Just before 10pm last night I arrived home from a gruelling but fun weekend in France. Sue, our usual changeover lady, was back in the UK for a week so I was required to deputise. Although we're some way from genuinely being able to call ourselves a reading retreat the early signs are good. Having lunched magnificently (and for only 10 Euros) at la Vallee, Alan was recumbent in the hammock, book aloft and wine glass within easy reach. Later, as he sat atop the sit-on mower (the ultimate middle aged 'boy's toy'?) his wife took her turn in the hammock, looking suitably relaxed and at peace with the world.