It is a truth universally etc etc that any sequel to “Pride and Prejudice” worth its salt must have a Ball somewhere in it, and this one is no exception. This particular Ball is scheduled to start around the halfway stage, which – much to my amazement – we seem to be approaching. But before that happens, preparations must be made.

Early readers of this episode may have noticed a reference to “patchouli-herding”, which changed this afternoon into “tofu-herding” on the grounds that it sounded slightly funnier and less patchouli-oriented. Generally speaking, I’m trying if possible to avoid going back and changing things because I don’t think that’s really fair to the people who read this thing. Part of the fun of writing it is trying to keep riding the tiger and somehow maintain the logic of the story wherever it is trying to go. As it happens, there aren’t many things that I really want to go back and change – although I would really like to amend the name of Wickham’s department from “The Department for Illegal Aliens” to “The Department for Unusual Stuff”. I might actually go back and quietly sneak that in at some point, so please don’t get too upset – I promise I won’t make a habit of it.