That really was just about a perfect day. We woke to bright sunshine, and that’s how it stayed all day, and boy did we make the most of it.

Our dogs, Dude & Bubba are just one year old and have never been let of the lead. At home we have a lot of foxes on our land and the thought of them entering into a fight with a fox doesn’t bear thinking about. Anyway, we – or rather I – decided it was about time to give them a bit of freedom, so, feeling very nervous, we let them off the lead into the garden of our holiday home. It’s not all fenced in, so disaster could have struck, but actually, they behaved perfectly. Dude even learned to fetch a ball and drop it back at my feet. Progress indeed.

Later in the morning my LBC colleague Lucy (James O’Brien’s producer) and her husband Alistair came over with their dog Oscar. The three dogs spent some time sniffing each other out (a lovely image there for you) before we descended on Brancaster beach. Even though it was fabulous weather there weren’t that many holiday makers around, so we were soon able to let the dogs off the lead. The trouble with Dude & Bubba is that they think everybody is a new friend, so they immediately run up to every adult and child and expect to be made a fuss of, not realising that not everybody is a ‘doggy’ person. They had a fine old time playing with a boxer and both even went for a paddle. It really was a perfect hour.

Back at the house, preparations for my birthday party at the weekend proceed apace. The marquee people came and an erection was soon under way. Matron! Pepi and Keith Simpson arrived to deliver what seemed to be a massive amount of cheese and order vast amounts of glasses and alcohol. Keith and I decided to talk about books while all this was going on.

And the evening was spent slobbing with dogs asleep on laps. Now that’s what I call a perfect, do very little, holiday day.