26 Much has been made this week of Gordon Brown’s convictions, not least by the prime minister himself. This is not a man, it seems, who wrestles with existential angst at three in the morning.
19 Impression is often stronger than information. If Northern Rock didn’t know it before the government and Bank of England’s reassurances failed to stop people queuing all night to get at their money, it certainly knows it now.
12 Even I have been known to emerge from a shopping centre clutching a little green bag full of smelly things, though they haven’t usually been for me. But I can’t deny the pervasive influence of Anita Roddick.
5 One of my children discovered a live earwig on opening a jar of Tesco’s best strawberry jam the other week, thus confirming that appearances can be deceptive.
15 Like Gordon Brown, I’ve taken my summer break in the UK. Why put up with the hassle of airport queues and the guilt of that ever-growing carbon footprint when you can don your hat, scarf and woolly jumper and enjoy the vast swathes of deserted beaches in Northumberland?
1 The peace process has been long and tortuous, but for the people of Northern Ireland the journey is only just beginning. It’s difficult for most of us to imagine living in such a divided society.
25 In his foreword, the prime minister describes the review as ‘a vision of how the state and the third sector working together at all levels and as equal partners can bring about real change in our country’. Now there’s a statement to tuck away and dig out every time that relationship is strained.
18 Followers of Welsh rugby will be familiar with hwyl. It’s that peculiarly Welsh quality – passion, spirit, national pride, courage, and a sense of belonging.
11 Ever since Margaret Thatcher launched the most destructive British premiership in modern history by quoting St Francis of Assisi, I’ve been wary of politicians who arrive waving olive branches.
4 The contrast between the two regeneration teams I met this week couldn’t have been greater. The first was a community development team, based in a bungalow next to a council building that had seen better days.