As beautiful as a shoe can be but as much use as a wet box of matches in this rustic corner of France. This is the sad conclusion that my wife, Jenny, has reached after 9 years of keeping the flame of hope alive. The realisation that our social calendar no longer includes Manoloworth events has been a harsh awakening. So harsh, that in a dizzy free spending moment, she could no longer resist the infinitely more suitable Lidl’s imitation Croc. We become more Vendeen by the moment, and, as yet, cannot decide whether this is a good or bad thing.