Country mouse at the Game Fair

We bought a new tent for the Game Fair, one you could stand upright in. There’s something slightly demeaning in crawling out of a tent on hands and knees wearing a suit, so, like the ascent of man, I am now able to stride forth on my hind legs. It was just a shame that I pitched in the midst of what turned out to be the centre of the nightly party. Sleep was just a dream.

The Game Fair is a great gathering of the countryside clans; walking 100 yards can take you half an hour as you bump into old friends, share gossip and review the state of the harvest, partridge chicks or the latest fishing-rod design. There’s a lot of handshaking, and the crunching grip of my yeoman friends is a matter of high personal pride.

The flavour of this year’s show was one of increasing hope. There was a number of the Government’s Ministers present, and, more importantly, they understood and were far more sympathetic to the countryside’s needs and difficulties than their predecessors. If their words can be turned into action and we will watch this closely-there is a great deal to feel hopeful about.