benign, Adj, from the Old French benigne, who nicked it off the Latin beningus, it means kind, gentle and mild.

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Perhaps it’s the early onset old-timers, perhaps it’s the desire for a new set of references, or a new routine. Perhaps it’s time to be kind with the future in mind.

Maybe it’s the gradual realisation that those twenty good summers I’ve got left might be more, or might be less.

Maybe I’m deciding to be deliberately different, obdurately original; maybe I just can’t decide. But I’ve always liked the idea that to be different, you have to actually be different.

As the population’s getting older and older, more of us are going to be working longer and longer, then a gap year seems like a good idea.

Doesn’t it?