The sun shone, the policemen in this highly publicised area were genial, and the crowd beyond the locked gates looked on curiously as we were allowed through into the empty, flower filled Downing Street. On the opposite side of the road were the press. Not for us. Mr Blair was shortly to emerge apparently.
Never short of barefaced cheek, I asked if one of the cameramen or reporters was free to capture the moment with my battered sub-standard digital camera. They stared at me for a long moment and then one unsmilingly agreed. The dogs looked unimpressed to be on the famous doorstep but I had ditheringly dropped my carefully written letter on the doorstep and Sam, senior border collie, promptly stepped on it, leaving a paw print on the white envelope. I was grateful to the kindly man in shirt sleeves who instantly answered our knock on the door - glimpse of thick carpet, two bright chandeliers - but then, partly perhaps because last time Hilary's Jack Russell had ambled right in, the door was closed again. Jean and I handed in our envelopes and I asked whether Mr Blair in person would actually see them." I expect so," came the answer, "I'll certainly make sure they go through the proper channels."
The press group shuffled cables and adjusted big woolly microphones. I went over to relieve their boredom by giving them a copy of my vaccination letter. "All right," said the man who took it. "I'll give it to the BBC"
Then we all trooped back into the real world and went and had a cup of coffee. A quick stop at Defra and then home. Next visit: 3 October.