My wife and I were invited to an impromptu drinks party this week. No lockdown rules were broken because there aren’t any and, needless to say, we all went back to work immediately afterwards, or at any rate, home to have dinner and watch television.

It was a hot day — we haven’t had rain for weeks — and the talk was of a desultory kind. When would the pub re-open after the owner put up the shutters the day his wife tested positive for Covid? Had anyone heard that that new restaurant down the road from the Mairie might be in line for a Michelin star? (No.) Did alcohol-free beer actually taste of anything?