Phew – almost there! Christmas tree up. Presents ordered on Amazon. Turkey versus goose debate resolved. Christmas pudding made, cards sent and this, the biggest issue of COUNTRY LIFE this year, off to the printers. The excitement builds.

At home, nine-year-old daughter Anna has ‘rediscovered’ Father Christmas-briefly an unbeliever when she thought she saw someone looking like me stumbling into her room last year, she has reconfirmed her vows. You have to admire her pragmatism.

Elsewhere, small producers urgently pluck, pickle and ice as Advent closes. Mrs Hedges has boxed and packaged the last of her Tunworth cheeses for Christmas, having had to make more than ever due to wonderful articles in The Times and The Telegraph. It’s busy, busy, busy.

This year, I have decreed that we’re not going to eat more, but better. My children told me not to be so pompous and to promise that there would be the usual Cadbury’s chocolates in their stockings-Anna rather let her mask slip here.

But despite the frenzy of preparation, I wouldn’t want it any other way. The big day will arrive whether you’re ready or not. I hope that you all mare. Good luck and Happy Christmas.