I had famous pork on Sunday. It came from Stinky Jim, you know, of Jimmy’s Farm fame. Jamie Oliver’s mate. That’s the one. Anyway, it had been brought from his piggery in Essex to Durham by my friend Pippa, who was there visiting her parents and invited me to join her for the weekend. She hadn’t been able to get a roasting joint, so she bought some huge ribs instead and her mum stuck them in the Aga while we went off to pick apples, damsons and the three remaining blackberries in the garden for a crumble pud.

Mrs D. was worried they wouldn’t come out right, not having been marinaded, barbecued or any of the other things you’d normally expect to be done with ribs, but they came out lovely. She’d salted the skin well and the crackling was so crunchy I had trouble biting through it, the fattiness (they were pretty fatty, but that’s bellies for you) kept the meat from drying out and becoming chewy and they tasted pretty good too. In fact, they more than made up for the five hour train journey I’d endured to get to Durham, what with the East Coast line being closed all weekend.