prefer being at home to rushing off to visit cathedrals or farmers’ markets, so I couldn’t have been happier. The clothing I requested was ‘something to knock about in’, and magically a black silk kaftan was produced as we snuggled down to watch a boxset. The next annoying request (and a possible point reduction) was a radio for my room so that I could drift off to sleep listening to the shipping forecast.
Two demands, both met with good-natured joshing. If you are staying with old friends you can usually gauge pretty early on how they expect you to behave and work out for yourself answers to questions such as should you attempt to make breakfast or is the kitchen area no-go? Are you expected to help with the animals? Is it a good idea to be up and at ’em, wellies on by 8am waiting to be entertained?
One thing I did learn was that when you are letting your small dog out to do its business, it’s important to check that the chickens/goats are safely away in their pens, and if the other dogs go out too, make sure they all return. That is all I am prepared to say on the matter. Points lost: 10.
Still, we continued to have fun, visiting a gorgeous rug and kilim emporium and rummaging through antiquities and vintage clothes (a
WHAT MARIA’S HOSTS SAID ABOUT HER
MAX AND DAVID Our visitor was amusing company, partook in numerous outdoor activities and brought a splendid gift. Unfortunately, she also brought in something untoward on her trainers, although this was quickly remedied without us having to ask. She may have been travelling light but we suspect that she left heavier: copious amounts of cheap confectionery seemed to disappear from the larder with frightening speed. 4/5
GEMMA AND ED An easy guest who went with the flow, amused herself and didn’t outstay her welcome. We would be delighted to see her and Dolly back soon. 5/5
ANNE Maria tested the beds with a swallow dive, revealing her pants. Then she tried to get off with my neighbour. She also ate the chocolate brownies before I had even made the tea. 3/5
PATRICK A pleasant enough woman who was popular and funny but interfered with my banana and custard pudding; a simple dish sabotaged by the addition of chocolate sprinkles and cream. She also gave Bob treats. Bob is on a diet. 4/5 Maria with her Radio 2 co-host Graham Norton