LOCKDOWN week 13 (or should this be easedown week 1?) Despite the prospect of a little more freedom, the Quarter Master is rather down in the dumps. Not his usual chipper self. Out of sorts, you might say.

It’s understandable, I suppose, for someone so keen to be out on manoeuvres. Click and collect once a week at Asda isn’t quite doing it for him, no matter how proud he is of his regimental issue khaki face-covering.

As I write, we should be on a recce in Almeria. We appreciate our very good fortune to be hale and hearty and to have come through this pandemic in comfort and safety (I apologise, as ever, for the levity of my remit in this column and appreciate the sacrifices and loss many have had to face – but please bear with me).

However, the QM is taking it badly, his bucket and spade sitting forlornly in the shed gathering dust, his water wings deflated.

He’s not said as much, of course, maintaining a stiff upper lip at all times and remaining resolutely dedicated to his duties at The Store. It’s just the little things I’ve started to notice. Of a morning, he has started to eschew his regular porridge and prunes. Instead, a more continental theme is emerging and some chorizo and a wedge of manchego have mysteriously arrived from his suppliers.

He’s also gone a bit Biggles on me and taken a sudden interest in aviation. I suspect he’s planning a great escape. Just the other day, I caught him perusing the Ryanair website. I stated in no uncertain terms that we were going nowhere in the confines of a metal tube in the middle of the worst pandemic in 100 years. No-one gets medals for acts of sheer folly, after all.

But we could go to Bilbao for 129 of your finest pounds, shillings and pence, opined the QM. He jolly well nearly got his marching orders.

By way of reparation and to cheer me up, the QM has dusted down an old hostess trolley (circa 1975) that he found in the loft, a relic passed on from Dear Old Aunt Agnes, and has been purveying drinks and perfume in the front room, a bit of a rattling distraction when you’re trying to watch A Place In The Sun, it has to be said.

As I write, he’s wrapping plastic cutlery in cling film and mastering the art of chocolate mousse with pear and vulcanised scrambled egg.

And do I really have to decant my shampoo into a 100ml bottle and stow it in a ziplock bag every time I have a shower?

With immediate effect, tea dockets have been withdrawn and boarding passes issued in their stead.

I do admire that he enters into the spirit of things. A jolly good show, and all that. But must we have the full emergency procedure with actions every evening before we sit down for dinner?

I know he’s fond of a uniform, but the twinset is not really him. And the silk scarf has to go. Fortunately, he lacks the trichological wherewithal to sport the all-essential bun. Small mercies.

But anything for a quiet life, old boy. I’m sure this novelty will wear off soon.

Those heels are killing him.