I had been so busy tidying the garden, pulling up the runner-bean and courgette plants and raking up leaves the big ash is already bare that I had forgotten that we were going to an evening concert in the next parish church.
So had the children, who were already arguing whether they were going to watch Strictly Come Dancing or the The X Factor that evening. Therefore, when the news broke that we were off to St Mary’s in Herriard to listen to some amateur singers, there was a frisson of rebellion in the air.
I knew that farmers would dominate the congregation, and it is a well-known fact that, given any chance, a farmer will wear a suit, but getting the children to change risked complete refusal, so we bundled them into the car and headed for the church.
The evening, as are so many things you half wish you weren’t going to, was wonderful. The Jubilee Choir was terrific. During the interval, there were so many plates of food and drink being handed round that it seemed as if we could have fed the biblical 5,000. The next morning, Charlie, the X Factor fan, could even be heard humming Fauré’s Requiem.