Obiter, crammed into a London tube train during the daily commute, spotted two adjacent advertisements with disparate outlooks on the life romantic. One was from Slater and Gordon, the Aussie law firm intent on global domination and abolishing the ampersand. ‘Going through a divorce?’ it enquired solicitously. ‘Then contact us before your ex does.’

The advertisement beside it offered solace of a different kind. ‘Meet someone amazing this year!’ the dating agency urged. The triumph of hope over experience, as Oscar Wilde memorably put it.