I go to the Village Shop.

My new Village Shop is extremely handy and well stocked, but is situated inconveniently one hills-worth away. I haven’t got much exercise recently, so I am panting and disorientated when I arrive.

“Morning!” I say to the Village Shop Man. “It’s a lot warmer out today.”

“Morning Jonny,” replies the Village Shop Man. “Not as warm as in Hertfordshire though. Only need to glance out of your window there and you’ll get a tan.”

I am a bit puzzled by his response but do not follow it up. My attention has been taken by a headline on the paper that Richard Pryor has died. I am sad about this – he was a great comic actor, and I was a big fan of The Good Life and Ever Decreasing Circles. It turns out that he set himself on fire once, which goes to show that you never can tell. I pay for my newspaper and take my leave.

It is only later that I discover what the Village Shop Man was referring to (re Hertfordshire conversation, above) – that oil tanks have taken to blowing themselves up all on their own.

This is extremely alarming. I have one in my new back garden which coincidentally I had filled up last week (it was a regular delivery, not a panic buy at all). I am not really sure what to do. I don’t really want to get exploded and have my windows blown in and my ceiling brought down; worse, whenever there is an incident like that they force you to go to a local leisure centre. I have spent my entire life giving local leisure centres the wide berth that they require, and I don’t mean to change that now.

Modern life is so full of complications. The central heating here makes the house warm and cosy, but at times like this I long for the rustic simplicity of my own cottage with its wood fire and reassuring oak beams, plus the internet access is better. But we are in general very happy here.

I settle down with the paper for ten minutes, then put the pork on to roast.

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