My son’s enforced exile in Lissnapookybawna appears to have paid off – he’s up to date with all the assignments for his course and expects to graduate in November. The graduation will be an excuse for me to put on a big hat. He has no intention of getting married anytime soon, so it might be my only opportunity.

Talking about new hats, I badly need a new rig-out but I’m not ready to hit the shops just yet. I’ve put on a bit of condition over the summer and I’m afraid I’ll have to go to the “marquee” end of the boutiques if I go shopping at the moment. My summer trips with the ladies didn’t help: gallons of tea and mountains of scones lathered with clotted cream and jam were consumed. I have the folds of flesh to show for it.