The late, great John Arlott was commentating on a cricket match towards the end of the day and was becoming grumpy at his co-commentators constant reminder that the sun was setting in the west. Arlott announced, 'The ball is taken by the wicket-keeper, there's no run, the sun continues to set in the west and, should it choose to set in any other place, you dear listeners will be the first to know.'
It was a reminder of the first rule of journalism - it is a story only if it is out of the ordinary. Man bites dog is far more interesting than dog bites man.
The second rule of journalism is to check sources. Which is why it is a joy and delight to learn that the story in the Church Times last week about church jumble sales not being allowed to sell product in re-used jam jars, turns out (due to Andrew Graystone's work checking) to have been a delightful spoof.
'Church takes a while to get appointment of Archbishop right' is a current non-story out of which some people are trying to get news. Sometimes, the Bible tells us, there should be nothing better to do than wait, hope, rest and pray.
But here is some news to ponder. A chat with a friend at a party the other night threw up this conundrum - is it OK to go off with a stranger if you are a child? If it is not (and tragically it seems that April Jones went off with someone she knew) then why was it OK, when the hunt was still for a missing girl, for thousands of strangers to turn up to help look for her? How do we work out the rules to teach our kids?
A jumble of thoughts today. Probably because it's last week's day off taken a bit late. Chill time.