Bugger. Why does this always happen? I tend to think of myself as someone who knows his way around the English language. You will find no greengrocer’s apostrophes on this site, mate. Oh no. So why is it that whenever I show my father (aged 92, and in full possession of his marbles) anything I’ve written, he manages to spot at least one elementary mistake? I’m now wondering who else noticed that “The Amazing Arnolfini and his Wife” has practice used as a verb, and not practise?

Once upon a time, it would have upset me that he chose to comment on it, but now I am really quite impressed. I fervently hope that if I ever reach that age myself I will be as on the ball as he is. And he did say he liked the story as well, and you have no idea how pleased I am about that.