A pity therefore that the next impulse to post occurs when I find myself in the Yorkshire town of Selby with an ancient abbey in my sights, and a heap of closed mobile phone shops, hairdressers, estate agents and grim fish n’ chip shops. At 5.30 pm on a Friday evening in July, this is not a place which lends itself to relaxed summer fun.
Such is the lot of parenthood, and more fatalistically, the penance I must pay for frolicking in the Italian sunshine for a week without a child or dog or spouse in sight.
I arose at 5.30 am to drive from Leeds to the Peak District to collect Middle Daughter from orchestra camp in order to drive her back north to York for a singing exam. Thence to Selby to rejoin orchestra for a City of Leeds Youth Orchestra concert to finish the season.
There is no time to drive to Leeds and drive back in time for the concert. Ordinarily I might wander on foot for miles absorbing the quirky oddities of a small boring English town with a massive factory glowering over the town square. But I am just too tired.
My only options are (1) sleeping on the grass of the cholera burial ground outside the Abbey or (2) a shady beer garden or (3) one of those loser benches in the middle of a pavement.
Beer garden, here I come.