The clocks changed on the Saturday that we arrived, but instead of going back an hour we might as well have turned them back a century as mobile phones were left to languish and we all - even Facebook-fixated daughter #1 - forgot to miss screen-based entertainment. The house we were staying in was once a gamekeeper’s cottage and retained a pleasing air of Edwardian austerity (ie. there was no dishwasher) but the autumn colours of the woods surrounding it were utterly majestic. The daughters went off looking for sweet chestnuts to roast and racing around cathedral-like clearings trying to catch the leaves that spiraled down on each breath of wind. In a cupboard in what must once have been the head-keeper’s office we discovered a dreadful mud-coloured jigsaw of steam trains and they spent the evenings huddled myopically over it in companionable silence.
It’s taken me a week to ease myself back into modern life and into my current book, set in the high-octane world of Formula One and the glitter and glamour of the Monaco Grand Prix. A week, and an awful lot of comforting tea and chocolate. What's everyone else been up to?