Sunday, 26 July 2009

The Silly Season

I'm not sure how this works in other countries, but in Britain a sure sign that you have "arrived" is whether or not you have to turn up for work between July and September. Needless to say I do, so clearly haven't. But all the top politicians, judges, academics, BBC presenters and so on are now quietly vanishing for a couple of months, leaving the country to stumble on without their lead. I expect we'll manage somehow.

I think originally it had something to do with clearing out of London at the height of the Stink / Plague / Riot season, but that excuse has worn pretty thin. Like the recent furore over MPs' expenses, it's yet another privilege that looks increasingly dated and indefensible. Frankly, the only people who need that much of a break over the summer are secondary school teachers, for whom nothing is too good.*

But, apparently nothing worth mentioning ever happens to anyone worth writing about in the summer (and no doubt all the top reporters and all their top connections are out of town), so the newspapers traditionally descend into the Silly Season. The paper still needs filling (but they do get thin at this time of year, don't they?), so the UFO reports, items tenuously based on statistical research, and "man bites dog" stories acquire a seasonal prominence. As someone who enjoys a good crop circle story, this is not all bad news, as it were.

If my stats are anything to go by, blogging appears to hit a summer lull, too. It's conceivable that most of my readers are top drawer folk even now throwing open the blinds of their Tuscan villas, but I suspect it's more a case of the general Northern Hemisphere holiday season casting its benign blight over anything requiring more effort than spreading a beach towel. So, my response will be to reduce the frequency of posting a little. Again, the stats tell me that people rarely go back to read old posts so, just like the papers, you'll have to forgive me if I save up the Good Stuff until the days start to shorten noticeably.

*Any judges reading this need to have tried at least two terms teaching classes of 30 15-year-olds before I will accept their exculpatory whinings.

1 comment:

Gavin McL said...

I am quite happy for the upper echelons to wander off for the summer my wife is middle ranking civil servant and at the beck and call of ministers and both upper and lower houses and this summer period is delightful she arrives home on time and unstressed by the the petty whims of our great masters. Keep the long recess