“I guess we’ll see you at Easter then,” says Keith.

Keith owns the holiday cottage next door. He is a terribly nice chap, and lets me park on his drive in return for doing his bin.

“Want me to do your bin?” I ask.

“Cheers. And do feel free to park on the drive.”

He wanders back down the path and I scuttle back indoors. Moments later, however, there is a knock at the door. A Keith-shaped silhouette looms up through the glass.

It is Keith, bearing a bunch of slightly bedraggled flowers.

“Er… I was just wondering,” he says, haltingly. “Would you like these as ‘congratulations’ on the baby thing?”

I look at them. This seems an unusual way to get flowers delivered. He notices my suspicious air and continues. “I got them for Julie. For Valentine’s Day. We’re not taking them with us, so they’ll only be chucked away otherwise.”

This seems fair enough. “Actually,” I reply, “that’s a bit of a stroke of luck – I could do with a decent bunch of flowers. I got the LTLP a single red rose on the 15th, as they were reduced in Tesco. But I forgot to take off the ‘reduced’ sticker.”

He hands the sad bouquet to me. A short moment passes between us as we stand there, complicit in the shame of our mutual pikeyness.

(NB I know that that is not a politically-correct term in the strict sense, and I do not wish to cause offence to anybody but it is the word that seems to most sum up the situation.)

He leaves, no doubt to steal some horses and drive down local property prices.

I retreat indoors to present my gift.