Two calls from France. The first is my Portuguese neighbour (yes, he has my mobile number) to find out why I have been away so long and when I might be coming back. He tells me he has been keeping an eye on my house and wants to know if I would like to go to the beach with him for the day on my return.
'I won't be back until the end of August,' I say.
The second is Travis calling from his garden to tell me how great the weather is, how clearly he can see the stars in the sky, how many aperitif soirées he has attended and which of our mutual friends he has seen. He has very kindly offered to go over to my house tomorrow morning to collect my post and a computer cable, which he is going to bring back to London.
'Would I be pushing my luck if I asked you to bring back my favourite leopard shoes?' I ask.
'Yes,' he replies. 'I might be a poof but I'm not getting caught at the Eurostar security check with a pair of girls' shoes in my bag.'