After the past few months - or has it only been weeks - I'm looking forward to a boring summer. We've been on an emotional roller coaster: crazy, delusional people killed innocents and awful accidents destroyed lives, families, and homes; but on each occasion the British people rallied together to show each other how much they really do care.
A lot of my work is in risk management and stress testing. These recent events would each be labelled as "tail events", things that statistically would only happen once every few years. In short, these are the "black swans" of life.
Last week, we've also had a once-in-forty-year heatwave - another black swan. In the men's cricket Champions Trophy, England made it to the semi-finals: also something that isn't normal. Sadly, in the women's Cricket World Cup, where England are the holders and have been a power in the game for years, they lost to India in the opening match.
Technically, the (astronomical) summer has only just started (those of us that dabble in the black arts of statistics are sticklers for detail) but if these trends continue we may well end completely re-writing the book by the autumn solstice.
So, I have a hope, a request to the universe: may we please have an average summer? My wish list would include:
- Some hot days, some cool days, and some rain. We want to be able to wear our summer dresses, get gently browned in the park or garden, but be able to cool down easily. So not too much heat or rain and no more records of any sort!
- No new election - please let's not set a record for the shortest parliament! Maybe I'm asking for the impossible here: politicians, can you work together for the good of the country and put your egos aside?
- The UK economy to grown at an "average" rate. If we were to see 0.6 percent each quarter for the next four then we'd reach 2.4% (nice!)
- The positive spirit of coming together to help each other to be the new, boring normal way of life, and not something that needs to only come to light after atrocious events
- Some British sporting successes: at least one Brit in the Wimbledon finals, some wins for the home side at the IAAF World Championships in August, and a few more wins in cricket
Finally, if we're going to keep making records, perhaps we should re-name the tail event from "black swan" to something more British. Any objections to "albino pigeon"?