Though it's grey and drizzly today where I am, the glad news comes that the past three months have been the sunniest winter since records began. This is exactly as one would have expected following the Met's confident prediction - reported here - of the wettest winter since The Flood (I exaggerate, slightly). It really takes something like genius to get these winter and summer forecasts so radically wrong year after year. Perhaps, like Eric Morecambe's 'the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order', the Met's seasonal forecasts are right - but not necessarily for the right year. In fact, they seem to be exactly one year out - adjust for that and they're impressively accurate.
I was in Sainsbury's this morning (living the life, as ever) and couldn't help noticing that their shopping trolleys now bear the legend - in ISIS-style white on black - 'Our values make us different.'
Hmmm. There's a statement that begs a few questions. E.g: What would they be then, these values? From what do they make you different? In what way(s) different? Why are you telling me this? Does it mean anything at all? If it does, does anyone believe it? Can anyone? Am I going to have to start doing my shopping at Lidl? Or do they have values too - different ones, of course?
Being very fond of extremely small books, I was pleased to come across a copy of Sorry Meniscus (1999), a tidy little pamphlet-length package from Iain Sinclair, with suitably grim grey photographs by Marc Atkins, subtitled Excursions to the Millennium Dome. The Excursions, described with typical Sinclairian relish and resource, are to the incomplete Dome as the Great Day draws near and everyone wonders what the hell they have made here, tries not to panic and racks what passes for their brains for something with which to fill the monstrous meaningless space. It's a shame it wasn't published later, after the Big Night and the unveiling of the full horrors of the Millennium Experience - I'd like to have read Sinclair's impressions of all that - but that would have been a bigger book. It's strange - or perhaps it isn't - that this whole sorry interlude has so soon lapsed from memory, nothing left of it all save another vast pop arena, minimally labelled 'O2'.