The Bishop, announces the Vicar, is coming to lunch next Sunday.
I am worried. Sunday lunch is always chipolatas and cornettos in our vicarage and this may not be suitably episcopal. What, I wonder, do bishops like to eat? 'Bread and wine!' retorts my scornful 10-year-old.
The Vicar is worried. He too fears that his Sunday morning schedule will expose the Bishop to chipolatas. Even more, he fears that I might Rise to the Occasion and ruin his social standing with my attempts at proper cooking.
The 10-year-old is worried. She suspects that small talk with a purple-frocked prelate, if word gets out, would be deemed an uncool weekend leisure activity by her school peers. And she knows that she might not get her Cornetto.
The 7-year-old is, however, serene. His talent for ingratiation should one day earn him a job in the Foreign Office. If his sister is in disgrace he'll curry favour with his father by voicing a religious vocation. If she rejects her dinner-time peas he'll fake wild joy in his greens. Now he senses an opportunity.
The 10-year-old has decided on rebellion. 'I'm going to wear my chavviest clothes!' she announces.
Quick as a flash her brother moves in. 'And I,' he lisps, 'am going to make sure I bring a Bible!'
PS What fail-safe, easy-cook meal can one feed a Bishop?