When we fetched Stephen from Heathrow two days ago, I realised that we had done absolutely nothing for nearly a week. No little trips to some remote corner of this county. No meetings with friends and foes. No wild parties that shake the foundations of some guy’s parents’ house.

Stephen has been our social engine for so long, but he has been away for most of the summer. His parents arranged a summer job for him at a lodge in the Austrian alps. They have had a supreme fixer as an employee, and from the sound of it, Stephen loved every minute there. I’m glad Stephen’s parents aren’t trying to coerce him into a banking job. Stephen is born to be in the hospitality business.

Ben is busy with a new girl he’s met, and don’t have time for his old pals. Last time I went to visit I nearly surprised them doing something indecent, and this happened even though I gave him a ring ten minutes before. Even when it’s just the two of us, he can’t shut up about her. Was I like that with Mark? Am I like that still?

My mother is badgering Mark to come over to Sweden, so that he doesn’t “get trapped” in Britain. She’ll move heaven and earth, she says, to get him into some program over in Sweden. I can well believe her. She is taking Brexit quite hard, and one can feel the steam of fury venting from her ears about the risks to Mark’s education.

Me? I’ve read more books this summer than I ever have during any summer in my life. I have also come to the half-way mark of another novel which is quite different from anything I’ve ever written. Maybe this university thing and the internship have rubbed off and given me a more serious nudge? I quite enjoy the new book.

I wake up in the morning, and can’t wait to get stuck in. I don’t usually feel like that. Usually. Writing for me is more transactional. I’ve done all my thinking when I sit down in front of the word processor. The film that a book’s story is, have been daydreamed out before I write down a word.

There’s still a few weeks left of this summer. Looking back, like I did at the airport, I think that despite all the political drama I’ve whined about of late, this has been the quietest summer I can remember. And that’s not all bad.