I awaken to the alarming news that a peer has caught fire at Weston-super-Mare. I have to make several telephone calls, including one to the Somerset Fire Brigade, until my mind is set at rest and I am satisfied that the story does not concern my old friend Brian Cotter. (He is now a member of the Lords, having sat for the aforementioned resort between 1997 and 2005. He lost the seat despite my last-minute poster campaign under the slogan “Don’t be a Rotter, Vote for Cotter”). Coincidentally, I am told that there has been a small conflagration involving another Weston peer: Jeffrey Archer (it seems that only his underpants were involved).
To celebrate Brian Cotter’s deliverance, I take a party of especially Well-Behaved Orphans to the pier on Rutland Water for candyfloss. Its superstructure has never been quite the same since it was dynamited in 1939 to prevent German troops landing, but it still has much to offer the agile holidaymaker.