Down in Wiltshire, just north of Tisbury, there's a country estate. It is currently in the possession of the third Baron Margadale. In the heart of the estate is Fonthill House. Surprisingly it is a fairly modern property - built as recently as the nineteen seventies. There were other grander versions of Fonthill House in the past but one burnt down and two others were demolished.
Normally Fonthill House and the lanes that wind up to it are not open to the public but on Sunday the estate hosted a charity event, raising money for young carers. Shirley and I decided to go along.
We saw Alastair Morrison - Baron Margadale (see right). In fact, I nearly told him to shift himself when he stood in front of me and Shirley as we were watching a fine performance by bubbly soprano singer Poppy Neame. Fortunately for his lordship, he moved along just as I was rising out of my garden chair to give him a hefty clout round the back of his aristocratic skull.
Back in 2016, he and his daughter Nancy were in the news in a bad way when numerous local residents complained about the din wafting over the fields and hedgerows from Nancy's twenty first birthday bash. There were big speakers, a live band and the all night event finished at eight thirty in the morning.
On Sunday, as Poppy's set was coming to an end, Lord Margadale made a special request that visitors should rise to sing the national anthem in honour of Her Majesty and in celebration of her Platinum Jubilee. It was all so terribly twee - like an echo of all our yesterdays.
As we looked around and caught snatches of conversations, we felt that we had arrived in a very different England from the authentic one we know. This was an England of privilege and chocolate coloured hunting dogs, of "Barbour" jackets, panama hats and floral fabrics by Laura Ashley, of received pronunciation and financial security. "Did you ski this winter?", "Yes we're going up to Scotland in July", "Are they delphiniums or hollyhocks?"
Following a walk in Little Ridge Woods, behind Fonthill House, we drove on to a thatched country pub in the village of Swallowcliffe. I had spotted it during my morning walk. Sitting at an oaken table in front of "The Royal Oak", we met Lori and John from Edmonton, Canada. They are over here on a guided ten day walking holiday with all arrangements covered by a niche holiday firm. They seemed generally thrilled to be here and it was nice to chat with them for an hour before they wandered back inside the pub for dinner.