It was a glorious sunset. The pale blue sky was streaked with crimson. Herb stopped for a moment to take it all in. It was a joy to be alive. Looking forward to drinking in convivial company, he headed down the hill towards The Trumpet. The next moment he was blinded by a searing white light. He felt himself falling and at the same time he was aware of a cacophony of trumpets and cherubs singing.

‘You can turn off His Masters Voice!’ Peter turned to his work experience assistant and said, ‘He’s not the right Mr Smith. We’re expecting Bert Smith. It says on his driving licence this is Herb. We’ll be in trouble with -you know who,’ he muttered under his breath.

Peter was feeling his age. Once he had taken pride in his sunsets, welcoming the new arrival and ceremoniously handing over the keys to Heaven. Now even he had to agree their strap line , ‘Eternally with Us,’ lacked appeal, besides his bunions were hurting. He’d wanted to retire, but couldn’t find a suitable replacement. They weren’t interested in Heaven anymore. All they wanted to do was a gap year Down Under where it was hot.