My recent visitors, the Naughty Twins, did not share my enthusiasm for having a midnight feast in the massive new Toyota Fentonmobile (see earlier blog). They said they’d rather go up the pub and have a couple of pints of Doom Bar.

As the evening wore on, though, there was some rash talk of putting curtains up in the vehicle’s windows and taking in some candles and a CD player and a flagon of beer and having a bit of a disco. Wiser counsel prevailed: even foolish 40-somethings have a rudimentary sense that candles and petrol, combined, aren’t the brightest idea, and we went home and had a curry instead.

The late-night car-based disco option ruled out, we managed to get to bed about 2am and spent a cultural day at the local artists’ open studio event, trotting about the town nosing around artists’ homes and drinking tea while trying to sound intelligent about the creative process.

Come the evening it was off to the pub again and one of the Naughty Twins succeeded in copping off with one of the locals. We’ve often discussed what it takes to cop off and had long ago come to the conclusion that you can forget all your jaded old chat-up lines – a cheery “Hello!” does the job every time: the recipient doesn’t feel threatened and can respond without fear that he’s met his stalker. Before you know it you’re deep in conversation. The Naughty Twin revised this theory on Saturday, concluding that the perfect chat-up line was in fact “Hello! Can I take your photo?” and brandishing a camera in said bloke’s face. The recipient might feel a little more threatened than with a plain “Hello!” but is simultaneously flattered, and that goes a long way with men’s egos. You’ve also got his picture to show to the police, should things go horribly wrong.

The technique is best carried out while strategically positioned at the table nearest to the gents’ toilets, from where you can see who’s going in and thus be ready to thrust your camera in his face when he emerges, if need be sticking your foot out to trip him up while demanding “did you wash your hands?”