Something I read today: "The smell of rain can help reduce stress and improve your mood by up to 60%". Who knew? The person who posted this, together with a picture of rain pouring down, went on to suggest that this is why Mancunians are always cheerful. Personally, I try to avoid the smell of rain and much prefer the smell of summer, that smell of dry grass and slightly parched earth. Or possibly the smell of a crisp, bright frosty morning. But someone must have done some research in order to obtain the statistics. Although it is, of course, quite possible, that the statistics were simply invented.
Whatever the truth of the matter, today started with a definite smell of rain and a fine drizzle falling all around here. This was at about 8.30am for me. According to my daughter, it was even worse at 7.30am when she drove the workers of the family, her partner and her daughter, to the railway station. I walked to the market in the drizzle and by the time I returned it had mostly stopped. Since then the day has improved significantly. So perhaps by the time I head into Manchester to meet my granddaughter and her boyfriend the sun might even shine on us.
Meanwhile out in the wider world chaos still seems to reign.
There has been a vote in parliament in favour of a third runway at Heathrow, leading to Boris Johnson declaring his intention to lay himself down in front of the bulldozers. Maybe they will sell tickets for people to watch that happen. The general consensus seems to be that, despite that decision, the runway has little chance of actually being built. It will take so long to deal with the protests and appeals, the ramifications of the compulsory purchase orders on the home that are in the way, not to mention the odd listed building here and there. Here is a link to Steve Bell's cartoon about the third runway.
Our prime minister is reluctant to discuss Brexit in parliament in case the rest of Europe finds out what the plans are. Surely she can find a way around that. Or is this more shilly-shallying to disguise the lack of real plans?
Across the channel in Calais, they say they have cleared everyone out of the Jungle ahead of schedule and demolition can now go ahead. How did matters ever get so bad over there? Between 6000 and 8000 people have been "cleared out, adults transferred to centres around France and "unaccompanied minors have been moved to shipping containers converted into temporary shelters in the camp". How terrified must those unaccompanied minors be!
I shall refrain from listing further depressing things going on around the planet.
Forget about the smell of rain reducing stress; we need a lot more than rain to clear up the mess we seem to be making of the world at the moment.