Some time ago my wife, our two children and I visited the village of Drumnadrochit, on the northern banks of Loch Ness.
Where does truth end and fiction begin? Who can say? Maybe the Netherlands really did not win the world cup in 1978, and Rensenbrink's kick in the last minute of extra time did hit the goal post. And maybe the party in the Buenos Aires football stadium that day was real. Maybe there really are politicians who talk about Moslem citizens in insulting terms and describe a colleague and compatriot as a bit of regurgitated halal meat. Maybe there really are people who think Vitesse will be the national champions in two years' time.
And can he really exist, a State Secretary for nature who values a pheasant on his beet field as much as a wet dune valley full of marsh grass in bloom; for whom a grassy field full of dandelions is worth the same as a chalk hill covered in quaking briza grasses and gentians? Who gives instructions to sell off nature areas to be turned into rich pastures. Who tries to wriggle out of international agreements on nature conservation. And who passes me a note asking, ‘Shall we go out for some goose shooting some time?'