If to know the friends of a man (or woman) is to know the man, then what can one tell by acquaintances? I was invited to a lunch this week which was entirely made up of my fellow town micettes. Normally, the idea of a ‘girls’ night out’ fills me with horror (they always involve sickly cocktails and laughing at things you would never usually consider humorous such as waiters twisting overly large pepper mills). This was terrifying for a rather different reason. All of the women there were extremely accomplished, glamorous and bright.

They would no more order a Piña Colada than turn right onto an aeroplane. Between them, they ran several large houses and town pieds-à-terre, brought up children, managed the lives of demanding husbands, flew regularly from New York to London, raised millions for charity, wrote award-winning off-Broadway plays or starred in them and, er, deputy edited Country Life. And not a chipped fingernail to be seen. Yet, the conversation flowed, the atmosphere was resolutely non-competitive and full of that warm empathetic laughter women so easily share. If you’re going to judge me, it’s as good a place to start as any.