The terrible torment of politics in early August is especially excruciating this year.
Twelve months ago was bad enough. I recall staggering into a deserted parliament (out of boredom of course) before being told by a sage old veteran that the first week of August is, approximately, the most tedious period known to man.
Two years ago Russia obliged by invading South Ossetia. Last year Locerkbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi's compassionate release livened up the Worst Month Of All. So far, this month hasn't come up with an equivalent relief at all. The row with Pakistan definitely doesn't count.
The break is, arguably, worse than usual, because MPs are set to return for a two-week sitting of parliament in September. It means they only have five weeks or so to cram in their summer holidays - and so are all off at once. No one is available to speak to because they are all on a beach somewhere.
The result? Those who haven't yet managed to escape are left trying to get worked up about very little. They can, for example, write five paragraphs about absolutely nothing. A journalist's work is never done.