The diary entry for October 24 states it quite clearly. First shoot day as a gun.

Thankfully I didn’t descend into a nervous heap when Will first told me I would be shooting with him down in Sussex on that day, but amid the excitement it suddenly hit me just how quickly the time has passed since I took my first lesson.

I’ll hold my hands up and admit that nine months ago, I couldn’t hit have hit water even if I was standing on a boat. Alan Rose at the West London Shooting School must been contemplating early retirement when I first shuffled onto the peg with him in the spring, missing clays that were so slow that he could have finished The Times crossword by the time I had worked out when to pull the trigger.

But that was then, this is now. I’ve improved, learned from my mistakes, am realistic about my skills, and realise there is still a long way to go until I am as good a shot as the others here at Shooting Gazette.

But you learn by doing, I’m as ready as I’ll ever be and the day can’t come around fast enough.

I’m hoping to eat everything I shoot this season, and if I can shoot two brace in a few weeks time I’ll be very happy indeed.