It's that time of year when you find yourself at the municipal tip with a queue of other ferociously irritated people all waiting to get rid of their Christmas trees. I cheered myself up by spending my time in the grouchy-tempered line by flicking through all the newspapers in my recycling, which actually did reveal some gems I'd missed.
In particular, Robin Lane Fox's ever hilarious gardening column in the FT continues to represent all that is fine about having one of Britain's top academics writing about small niceties such as how to keep your cyclamen alive.
And bless the old duffer for writing about the "new fashion" in Christmas trees - retentive anti-needle-drop species. Maybe Oxford has a slower innovation take-up rate than Richmond-upon-Thames, but my mum started buying Nordmann firs when I was about fifteen (needless to say
this is really quite a long time ago now). Well anyway, I found out one thing – having decided to eschew novelty and plump for the old-fashioned and painfully needle-dropping spruce, I think we can safely conclude that one job dear Robin clearly doesn't have to do is his own hoovering.