March 20th has long been designated International Happiness Day, a day to celebrate all that is good about life in the 21st century.

However there were few smiles in the disunited Kingdom as Theresa May seized the day and confirmed that she planned to trigger article 50 to take the UK out of the European union, on March 29th.

“Obviously she already looks like a death a birthday party, but does she really have to behave like one?” disgruntled Rochdale remainer Mavis Fothersdike told the Herald.

“March 20th, is for happiness…I’d been looking forward to a bit of levity, maybe a sing song and a slice of cake and what happens? She has to weigh in like the shadow of the guillotine and spoil it all,” she said adding that the sun had just peeped through the clouds when May’s announcement came.

“Obviously at that moment it started pissing down,” she complained.

Explaining that she wasn’t all that fussed about Europe Fothersdike said she’d do anything to avoid having to listen to the Brexit supporting ministers harping on about it was “the will of the people”.

“I only went to Spain on holiday the once, but at least when I got the runs they were sympathetic and helpful and didn’t keep banging on that it was own bloody fault for being there or drinking the water,” she said singling out Michael Gove for particular criticism.

“Look at him, what must his poor mother have been like – some kind of bat?”

Her disgruntlement was echoed by impoverished Rochdale pensioner Albert Ramsbottom who complained that he’d been saving up for a pint of Alchemist Ale but had gone right off the idea and thought he’d better keep the £3 “just in case”.

“At least she could have bloody waited and made the announcement on April 1st – at least we’d be able to laugh at it maybe being an April fool joke,” he said “Like that one Richard Dimbleby did about spaghetti trees. We could do with some of those here, we’ve already had all the leaves off the privet hedge in a lasagne. It’s back to the food banks now,” he said.