At last Penny and I are throwing off the long-term bronchial problems that have plagued us for several weeks.

Our recovery has been aided by several items of good news.

One concerns the Red Lion at Ampney St Peter.

The Camra heritage pub has been closed ever since the death of legendary and much-loved landlord John Barnard.

Now we hear it has been sold and is to re-open as a pub. Its many former customers are agog.

We met many of these at a delightful 80th birthday party. Venue, food, music and company were all superb.

We wished we could have stayed longer.

Thank you, Eleanor and Keith Toby, and well done the Crown at Crucis.

Next day there was another exciting gathering.

We encountered three wise men on motorbikes.

They roared into Holy Trinity Church in Watermoor, Cirencester.

The vicar, Canon Howard Gilbert, was taking his final service before moving to Minchinhampton.

“Iron Man” Howard has stretched us all with his innovative use of bicycles and the roar of the motorbikes as they carried the wise men into church. It was a fitting finale before he moves on.

The Gilbert family are well known for swooping round the streets of Cirencester on a splendid four-seater bicycle.Minchinhampton and Box – you have been warned! If you have all age services they will never be the same again.

Readers of this column will know of my love of my home village of Sheepscombe, especially the cricket club, of which my great grandfather and great uncle played a part in founding. My father was once captain.

There is more good news from Sheepscombe.

The village historian and recent chair of the cricket club won a deserved cricketing “OSCA” last year, and this year has been appointed an MBE for her work at our university concerning parish councils.

Sometimes the honours system gets it exactly right.

Well done, Elisabeth, and thanks from Sheepscombe lovers everywhere.