If the health-and-safety brigade knew about me, I would be banned from using garden implements. On the day that Apollo 16 took off in 1972, I was in Casualty having been impaled by a fork that went straight through my thigh. Two years later, I drove our mini tractor over the ha-ha (not my father’s reaction at the time); by the age of 18, I had cut off an inch of one of my fingers in an electric hedge cutter.

Last week, when cutting the grass and once again reunited with a mini tractor, I hit a flint that smashed straight through the rear window of our Volvo. Each disaster could have been avoided, but I become a bit of a day-dreamer when the sun is out and there are birds and butterflies to admire.

Gardening, in my case, needs my full concentration. It’s the closest I have got to warfare. I’m a liability, although, oddly, I managed to avoid a single breakage in 30 years of hunting, eventing and point-to-pointing, which among serious horsey types is regarded as more than slightly suspicious. I hung up my boots when my luck was in. The following year, I broke my thumb fishing. MH