An early start finds me enjoying breakfast at a transport café on the Great North Road. They do the finest bacon sandwich in Rutland here, and the tea is strong enough to go 15 rounds with Marciano. I spot a familiar face in the corner: we exchange smiles, but I do not compromise her privacy by speaking to her.
My readers will recall that the Queen – for it is she – was a driver with the ATS during the War; what is less well known is that she has kept her hand in ever since. Indeed, she is never happier than when at the wheel of a pantechnicon, finding it a blessed relief from the pressures of reigning.
Many are the motorists on the high roads of our nation who have been surprised by a shout of “Get on with it, Granddad! One could get a tank through that gap,” followed by a distinctive wave from a hunched figure in a headscarf.
I watch her fondly as she drains her tea and heads for Selby and the A19.