So we decide to have dinner in the very smallholding. Sandwiches made and packed, bottles filled, and secret supplies of chocolate biscuits raided. We load the Xtracycle, set off, come back and collect most of what we’ve forgotten, set off again, through the old town, across housing estate, down the hill, onto the track and to the garden.

Hmm. Gate padlocked. Probably should have thought about that. Never mind, Beautiful Wife is a million times better organised than me, She’ll have remembered.

…or then again. Perhaps not.

Never mind, back on Xtracycle, up hill, back into village, down along high street as I’m on my own, back home, upstairs, into apartment, look in key basket.

Key basket empty.

Check trouser pockets. Check yesterdays trouser pockets. Go through wash basket checking all items of clothing worn in the last week. Search bags, desk, kitchen, and garage. Check Xtracycle. Find a ten millimetre spanner, three pencils, fifty Euro cents, one squashed Mars bar, three needle files, a box of slides from working in Nepal, one rope and several plastic bags. No keys.

Report back to family.

Beautiful Wife comes up with obvious solution: go somewhere else. Reload Xtracycle, ride around for a bit, find field, eat picnic. Boys eat several kilogrammes of raspberries and blackberries. Happy family, disaster averted.

Go home, call landlord and explain. He is very amused, fortunately, and brings a spare key over.

This week’s jobs list: find key or get a padlock with a combination lock…

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