like this one….

….or I see the cartoon of Paul Daniels’ funeral at which someone is sawing his coffin in half saying “it was how he’d have wanted it” , I feel much better.

So a diet of roast lamb, minted potatoes and Cote de Beaune plus walking in bluebell woods (soon) plus a lot of good old fashioned, squirm provoking and sharp satire plus a resolution to be much nicer to people will do me well enough.

We live in uncertain times said billionaire Warren Buffett. Well yes, but what fun that uncertainty creates. Every day is a cliff-hanger. And the great thing about spring is it signifies the end of a winter of discontent

So I’ve resolved to start listening more and laughing a lot more.

Join me - a very happy spring and Easter to everyone.

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