WE’RE off to the Eternal City for a few days next week, leaving The Boy in charge of the cats, rabbit, fish and allotment.

As he reads these columns I will have be very careful what I say next, but I hope that we’ll return to a well-picked plot and contented pets.

Rome, I am told, is a wonderful place and so packed with antiquity that we’ll be all museumed-out by the time we return.

We’re taking The Girl, of course, because she’s appreciative of such things.

I often muse upon the fact that my two children are polar opposites, despite having the same parents and the same upbringing.

One read every Horrible History in existence, loves gothic cathedrals and is perfectly happy examining Roman pottery in museums while the other is permanently linked to the internet and sees his future in cutting edge science.

The Boy can’t understand why anyone is interested in history while his sister couldn’t wait to drop physics at school.

It sure is a mystery, but family life is all the richer for it.