A man came to my door this morning and said he could clean my leather sofas and my carpets. Opportune, because my sitting room has been a disgrace since poor Oscar’s nasal affliction. Obviously we’ve cleaned up, but the stains persist.

Then he asked to come in for a quick look at my sofas. As he studied them, and told me all about how he cleans the carpets and sofas of people on TV – I think I was supposed to be impressed – I realised that I was standing with a strange man in my living room IN MY PYJAMAS.

So this pleasant, reassuring man said he could come next week and he took a deposit of £40. He wrote it all down in his leather-backed diary and told me about all the other people in our road whose carpets and upholstery he has cleaned, even mentioning them by name.

Now, as I think about it, he could have said any name, because people around here don’t really see or talk to their neighbours. Was he casing the joint? Will I come back from dog class on Monday and find that’s he’s run off with all my stuff? Or has he just run off with my £40?

Or perhaps he’ll just come and clean my carpet and sofas and do a good job…