Picture the scene: a crisp February day in 2012 in Trent Park, Enfield. Actually, I don’t know it was crisp – I just know it was February, so crisp is a possibility. I’m ruling out balmy, humid and close. It could have been cloudy, mild for the time of year, or windy; there might have been driving rain or even snow. Or uneven snow. Freezing fog is also an option, but it would get in the way of your picturing the scene so I’m ruling it out.

2012 anyway – you’re familiar with that. If you’re not, you’re a very advanced reader for your age. So, early/mid-coalition, Chris Huhne’s just resigned, the Olympics are coming up, Jimmy Savile is dead but not yet discredited, and there are 2.5 million people out of work. Look, I’m paying for this internet connection so I’m going to use it.

Walking across the park are two women, one in her mid-50s and one about 70. The younger has a cockapoo and the older an alsatian on a lead. Presently they arrive at the park cafe and alsatian lady, in a fluid movement, puts the dog’s lead in her friend’s hand and sweeps into the cafe to buy them both drinks.

This is where it gets hilarious. The alsatian, named Lily, yanks excitedly on the lead, probably trying to follow her owner, and drags the younger lady with her. Through the cafe tables she gallops, to the consternation of snacking locals, towing her owner’s friend along the ground like a husky’s sled. Across the grass, between the trees, twice round the children’s roundabout, underneath the trailer of an articulated lorry making a large delivery of Bonios, right through the middle of a marching band playing How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?, and finally into a large pond, causing havoc and honking from a family of geese. Read more