PANIC is setting in. Too many invitations. Not enough days left in the month to accept them. The invites are not for me, of course. They are for John. To shoot.

One is from a friend who is a gamekeeper and wants him to boost the bag on the last days of the season. Not that John will be sat back twiddling his thumbs with no sporting hobby to pursue. For behold. An invitation to fish three days on the Tweed has just arrived. Closely following the invite he already has for a week in March. And that is not discounting all the other fishing he has planned.

All this, of course, leaves me with a completely clear conscience to indulge my charity shop and eBay habit. My purchases are as but drops in the ocean compared to any cheques he will sign today.

But there is one day he will not be cleaning his gun and checking over his cartridges before driving off in the Land Rover. Because tomorrow the Land Rover will be taking its final trip out of the big shed, across the yard and through the gates to be traded in against a far comfier model. Since his knee operation, John now finds difficulty getting in and out of my car, which we do not want to change, so reluctantly, the Land Rover has to go.

For 40 years John has driven a Land Rover. In all that time we have only had three, the last vehicle being one of the last models made, and the only vehicle we have owned it now transpires, that has actually increased in value instead of plummeting in price when driven off the forecourt.

We had anticipated that as this Land Rover had done a comparatively low mileage, taking it to our local main dealer would result in a breath taking offer. Not a bit of it. Indeed the salesman we had arranged to meet, didn’t even bother to show up. Embarrassed, I think, at this couple sitting leafing through glossy magazines, another salesman introduced himself, but could only show us print outs of vehicles we were interested in and also made a fairly derisory offer, via the computer, for our beloved Landie.

So the next day John took himself off into the wilds of North Yorkshire. Well, Pickering. Now that’s where you need to go to get a good deal. The garage was close to his mother’s family farm. In fact, the dealer remembered his uncle. A right good price for our vehicle and an even better one on the next, which apparently I am banned from driving.