There was a dead starling on the gravel path in the back garden. I think it was a starling – I’m not much good at ornithology.

Even at my age this seems like something your dad should deal with. But seeing that he lives in Essex, it seemed unlikely that he’d notice it and take action.

In the end, I went out to Shed #1 for a spade. I carefully scooped it up, for some reason trying to give it as much dignity as possible, but its leg fell off and then I dropped it altogether so by the time I laid it to rest in the back field it was in a bit of a sorry state.

According to the news, they have found a new tenth planet. I’m sure I would have been thrilled about this as a kid, but as far as I recall, they’ve thought they’ve found tenth planets before several times. Plus, it seems unlikely that it will be full of exciting alien civilisations from 50’s sci fi.

They have already given it a name: ‘Sedna’. It strikes me that the cash-strapped world of space exploration has missed a trick here. ‘Planet Nike’ or even ‘McSedna’ would have been ok by me, and would have paid for a few more Beagles.