Country mouse plays golf

After all the rain, the past few days have been like a summer of my childhood. Wafts of sweating horses reminded me of hot days at Pony Club camp; for once, this year-thanks to the pressure to get the harvest in before the rain showers return-golden stubble lights up the fields, and my fingers are stained purple from picking blackberries. This was always my favourite time of year, although with age, commuting and the rapid disappearance of these golden, spiky fields to sticky plough, I have come to love May more for its verdant renewal after the darkness of winter. I didn’t play golf as a boy, but my son Harry has now taken it up and, as a father, it allows me to be able to spend a couple of wonderful hours with him, between his various pressing social engagements.

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We are of similar ability or equally terrible depending on how you look at it, but that does not halt an intense rivalry. We may both take seven shots for a par 4, but if either of us is able to pop the ball into the hole before the other, our love and satisfaction for the game is complete. I shared horses with my father; it looks as if it will be golf with my son. We are all very lucky.

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