In case you live under a rock and missed all the world-changing things that happened this summer, here’s a brief recap.
In politics, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had a baby while in office, then turned down her annual pay rise, saying the NZ$ 470,000 she receives is quite enough, thank you, even with nappies to buy. Across the Tasman Sea, Malcolm Turnbull became the fourth successive Australian prime minister to be deposed by his own party while in office. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Pacific, it became increasingly clear that some thug named Donald personally broke the law in order to get elected as US president.
Meghan Markle, the new Duchess of Sussex, and her husband, a chap named Harry, adopted a Labrador. Serena Williams’s catsuit was banned from future French Opens. Cristiano Ronaldo transferred to Juventus for a fee that would cover over 300,000 nights in one of the dodgier rooms at the London Hilton. And on Instagram, ludicrously sized sunhats became the new moderately sized sunhats.
Closer to home, in a case that has gripped the Netherlands since 1998, the murderer of an 11-year-old boy was finally arrested in Spain following the largest DNA testing programme in Dutch history. I was in Schiermonnikoog when that happened; they do get the news up there, whatever my neighbour in Amsterdam might think (‘Jeetje. Of all places’, he replied when I mentioned our trip to the Wadden Islands). In fact, it’s all happening on Schiermonnikoog these days. They have a sign saying Coffee 2 Go – can it get any hipper? – and a new shop called Schier Fashion, which, ten years back, would almost certainly have been Schier Mode. Globalisation, Schier style. And we even spotted, amongst the ageing German couples, for the first time in living memory, an Asian tourist. Diversity, Schier style.
Even closer to home, and the thing that undoubtedly changed the world the most: our 15-month-old started sleeping through the night. Happiness, parent style.