The first swallow twittered over the village a couple of days ago. And the maire crashed in on me and said ‘Come. I am taking you to the doctor.’ and he did. He also attended the consultation, a first since, I think, my mummy last joined me in there. I came away with a clutch of antibiotics and a bollocking. ‘You are no longer a spring chicken. Such things are dangerous at your age.’

The maire was so concerned with my health because we had a council meeting this morning during which we set next year’s budget. Without me there would have been no quorum and democracy would have crumbled. It was a bit like those days in the sixties and seventies when ambulances full of moribund MPs turned up at Westminster to register votes before returning to hospital or the morgue.

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