The blackbirds waited till the day the ruby gooseberries began to blush, then stripped the bush. They didn’t see the blackcurrants so we baked them straight into a pie.

Guests who don’t like camping stay in Chris’s static holiday-let down the lane, and we hijack the kitchen – it’s got an oven. Mum and Flump were here last week, so they got to eat the pie.

Feeling successful, we dug up the potatoes. Everyone was surprised to find they were actually there, under the ground, pebble yellow with brush-off-able soil crumbs as if they’d been planted into a fine tilth. We ate them with butter and chives and our entire crop of broad beans, which amounted to exactly one each.

The slugs guzzled the whole plot of uchiki kuri squash plants. I was reluctant to send out the substitutes, but they got too big for their pots so had to go. It’s a worry.

Yutaka and Sumiko brought cans of Guiness round to dinner because they have a wariness of wine. We are wary of Guiness, but the slugs are queuing up for it round the uchiki kuri patch. There are easily forty in each jam jar, and if I don’t tip them out often they start to fizz.