This was a week much coveted: one with a Bank Holiday in. But it wasn't all gripping Doctor Who returns, football nostalgia and, sadly, saying goodbye to yet another staple of our childhood and beyond. Although that was a pretty big part of it, and rightly so.
The Ebola virus for one has found its way to these shores, with one confirmed case requiring a tent with built in suits, and one case of wild speculation in Ireland causing a "2+2 = AAAARGH!" scenario. And speaking of things that are disproportionately and adversely affecting non-white people, Boris Johnson has a plan for people returning from war zones: string them up by their ankles and turn the judicial system on its head with it. Former Attorney General and Marty McFly's father Dominic Grieve (seriously, look at him!) stepped in with centuries of common sense behind him, while Colonel Bob Stewart made a statement on The World At One backing Boris that I'm still not 100% convinced isn't Chris Morris.
Up North the Scottish independence referendum is hitting the final straight, with postal voters already casting their decisions. What should in all likelihood have been a 16 percentage point win for the No side looks a lot less certain now. A negative Alastair Darling came off the worst on Monday's bad-tempered debate, and a disastrous campaign ad involving a character whose smugness so radiated from the screen, if they could harness it as an energy source they wouldn't need to worry about east coast oil any more. At this stage, a well-timed TV screening of Braveheart could tip the balance.
But while uncertain change looms large over much of the world, there was one great sign of positive development: lesbian pageant winners. No, no, hear me out: in Ireland Maria Walsh became to first Rose of Tralee winner to come out. The overwhelmingly warm reaction was significant, given how just over twenty years ago homsexuality was illegal, and the Calor Gas Housewife of The Year was still a thing. In Spain, a beauty queen came out around the same time, breaking the patrician facade of the Miss Insert Country Here format. We can only hope they would have won had they came out before they won their sashes.
In a way Ireland's Calor Housewife era ended officially this week, as the Taoiseach during the early nineties Albert Reynolds was laid to rest. At the time he was pilloried for being comically rural and unstatesmanlike, and in fairness he was. But his rural bona fides are now forever index linked with his enormous contribution to the peace process. Stultifying as both he and John Major ( the man whom Stephen Fry claimed you could lend your lawnmower to without fear) appeared in 1994, neither seem quite so bad any more, twenty years on.Suggest a correction