Byline: Peter Collins
IT is a new dawn. It is pretty dismal. It shouldn't be like this. We are, after all, at the beginning of May. It should be sunny and warm with blue skies fostering a feeling of optimism about carefree summer days to come.
Yet as I write at the crack of this new dawn, the skies are cloudy and a chill wind is blowing the litter through the streets of battered Barry.
And it's not only the weather that dampens the spirits. The inconclusive result of a "once-in-a-generation" General Election campaign, which nevertheless lacked real vision and hope, does nothing to persuade one to take to the streets singing and dancing.
Regular readers will recall my purple pyjamas period when I would rise at dawn to record my random thoughts for your delectation.
Well, I'm getting a bit long in the tooth for such early morning musings. Apart from today, I am usually decently attired at a civilised hour of the day when I sit down to write this.
I'm here at dawn today (Friday) having been up most of the night covering the election result in the Vale of Glamorgan. Goodness me, as the hours ticked by how I longed for the comfort of my bed and those long-lost pyjamas.
If memory serves me right, my optimistic purple pyjamas period began at about the time that the newly elected Prime Minister Tony Blair talked about a new dawn.
Foolishly, we believed him, perhaps because he had a nice smile.
But since then we have become understandably disillusioned and cynical. These emotions have not been fundamentally banished during this election, which has been dominated in one way or another by money, money, money.
Spending cuts, the structural deficit, the national debt, the falling pound wore us down as we looked in vain for a future based on a deeper, more satisfying vision. We deserve so much more.
Perhaps surprisingly, we should look to strife-torn Greece for an answer.
I'm reminded of the stern warning that one should "beware of Greeks bearing gifts".
Of course, today there are unlikely to be many Greeks who are able to afford to bring gifts of any sort. …