Barbara Hepworth died in a fire in her St Ives home in 1975 and, although her reputation has not diminished since then, it has hardly risen. Rather, perhaps, it has spread, at least among visitors to her studio and garden in St Ives, where she lived the last 26 years of her life, or to Wakefield, where she was born in 1903 and near where her nine-piece group 'The Family of Man' stands magisterially on a grass slope in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
Here's something to be cheerful about. At an English Premiership football match last year, the fans of one London club were heard to be singing the following jolly refrain: 'We all agree, our coons are better than your coons.'
We should be glad, because this little chanson marks what we might call a paradigm shift in the perceptions and expectations of a certain tranche of educationally subnormal white-trash football supporters.
The country-and-western singer Kinky Friedman has a song called 'They Ain't Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore'. 'They don't turn the other cheek the way they done before,' sings Kinky. Had he met The Right Reverend Hugh Montefiore, the former Bishop of Birmingham, Kinky might have changed his tune.
'It happened out of the blue.' Montefiore, now 82, leans back on a delicate-looking wooden chair, balances it on two legs and rocks gently as he recalls his schooldays.
I once heard of an Ivy League professor who had written 50 constitutions. All of them collapsed, including the one for the college boat club. If that gentleman is not now advising the Convention on the Future of Europe, someone very like him surely is.
On the opening day of the convention in March 2002, its president, ValZry Giscard d'Estaing, bravely compared the congress to the Philadelphia Convention, which wrote the US constitution in 1787.
Here are four connected facts. First, on Monday, Standard Life - one of Britain's most respected investment institutions - cut the value of its payouts to 2.3 million pension savers by 15 per cent. Second, some 30,000 people have lost their jobs in the City of London this winter - including Alex, the cartoon archetype invented by Charles Peattie and Russell Taylor, who was given the heave-ho by 'Megabank' a couple of weeks ago.