I spent last Saturday dashing between schools. Bentworth Primary was hosting the village fête, where Anna was launching her school newspaper (she’s the editor and has assembled more staff than I’ve got for Country Life, including one brave girl who has agreed to be her PA). The boys were at Churcher’s in Petersfield playing cricket (Harry) and holding an art exhibition (Charlie).

Hurtling back to Bentworth, I arrived just in time to see the orchestra. The whole school seemed to be holding an instrument, and when the conductor struck up, they all blew, drummed, plucked and fiddled as if their lives depended on it, creating a wonderful wall of noise. Marvellous. One little chap was walloping his triangle so hard it threatened to become a rectangle.

The mothers had baked Victoria sponges and, in a fierce competition, there was much talk of WI rules (no fruit). Coconuts were won, beehives were sold and the vicar did his bit at the apple-bobbing.

Back at Churcher’s, Harry had made 60-odd and taken six wickets; Charlie was now waiting on parents having tea. There’s no rest being a mum or dad, but, on days like these, nothing beats it.

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