Happy Monday to you, and one made even happier by the good kicking just given to that overrated article, the weekend. You probably didn't notice, as you were far too busy relaxing in the supermarket or the queue for something everybody else wanted to do. So I'll precis: report finds that work worries stop at 12.38 pm on Saturday and start again at 3.55 pm on Sunday. Exactly: Monday is far superior – you can worry all day without having to worry that you shouldn't be worrying. You don't have to worry about the weather, going for a walk, to the pub, Ikea, which must-see cosy TV to watch, or whether you really should be discovering some great new activity that involves driving miles with something in a trailer or one of those roof thingies. Best of all, there's five days until you have to do it all again. All that and Britain's newest newspaper, too: steady.
CONSOLATION IN ERROR: misreadings and mishearings can be enlivening. I thought it odd that 19 per cent of over-50s had an unfulfilled ambition to own a greenhouse: this turned out to be a dream house. Then, glancing at a man in a beard in an advert staring out moodily, I read it first as "Romford" rather than "Tom Ford". This led me to one of that excellent Essex township's finest sons, Francis Quarles, 17th-century poet, who provides this wise counsel: "Put off thy cares with thy clothes; so shall thy rest strengthen thy labour, and so thy labour sweeten thy rest." And (perhaps unsurprisingly) he had 18 children. And died penniless. Ah, well.
KNOWLEDGE IS THE FOE OF WORRY: here is an update, Xmas-wise. Tinsel is back as, mindful of the recession, we turn away from expensive tack to cheap tack. Bad news for slack dads who tend to pace preparations: Christmas-tree shortage. Bad news for Santa, and worse for his helpers: reindeer steaks on sale, Lidl. Finally, drunken uncle early warning: mistletoe glut.
Just because you don't worry, though, doesn't mean it isn't going to happen. For sobering balance, I should like to pass on some recent gleanings: 1. Kent is infested with huge numbers of giant goldfish. 2. Four out of five car radios will be obsolete within five years. 3. Should we worry about asteroids hitting earth? Professor Brian Cox, physicist, former member, D:Ream: "Yes, is the short answer." See: Things cannot only get better.