Town mouse on swine flu

First, our eight-year-old son Charlie came down with flu, then I did. I’ve been getting what I can out of the experience by telling people it’s swine flu, currently as fashionable as the Harry Potter premiere. As a family, we had already been swine-flu victims, because a teacher at Johnny’s school got it: so many parents kept their children away, it had to break up a week early.

But what’s the point of delaying the inevitable? One of our eldest son William’s friends had it at Eton, only being diagnosed a couple of weeks after all the fuss had died down. He said it was like getting a cold.

My range of vision has, therefore, been confined to my study window, where the flat opposite, clearly for sale from the number of new people who could be seen poking around, has been bought by some Italians, who’ve been exuberantly moving in. Italian is a language that never fails to cheer.

Below them, by a freak of chance, lives one of the teacher’s at William’s school. Life flowed back only when I struggled into a suit (unnecessarily, as, out of court, even barristers go tieless) for lunch at Gray’s Inn; they put up a marquee-cum-restaurant every summer. Better than a Fisherman’s Friend.