"Won't you miss the pantomime, Daddy?" my six-year-old said last Sunday as I headed off upstairs with the wallpaper stripper, leaving to my better half the delights of Aladdin at the Southport Floral Hall.
"Don't worry, love," I said, "we get it all year round in Formula One..."
This was a revelation as, bless her, she took it literally. "Do they even go to Australia?" she asked, knowing that was a very long way...
I chuckled to myself as I envisioned sitting outside a pavement cafe in Melbourne watching Frank Bruno and Kevin Kennedy ponce about in silly costumes. But then it was back to the job. I had only a few hours before it was time to jump in the car and head for Stansted, the McLaren launch and the start of the panto season proper.