Why do bad things happen to King Lear? Because he is easily flattered and doesn’t recognise true, honest love and loyalty when he sees it. He descends into madness because of the bad things that subsequently happen to him; and then, because of his madness, he puts into action even worse things that are eventually his downfall.

Be aggressive, they said. Be tough. New York’s not like LA. You have to have balls in this city. So, I have managed a little over two weeks without much incident, give or take a suspected terrorist or two and a lost iPhone (spectacularly recovered from the local Jewish nursing home: never again will I speak out against the circumcision of infants, even though it is something I have come to admire in men over the years . . . But that’s a whole other story).

While we are denied physical contact, other than with those we live with, it’s important to touch base on the phone and through social networking; reaching out to nature brings so many rewards (it’s very chatty when you give it time). These are precious moments to absorb the world around us – it really is our friend, even though it doesn’t seem that way at present.