And so I had. A cheeky, speculative e-mail had been sent to the right people, the recipient had intended a positive response. Both sender and receiver then promptly forgot all about it; with just days to go before the big return to France from UK hibernation, it was looking less touch than go.
But two dates remained possible, albeit with long trips from London, and one was turned to reality. Thank heavens it wasn't the Berwick one. Fairport's tour was duly caught at the wonderful venue that is the City Varieties in Leeds and everyone, including the nephew who interrupted the customary starvation diet of student life to accept a bumper plate of steak and chips followed by chocolate dessert at the adjoining White Swan, was happy.