I am going to try to fool my wife into thinking I might be beneficial to the family

I am writing this missive in Portugal, but by the time you read it I will be in my garage in Crawley, trying to knock my new tour show into shape while my children enjoy the remainder of their summer holidays, my wife panics about whether they have all the right things for the new academic year, and I wonder what the point of all this is.

I have had a wonderful two weeks with my family. Don’t get me wrong: there have been challenges. At the mini golf, the boys’ behaviour was so embarrassing that I threatened to book a flight to Gatwick the very next day. They were respectful enough to pretend to believe that their father, a man who once took them to the Christmas panto a day after the day the tickets were booked for, had the logistical nous to do such a thing.

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