The shop is closed on Sunday. Pre-ordered newspapers are left in a box outside. You pay when you next pass by, or leave some money in the box.

It’s a good arrangement. The paper shop marketing people should consider introducing it in London.

But mine wasn’t there. Some catastrophic breakdown in the supply chain had led to none of the newspapers being there – except three copies of The Mail on Sunday. Who says that evil doesn’t triumph in the end?

So an awkward situation yesterday, as I had to tell The Lady In The Shop.

The Lady In The Shop is incredibly nice, and I am an English Male, so what really should have been a straightforward conversation (‘my Sunday newspaper wasn’t there’, ‘oh, I’m terribly sorry’, ‘not to worry, I got one later on from the petrol station, just thought you ought to know’) was always doomed to descend into a flurry of mumbling self-guilt and apologies.

Perhaps I hadn’t looked hard enough. Perhaps it had somehow tucked itself inside one of the other newspapers, between ‘New Euro Law to Release all Paedophiles’ and ‘All Women Are Slags’.

WHY am I unable to be confrontational? I skulked back home, feeling small.

Lunchtime’s nadir TV: ‘Through the Keyhole’. The panel: Ian McCaskill, Niamh Cusack and Richard Whiteley. The guest: a man from Hartbeat. I know he was a man from Hartbeat, because the BBC had added ‘A Man from Hartbeat’ in the caption under his name.

Far be it for me to shoot fish in barrels, but…