e didn't like last week. The arrival of spring was, on the East Coast at least, noticed only by astronomers. On the ground, we were wet and cold -- in more ways than one.

The news from England about hoof-and-mouth disease was not encouraging, and the news from the Federal Reserve was not encouraging enough, so Wall Street let the bears loose again.

The pilots at Comair voted to strike. Possibly today. Maybe they won't.

Then Northwest said it was going to play it safe the rest of the year, cut some "unprofitable flying" and defer some advertising and other expenditures, including some executive compensation. A few of its DC-10s will take "early retirement."

P&O Princess let it be known that it, too, was going to play it safe for a while and extend its option to build the third vessel in its new class of 88,000-ton ships. A day later, Carnival reported that its net income for the quarter was down 25% from a year ago, though revenue was up 22%. That can't be good.

We picked up a PricewaterhouseCoopers report, only to read about reduced demand in the hotel industry; yield growth could be the weakest in a decade.

Then a charming, quirky tour operation called it quits, bringing an end to the 7-year-old Wild Women Adventures, a smart California outfit that ran tours with names like Erin go Braghless. Any travel company audacious enough to use "Insanity With Dignity" as a slogan deserved to prosper.

And from the publishing world came news that one of our worthy competitors, Leisure Travel News, was shutting down. We all secretly hope our competitors will go away, but not really, not like this.

This is the season of growth and renewal?

We hope, to bend Shakespeare, that this "spring of our discontent" will be made glorious summer by something -- soon.

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