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April fools

23 March 2010

A cold March that cannot make its mind up about being spring is fairly dire, but April is the cruellest month. It has to be really, what with its curious habits of breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire and stirring dull roots with spring rain.

He was very poetic, that T S Eliot, and also bang on the button about the fourth month of the year even if he did not have the cessation of the first six in mind. It can be a very cruel month indeed – when pupil barristers emerge, blinking into the light, from the dark basements where they have sweated over particulars of claim and puzzled over law reports with the comforting knowledge that their work, if good, will be praised and if less than good will be massaged into a better shape by kindly supervisors.

And now, they are, lilacs notwithstanding, on their own in front of tribunals that may not be kind at all. Neither massage nor support are theirs – hopefully they will have friendly numbers to ...

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