Silverish lining

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Up in the columns above us, the weighty matters of the world are daily digested, discussed and disposed of. In the way of the world, there is rarely a surfeit of optimism and cheer. Down here, in contrast and compensation, we tend to seek out subjects which will allow us to reach lighter conclusions about the great human experiment.

Up in the columns above us, the weighty matters of the world are daily digested, discussed and disposed of. In the way of the world, there is rarely a surfeit of optimism and cheer. Down here, in contrast and compensation, we tend to seek out subjects which will allow us to reach lighter conclusions about the great human experiment.

So let us turn to that great British staple, the weather. And it has been rather good recently, hasn't it? Blazing leaves, clear skies. There are even figs on the trees for the squirrels to steal. So good, in fact, that the frogs are refusing to hibernate and the starlings are bringing their mating rituals forward from spring. And in Rhyl, let us tell you, a swallow is even refusing to fly south.

Why, if we were in fanciful mood, we might even venture that Dame Nature has been doing her best to cheer us up. But we are aware that another leading British characteristic is to take solace in gloom; so we had better add that there is bound to be some depressing explanation for all this, and, as far as the starlings are concerned, such unseasonal attachments seldom last.

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