Did you see Brian Blessed, on QI the other day, as large and jolly as the Green Giant, talking about how he had met a wolf dog, I think on an expedition to Mongolia? He said how much it loved him, feeding it Mars Bars in his tent, and how, being a lusty fellow and missing his wife terribly, he almost kissed the splendid creature. It reminded me of visiting a wolf sanctuary in Colorado, while on tour for my dearly beloved ‘publisher’ Abrams, when I snogged a wolf. Well, actually, it gave me a wolf kiss through the fence, all tongue and slobber, but before you think it so terrible, apparently wolves’ saliva is enormously clean and can kill any known germs dead. Well, that’s what they told me! As ever, hearing those animals howl cut through the soul, but I also heard of how, when one wolf lost his mate, he dug a hole to lie in, and when he howled that night the whole pack stayed strangely silent. Ah, we have much to learn from animals, but Brian Blessed’s friend accompanied him up through the snows on what must have been the most thrilling walk. He may be accused of ham, or frightening the deaf, but I will always remember his triumphant Augustus in the BBC’s rarely matched I Claudius, bemoaning the state of Roman marriage.