According to Gallup’s Global Emotions report, we’ve never been happier than we were last year. We’ve also never been so tense, angry of fretful – which just goes to show that the majority of people are never happy unless they have something to moan about.

The British were marginally happier than average, scoring 75 out of 100 in the ‘happiness index,’ compared to a global score of 71.

The French, always a step behind the British, scored only 73 in a measurement which appears to show that nations with a significant horseracing industry are at an advantage. The Greeks were the least happy of all – have you ever been racing there? No, me neither.

Some commentators were at a loss to explain how it could be that the British were more positive in 2018 (rising two points in the happiness index), while also being unhappier – with the ‘negativity index’ increasing from 23 to 25.

The answer, of course, is obvious: we were happier because the prevailing weather was dry and bright and we didn’t lose too many race-meetings, but we were unhappier because that didn’t help us to find more winners. This week’s selection is Saint Freule, trained by Lucinda Russell, at Hexham on Saturday evening.

Hexham didn’t make it onto the list of the best places to live in the North East, published by The Times. While this seems harsh to me, the competition was evidently very strong with the region including the whole of Yorkshire where there are more towns with racecourses than in any other county.

Beverley, with its gothic minster and cheerful racecourse, featured as the region’s third best place to live, while York (with its even bigger minster and enormously important racecourse) was the winner.

Naturally, the best places to live in each region tended to be those that are close to racecourses or that have racecourses in them – including Chepstow (home of the Welsh Grand National and the sixth best place to live in Wales), the Witterings (a stone’s throw from both Goodwood Racecourse and Fontwell Park on the south coast) and St Boswells - which many people pass on the way to Kelso Racecourse.

And then there’s Cartmel, the fourth best place to live in the North West, according to The Times. It’s the village with everything: a beautiful priory to rival Beverley’s minster, world-renowned food, a micro-brewery, the best sticky toffee pudding in the known universe and, last but not least, the racecourse.

Best of all, racing gets underway at Cartmel at the end of this month on the Whit Holiday weekend – Saturday, May 25, Bank Holiday Monday, May 27 and Wednesday evening on May 29. There’ll be picnics, a funfair, horses, camping, picnics, racing and picnics. No wonder we’re all so cheerful.