I had a truly enjoyable day yesterday, full of all sorts of things that make life fizz. I spent the morning at work on my latest piece, which is still causing a little trouble if truth be told, and then set down my virtual pen early in the afternoon.

At that point we headed up the road for lunch at one of the new cafés in Shepton (yes, we have several!) to be joined by my mother, thence to Wells for a visit to the cinema with a friend (film was mediocre at best but the company was good) and then returned home to a DVD and a glass of wine. There might also have been a couple of quick solo games thrown in there for good measure.

At least one of those glasses of wine was downed in memory of Nick Gale, my friend and colleague who died five years ago yesterday. While the brutal emotional impact of that day has begun to fade with the passage of time there is still no doubt in my mind that Nick and I were robbed of many wonderful and very badly behaved evenings of wine, food and gossip.

Today, though, is my stepfather’s birthday, the celebration of an age at which most of his contemporaries, to be frank, are dead. Yet Brian is out there cycling, karting, delivering talks to the philatelic society, travelling – totally and unrepentantly gathering in new experiences for, if he does not do them now, when is he ever going to do them?

So we shall be out for a birthday lunch and maybe a glass or two of something special afterwards, and I have little doubt that Brian will then disappear with a box of tools to go and work on his cycles or put together some kind of contraption that will achieve something or other. I shall sit back and, like Brian on his peregrinations across the Somerset levels, enjoy the ride, and I think that I shall have to catch up on my composing on Thursday, but I have little doubt that it will be worth the day off.