Dark, discreet, softly spoken, our 24-year-old relative has left to continue his programme of European visits.


What do people want to do when they find themselves in London for half a day in dry weather? National Gallery? Yes. Birdcage Walk? Yes. A peep at the proportionate statuary in front of Buckingham Palace.


How about Eggs Benedict at the Ritz?


How about a “straight blade shave” at a proper barber?


How about a visit to Taylor of Old Bond Street for some sandalwood shaving soap for one’s brother? The base tone should be sandalwood, of course, but there ought to be overtones of cedar.


How about evening attendance at a Peaceful Warrior presentation ― this concession to mind-body-spirit to gratify a helpful friend?


There is no hurry. Some of these goals are accomplished, others not. Nelson is extremely high on his pillar. Only British Colombia, with its proximity of mountains and sea, offers scope for nostalgia, appreciated less growing up there at the time.


But London is London. A brother is a brother. This one, born a century or two adrift, has been painted, qua Velasquez, with a ruff, hand on globe, positioned in front of a dog. It all got “more and more outrageous”.


An e-mail arrives from their mother: “I hope he’s not taking up too much of your time.”