Captain Moonlight: Social trends

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The Independent Online
MY TRADE, as you know, is trivia. Not for me the seminal, the epochal, or even the vitally significant. No, what we go for here is the wavering, flickering, eponymous beam which provides tiny illuminations of the human condition, etc. Take, for example, Social Trends, the annual statistical digest, or 'snapshot of the nation', produced by the Central Statistical Office, published last week. Look elsewhere for analysis. What struck me was the catchily titled Table 10.2: Time use in a typical week: by employment status and sex, 1992-93, which shows that all workers, full or part-time, spend more time asleep than doing anything else. Makes you think, as does the fact that 3 per cent of men questioned had participated in dressmaking, needlework or knitting in the previous four weeks. Moving quickly on, the dove is the most numerous bird on farmland, and a woman in the UK can be expected to have 1.8 children. Finally, perhaps you can help me: why, last year, did 50,000 people leave the South-west for the South-east while 65,000 moved in the other direction? We should be told.