It is the best of times, if you're John Lewis, it is the worst of times, if you're Marks & Spencer. These two titans of British retail are going through very different experiences. John Lewis continues to grow robustly whereas poor M&S, despite the strength of its food business, desperately needs to turnaround its declining, core clothing business.
People are angry with banks - they have every right to be after all the scandals that have engulfed the sector. Our small and medium-sized members often feel that the bank will do what is best for itself, rather than the customer. But a thriving economy is dependent on a healthy banking system and banking won't be healthy without trust.
If I hadn't seen the drop-dead gorgeous dresses in their A/W collection - many with the kind of sleeves most grown-up women crave - I might be less excited by her announcement. But Ms Earl, 51, brings back to M&S that intangible something - call it class, call it good taste, call it style - which has been so sorely lacking in the past decade.
Yes, it's only one lone piece of clothing in our be-thin-to-win world. Yes, you shouldn't worry what size you take to the cashier if you decide this top would give you confidence. But it's just another cog in the machine to make us feel like we must strive to be smaller or else cover our flesh in sheep's clothing to look ever more svelte and idealistic.