I’m not a massive fan of the summer.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the dry, clear days, and I get on with the sun as long as the temperature stays below, say 20 degrees. Above that I have to seek refuge indoors. I go as red as a raspberry when I go outside in the baking heat, and sweat like Reichenbach Falls into the bargain. I come back from a foreign holiday whiter than the chalk on the cliffs of Dover and….well, you get the idea.

Another thing that grates me about summer is that there is no sport to be had. Not the kind that I enjoy anyway. We have just said goodbye to the football season for another two months, and although the fixtures will be released in a few weeks this will only make things 100 times worse. There will also be no English participation in Euro 2008, in case you didn’t know.

The shooting season, of course, doesn’t start until August, and the gap in the diary between today’s date and my first beating engagement is a canyon of white pages. Clays are a suitable substitute and I have already begun to get my eye-in, but I fear I will be all ‘clayed out’ by mid-July and gagging to wade into the birds.

What am I going to do? The closest I am getting to my new sport is the spent cartridge which sits in my kitchen’s penny jar.

Elsewhere, Liz Jones’ comments about shooting and the countryside continue to be wider of the mark than a Geoff Thomas long-range shot and provide the odd titter before the Sunday roast.

Still, it could worse; I could still be working in the shoe shop I was employed by while in school. Summer was always the worst time of the year, and not just because of our range of sandals.