Barely 30 minutes before the start of the European cup final, John spotted a swarm of bees up in the big lime tree when he was putting the geese to bed. Dilemma. Swarm or sit down for the footie and the Red Arrows flypast. The swarm won, although, by dint of lots of coming and goings from the designated viewing room, he did manage to watch most of the match.

Now the discovery of the swarm was not an exciting find. Swarms in July are really too late to make enough honey to feed themselves over winter. But, it was a big swarm, close to the house, and worth a go to capture.

Remarkably he did. With the aid of his faithful assistant of course (me) finding him a box to shake the indignant insects into, fetch his beekeeping suit out of the porch and steady the ladder while he climbed up to the branch they were hanging off.

Once the swarm had been knocked into the box and tipped up in front of the hive, John shot back into the house to watch the match.. Just before half time, he decided we should go and check if the bees were rehoming themselves. They weren’t, and high up in the tree branches, we spotted another cluster of bees. The rest of the swarm. So. Back into bee keeping suit, back up the ladder with box, sharp knock of the branches to tip in the rest of the swarm and back to the match.

By the second half, and the equalising goal, John could not settle until he had again checked on the swarm. Which were going nowhere. Just clung onto the front of the hive and making no move to go in. Out to the shed again. Find the smoker. Light up.

Miraculous. A few puffs of smoke and the bees started to move towards the hive entrance as if drawn by a spell. More puffs and wafts and within minutes virtually every bee had flowed, best way of describing it, down the front of the hive and not the entrance at the bottom. We could relax. Back inside to enjoy the rest of the match.

Which unfortunately for England we didn’t. But what pressure had been piled on the young shoulders of those strikers. Never mind. As Scarlett O’Hara said in Gone With The Wind, “After all, tomorrow is another day.” And now they must look to the future.