In the newspaper world there is a mythical top drawer where tried and tested ideas are frantically plucked from when the time is right.
In the past week or so a significant proportion of the country has been in an almighty sulk either because they voted Remain, had put good money on England’s footballers ending 50 years of hurt, have hoped for some summer sun in the comfort of their back garden or are Boris Johnson.
It is at times like these that millions of people require help with simple tasks such as smiling and newspapers, despite being regarded by many as doom mongering scandal sheets, are only too happy to oblige as, after all, the readers won’t return if they are fed solely on a diet of misery.
It didn’t take a genius to surmise that much of the nation’s mood was as flat as a Roy Hodgson team talk, which is why a succession of publications and websites reached for the trusted formula of lists of reasons to be cheerful. As a result, we have been reminded that it is 30-odd days until British athletes aim to restore some national pride at the Rio Olympics and that it is little over five months until Christmas. But even this isn’t enough to make us forget our status as the joint second best footballing nation in the British Isles and that Westminster currently resembles the opening credits to Fraggle Rock.
In a bid to keep the dreaded black dog away from the door I have up with my own list of things which keep my spirits up:
The fact that England’s rugby players have finally rediscovered the ability to upset Australians everywhere; the realisation that our exit from the dire Euro 2016 will probably mean that all that extra lager supermarket bosses optimistically ordered back in May will probably go on special offer before the summer is out; being guided through arguably the most tumultuous few weeks in living memory by the imperious John Humphrys - I wouldn’t want anybody else to deliver me bad news, regardless of what it is; discovering that elusive missing final ‘clean’ dummy in the back pocket of one’s jeans - the fluff is easily licked off; having a baby who (generally speaking) sleeps through the night, although I have probably put the mockers on it now; working out how to change a nappy while at the same time as changing the channel;currently being able to listen to Ken Bruce’s Popmaster on a daily basis and giving oneself the benefit of the doubt on more than one question;being able to hold a five minute conversation with a builder without appearing to be clueless (I am); finally being able to grow the semblance of a beard at the age of 39;n ot having a clue who is number one in the Hit Parade and not really giving a monkey’s about it; having never watched a second of Geordie Shore or The Only Way Is Essex; despite suffering the heartbreak of play-off defeat little more than six weeks ago, being giddy with excitement about my team’s first pre-season friendly; wearing cartoon socks, safe in the knowledge that nobody really cares - they never have; not being American because if we think we have problems politically then remember that they have to vote for either Trump or Clinton in November; having never met Nigel Farage.
We’ve all got a list in us and next time it is all getting too much give it a try.