I  saw my first swallow on April 16, whizzing around our new house. We’ve lived with house martins, but have not yet shared a home with a swallow. The swifts will arrive in the first week of May, and I’m told they also nest in our village.

A few weeks ago, I would have been worried about the swallows and martins finding mud to build their nests, but not now. We may be in a drought, but, in Britain, it now seems that it never rains, but it pours. There has been a deluge for days. The rain caused the cancellation of a number of events, and we were forced to switch from going to a horse trials to racing at Newbury.

I hadn’t been Flat racing for many years, although it was once my great love. I enjoyed it so much that my first job was in racing at Newmarket, before I became a racing editor for Horse & Hound. However, work and play didn’t mix and I fell out of love, then became totally disinterested. The break has done me good-the old passion has returned and the hairs once more stood up on the back of my neck, when I was shouting home a winner.