Yesterday, the 20th, was a very special day, though it’s extremely likely you didn’t know about it. I’m not referring to the eclipse, which in true English fashion was cancelled due to rain. It looked good in Wales though. Where I live it just got even gloomier and the birds stopped doing whatever they do and went back to sleepybybyes. No, something much more earth-shattering occurred. I refer, of course, to the fact it was UN International Day of Happiness. I bet that surprised you a bit. It was a day dedicated to the role of happiness and wellbeing in people’s lives.

Just who comes up with this tosh? What does the UN do to increase the happiness of people? It stands on the sidelines of huge conflicts. There are endless debates, and resolutions are passed, but in effect the UN does bugger all. It wrings its hands and says how terrible it is, then goes to bed with a clear conscience. Meanwhile people not safely tucked up in bed in New York die in droves, because the UN is a toothless, outmoded organisation that is not fit for purpose, largely because the permanent members of the Security Council would rather have their eyes put out with red-hot pins than agree with each other.

I’ve commented before on the futility of International Days. What is the point? Which leads me to another topic. Come the third Sunday in June, which is the 21st this year, it’s Father’s Day. This has no historical or religious basis, and is merely a commercial construct. Mother’s Day at least has a bit of history, even if it’s not quite what people think. It was never designed as a way of paying respect to motherhood, but to the Mother Church, which in this case was the Christian church. Mother’s Day has also grown like a bloody triffid on steroids, but at least it has some significance. Father’s Day is a shameless piece of hokum designed to extract money from people. This also goes for the less popular but still growing Grandmother’s Day. Try not to fall for that one. Be nice to her all year round.

Never mind. Only four days to International Waffle Day on March 25th. Then a few months to International Talk Like A Pirate Day on September 12th. Be still my beating heart. On the upside, Friday was also the vernal equinox, and unusually it wasn’t too windy.