Now I understand it. Sisters spread happiness, while brothers breed distress, according to research by the University of Ulster. That explains it. I had three brothers and no sisters. And I suppose it's true that we didn't find talking about our feelings terribly interesting. We just beat each other up. Probably why I'm such a miserable so-and-so. The one up-side of this news is that my grandchildren are all girls, bearers of happiness. Bless you, girls.
But let me tell you about my distress today. It was going to be a big day, because our new wardrobe was due to arrive, and then we'd be able to unpack our last clothes and send the packing cases back to the removers. Jane had a big (and painful) dentist's appointment; so we'd told M & S that I'd be on my own and I was disabled. 9.30 am, and I saw a man waving a big white delivery van reversing down our cul de sac. Hurray! Delivery man 1 rang, and came in. I met him in the hall. 'Where's it for?' So I told him. Jane had cleared space for it all in the big bedroom. Down he came. 'Have you got anyone who could move the bed?' 'Er, no! Can't you do it?' I was looking at a tough bloke and there was presumably another one in the van. 'We're not allowed to touch your furniture. We're not insured.' Well, after phone calls to HQ, the long and the short of it was they got in their van and drove away. I was not a happy bunny, as they say. I'm working on a letter the beknighted Executive Chairman. It seems to me an instance of disability discrimination. So Jane came home, mouth numb, root filled, only for me to break the bad news.
On a totally different plane, I think there's better news on the G20 front. Despite the journalists' gloomy prognistications (Perhaps they all just had brothers....) and unless you're entirely cynical, they do seem to have made progress. A trillion dollars for the IMF which could help poorer nations, plus agreement on tax havens and bank regulation. I know agreement isn't the same thing as it happening, but it's a first step. I've begun to pray a bit more seriously for world leaders. I used to think it was hopeless; now I'm not so sure.