We came back to find that the Apparitional Gamekeeper has split up with his girlfriend. A matter of some relief to the adult community, since the girlie in question is whiny, manipulative, negative and a pain in the neck. To the Apparitional One, however, she has seemed all that was charming, and he has consequently been going about giving himself married airs for the last six months, to the acute irritation of all. The end, when it came, must have been sudden, because he was still building castles in the air for two when we last spoke to him before we left for Cambridge, and since he is a tenacious sort of bloke we might have expected him to be nursing a broken heart. Not. Fortunately for him, his falling-out with Little Miss Drip coincided with the start of a week spent being an apprentice farrier – in effect, trying his chosen métier on for size to see if he actually likes it. He had a wonderful time: he’s strong enough, and he really likes the work. But something else has suddenly become obvious to him –– rather charmingly, it seems to have struck him for the first time, presumably due to his myopic concentration on Miss Drip –– a farrier’s daily work brings him into daily contact with comely and athletic young women of a forthcoming disposition. No wonder he’s looking cheerful.