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It will probably surprise anyone who knows the diligence with which R and I have cultivated the reputation for being almost but not quite as sociable as the troll under the bridge in The Three Billy Goats Gruff, that we have been invited to a party, the dress code for which is “Sparkly”. I shall be, as is my wont on these occasions, dressed in black from head to foot, as a gesture of mourning for my temporarily discarded jeans and boots – but the black I’ve chosen is sparkly, and I will be positively glittering at ears and wattle throat in these vintage crystals, which I inherited from my mother and which I think date to the early 1960s. I can even visualise the dress with which she wore them: a wonderful creation in pale pink and aqua brocade, which she made herself from curtain fabric.

I’m now off to comb through my jools for something else sparkly to hang around R, who has arrived home from work with a migraine and is currently looking about as unsparkly as you can imagine – though the glowing red of his eyeballs is appropriately festive.